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Strachan names squad

Keeper Archer earns first Scotland call-up

Gordon Strachan

Gordon Strachan: crucial double-header (photo: SNS Group)

Scotland manager Gordon Strachan has named his squad for the upcoming World Cup qualifying double-header against Lithuania and Malta, with Millwall goalkeeper Jordan Archer earning his first call-up.

There is a recall for 31-times capped Hibernian right-back Steven Whittaker, while Newcastle winger Matt Ritchie and Matt Phillips are back in the after missing the last match against England through injury.

Striker Leigh Griffiths is one of six Celtic players included in the squad after his two majestic free-kicks earned Scotland a point against Gareth Southgate’s side.

There was no place, however, for in-form Parkhead star Callum McGregor, while no Aberdeen players made the final cut, with Strachan saying: “I picked the regular bunch because you can trust them.

“There were a lot that were close but if you look at that midfield there are a lot of good players in there who have done well for us and you can rely on.”

The Scots take on Lithuania in Vilnius on Friday, 1st September (kick-off 7.45pm), before hosting the Maltese at Hampden Park on Monday, 4th September (7.45pm).

Strachan’s side currently occupies fourth place in Group F behind England, Slovakia and Slovenia and the Scots will be looking to make up for the two points dropped at home against Lithuania earlier in the campaign.

SCOTLAND SQUAD:

Goalkeepers: Jordan Archer (Millwall), Craig Gordon (Celtic), Allan McGregor (Hull City); Defenders: Ikechi Anya (Derby County), Christophe Berra (Heart of Midlothian), Grant Hanley (Newcastle United), Russell Martin (Norwich City), Charlie Mulgrew (Blackburn Rovers), Andrew Robertson (Liverpool), Kieran Tierney (Celtic), Steven Whittaker (Hibernian); Midfielders: Stuart Armstrong (Celtic), Barry Bannan (Sheffield Wednesday), Scott Brown (Celtic), Tom Cairney (Fulham), Darren Fletcher (Stoke City), Ryan Fraser (Bournemouth), James Forrest (Celtic), James McArthur (Crystal Palace), John McGinn (Hibernian), Matt Phillips (West Bromwich Albion), Matt Ritchie (Newcastle United), Robert Snodgrass (West Ham United); Forwards: Steven Fletcher (Sheffield Wednesday), Leigh Griffiths (Celtic), Chris Martin (Derby County), Steven Naismith (Norwich City).

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