Gordon, Shankland, Tierney in Scotland squad as Euro 2024 countdown begins

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Gordon, Shankland, Tierney in Scotland squad as Euro 2024 countdown begins

Craig Gordon, Lawrence Shankland and Kieran Tierney have been included in Scotland’s squad for upcoming friendlies against the Netherlands and Northern Ireland, as the countdown to Euro 2024 begins.

After missing out from the group that were picked to face Norway and Georgia last November, captain Andy Robertson, goalkeeper Angus Gunn plus defenders Grant Hanley and John Souttar also return.

“It’s good to get a few back,” head coach Steve Clarke told Sky Sports News. “There’s still three or four missing who I would have liked to be in the squad.

“The key thing for me is to make sure that come the start of May, I’ve got tough selections to make, everybody fit and available.

“There’s one or two little niggles just now, but it’s nice to have a lot of the boys back who missed out in November, and two good games to look forward to.”

Gordon – who last played for Scotland in November 2022 – is back following his double leg break and would overtake David Weir as Scotland’s oldest international if he plays, at 41.

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Hearts and Scotland goalkeeper Craig Gordon says he is ready to return to the national squad after his double leg break

He has played three Scottish Cup games for Hearts this year but will face competition from the current No 1 Gunn, who returns to the group, with club team-mate Zander Clark and Motherwell’s Liam Kelly also selected.

“It gives us a chance to look at Craig up close,” added Clarke. “Without being disrespectful to the opposition Hearts have played in the cup already, they probably weren’t games where he was overworked. It’ll be good to see him in training. Three of our four goalkeepers will go to the Euros, and that’s the situation.

“I’ll assess everything I’ve got. The make-up of the squad going into a tournament has other factors like squad stability and players who have been in the squad for a long time, so it’s going to be a tough decision.”

Fellow Hearts team-mate Shankland – who has scored 20 league goals in 29 appearances this season – has been rewarded with his spot in the squad, although he was drafted into the last group following Che Adams’ injury.

TBILISI, GEORGIA - NOVEMBER 16: Scotland Manager Steve Clarke celebrates with Lawrence Shankland at full time during a UEFA Euro 2024 Qualifier between Georgia and Scotland at the Boris Paichadze Dinamo Arena, on November 16, 2023, in Tbilisi, Georgia. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)

Image: Lawrence Shankland – who scored during Scotland’s draw in Georgia – has 20 league goals for Hearts this season

Clarke has also been boosted with the return of fit-again Tierney – who last played for the national team in a friendly against England at Hampden Park in September 2023.

On being mindful of the fitness of some of his returning players, he said: “We always try to protect the players, if any clubs have issues they want to flag up, they normally do, and because these are friendly matches we can be a little more sympathetic.

“I’ll pick the boys I want to pick, play them as long as I want to play them. We’ll look after them.”

Kieran Tierney last played for Scotland in a friendly against England at Hampden Park in September 2023

Image: Kieran Tierney last played for Scotland in a friendly against England at Hampden Park in September 2023

While Robertson, Souttar and fellow defender Hanley return too, Bologna’s Lewis Ferguson – who is wanted by Serie A giants Juventus and Napoli – keeps his place after impressing in Italy.

Meanwhile, Robby McCrorie, Josh Doig, Ryan Jack, the injured Callum McGregor and Jacob Brown miss out.

Clarke’s side head to Amsterdam to face the Dutch on March 22 at the Johan Cruyff Arena before returning to Glasgow as Northern Ireland visit Hampden Park four days later.

Scotland squad in full

Goalkeepers: Zander Clark (Hearts), Craig Gordon (Hearts), Angus Gunn (Norwich), Liam Kelly (Motherwell)

Defenders: Liam Cooper (Leeds United), Grant Hanley (Norwich), Jack Hendry (Al-Ettifaq), Scott McKenna (FC Copenhagen), Nathan Patterson (Everton), Ryan Porteous (Watford), Anthony Ralston (Celtic), Andrew Robertson (Liverpool), John Souttar (Rangers), Greg Taylor (Celtic), Kieran Tierney (Real Sociedad)

Midfielders: Stuart Armstrong (Southampton), Ryan Christie (Bournemouth), Lewis Ferguson (Bologna), Billy Gilmour (Brighton), John McGinn (Aston Villa), Kenny McLean (Norwich), Scott McTominay (Manchester United)

Forwards: Che Adams (Southampton), Lyndon Dykes (Queens Park Rangers), Lawrence Shankland (Hearts)

Scotland’s Euro 2024 warm-up matches

March 22: Netherlands (a), friendly, kick-off 7.45pm

March 26: Northern Ireland (h), friendly, kick-off 7.45pm

June 3: Gibraltar (n), friendly, kick-off TBC

June 7: Finland (h), friendly, kick-off 7.45pm

Who do Scotland face at Euro 2024?

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Scotland boss Steve Clarke on Euro 2024, facing hosts Germany, the role of Scott McTominay, the fans and having a German beer!

Following the next set of friendlies against Gibraltar and Finland, Scotland will head to their Euro 2024 base camp located in the Bavarian resort of Garmisch-Partenkirchen on June 9.

Clarke’s side kick-off the tournament’s opening match against hosts Germany at the Allianz Arena on June 14.

The Scots also face games against perennial qualifiers Switzerland and Hungary, who reached the knockout stages in 2016.

Scotland

Scotland have history kicking off tournaments, having been drawn to face Brazil in the opener at World Cup 1998, a game they narrowly lost 2-1 to a second-half Tom Boyd own goal.

This time they begin at the Allianz Arena before facing Switzerland in Cologne on June 19, with Hungary awaiting in Stuttgart on June 23.

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