Celtic striker Leigh Griffiths and Dundee ‘keeper Scott Bain have been called up to the Scotland squad for their Euro 2016 qualifier against Ireland at the Aviva Stadium on June 13.
Griffiths, Celtic’s top scorer with 19 goals this season, last won a cap for Scotand in a World Cup qualifier against Belgium two years ago. Bain’s call-up comes after it was confirmed that Hull City’s Allan McGregor will miss the game in Dublin in order to devote more recovery time to a long-term injury at the end of the season.
There’s also a recall for the in-form Charlie Adam of Stoke City while Celtic’s Charlie Mulgrew returns after making his comeback for his club in Friday’s scoreless draw with St Johnstone following five months out with injury. Mulgrew was a key player for Scotland when they inflicted a 1-0 defeat on Martin O’Neill’s men in Celtic Park in November.
“He’s back in the Celtic side and I don’t think they’d put him in if he wasn’t right,” said Scotland manager Gordon Strachan. “Charlie was a huge asset for us last time we played the Republic, he had a terrific game. Having Charlie in the squad makes us stronger.
“He has been injured for five months but the enthusiasm and adrenaline keeps you going for the first month back and we’re hoping that’s the case with Charlie. But I think we’ll need to top the lads’ fitness up a bit while they are here.”
Speaking about the recalls for Griffiths and Adam, Strachan said: “I saw Charlie play recently. We all saw his wonder goal against Chelsea. But there’s more to it than that. There’s been a consistency to Charlie’s performances and he has found a position at Stoke that suits him.
“Leigh is also hitting form just at the right time. He’ll be fresh because he didn’t play too many games at the beginning of the season. Charlie and Leigh have been here before. If I felt they didn’t have a chance of playing I would have brought in some younger guys to fill up those spaces.”
The full 26-man Scotland squad, from which will also be selected a team to play a warm-up friendly against Qatar at Easter Road on June 5:
Scott Bain (Dundee), Craig Gordon (Celtic), David Marshall (Cardiff City), Christophe Berra (Ipswich Town), Craig Forsyth (Derby County), Gordon Greer (Brighton & Hove Albion), Alan Hutton (Aston Villa), Russell Martin (Norwich City), Charlie Mulgrew (Celtic), Mark Reynolds (Aberdeen), Andrew Robertson (Hull City), Steven Whittaker (Norwich City), Charlie Adam (Stoke City), Ikechi Anya (Watford), Barry Bannan (Crystal Palace), Scott Brown (Celtic), Darren Fletcher (West Bromwich Albion), James Forrest (Celtic), Shaun Maloney (Chicago Fire), James Morrison (West Bromwich Albion), James McArthur (Crystal Palace), Matt Ritchie (Bournemouth), Steven Fletcher (Sunderland), Leigh Griffiths (Celtic), Steven Naismith (Everton) and Johnny Russell (Derby County).
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