Scotland v N. Ireland preview

Date published: Monday 24th August 2015 1:09

Scotland v N. Ireland preview

Ross McCormack has withdrawn from the Scotland squad after the Fulham striker picked up a knee injury against Leeds which kept him out of his club’s weekend win at Huddersfield. Strachan, however, has opted not to call up a replacement.
Shaun Maloney keeps his place in the team after his winter switch to Chicago Fire in the MLS and Portsmouth-born Matt Ritchie has been given his first senior call-up after scoring 11 goals in the Championship for Bournemouth.
Jordan Rhodes returns to the national setup after four goals in his last five games for Blackburn.
Michael O’Neill faces more of a selection headache after a number of withdrawals from his original squad. Scotland-born Paul Paton misses the chance to face his native country due to a knee injury and the Dundee United midfielder has been replaced by MK Don’s Lee Hodson.
Paton had been added to the squad as a replacement for Kilmarnock’s Sammy Clingan who also pulled out with a knee injury. Rangers-loanee Shane Ferguson, who is yet to feature for the Glasgow team since joining from Newcastle in January, is another absentee and has been replaced by Burnley’s Daniel Lafferty.
There are also concerns over the fitness of Corry Evans (chest) and Niall McGinn (hamstring) for the game against Scotland, but they will both be fit to face Finland if they don’t make Wednesday night’s game.
Manchester United’s Jonny Evans is included in the Northern Ireland squad, despite not playing since the start of March due to a six-game ban for spitting in his side’s 1-0 over Newcastle.

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