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  • Writer's pictureGordon Sheach

Squad - Israel (H), Slovakia (H), Czech (H)

This is it. Steve Clarke has (fitness permitting), named the 26 man squad who will aim to take Scotland's men to within one win of ending 22 years in the international wilderness.

To do that, they must do what was beyond them last month and beat Israel at Hampden. Steve Clarke has shuffled the deck to some extent, recalling some players who missed out last time into a larger than usual squad.

The international calendar has given us a most unprecedented situation, a home triple header with the Euro 2020 Playoff against Israel followed by two more Nations League B games against Slovakia and the Czech Republic.

Without further ado, let's break down the squad.

Steve Clarke goes with the same three goalkeepers as last time out. Jon McLaughlin has recently started to see his minutes at Rangers taken by the returning Allan McGregor.

However, it would be a great surprise to see anyone other than David Marshall wearing the gloves next week, given he started both games in September.

Of the group called up in September, no-one is omitted. Hibernian's Ryan Porteous who has played every minute in the Leith sides impressive start to the season is rewarded with a call-up. He will be serving a suspension for the 21's but would be allowed to turn out for the A side.

Ryan Fraser, having signed for Newcastle United since the last squad meeting returns to the fold. His 1 goal and 7 assists in 11 caps is an impressive record and he brings a directness from midfield that could be key to breaking down the Israeli defence.

Lyndon Dykes led the line very well in the last two games and will be expected to start against Israel. Lawrence Shankland & Callum Paterson return to the Scotland squad while Oli Burke has settled into life with Sheffield United well since the last Scotland games.

James Forrest misses out through injury.

What do you think of the squad? Who should Steve Clarke have included? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter @TheTartanScarf.

Despite it being early in the season, it's great to see so many Scotland players getting close to 100% of their club's league minutes.

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