Arsenal full-back Kieran Tierney not included in Scotland squad
Lawrence Shankland included, John Fleck and Oliver Burke recalled for Euro 2020 qualifying double-header against Russia and San Marino
By Blake Welton
Last Updated: 01/10/19 6:53pm
Arsenal full-back Kieran Tierney has not been included in Steve Clarke's Scotland squad to face Russia and San Marino.
The 22-year-old has struggled for fitness since joining the Gunners from Scottish champions Celtic for £25m this summer.
Tierney has managed just 77 minutes of football since moving south of the border and was not fit enough to turn out for Arsenal in Monday night's 1-1 draw at Manchester United.
However, there are recalls for Sheffield United's John Fleck and on-loan Alaves winger Oliver Burke, while Dundee United's Lawrence Shankland receives a first call-up.
Former Ayr United player Shankland's inclusion comes on the back of his form in the Scottish Championship, scoring 13 times in seven league games since arriving at Tannadice this summer.
Norwich City's Grant Hanley makes the squad after pulling out last time through injury, with fellow centre-backs Liam Cooper, Charlie Mulgrew and Michael Devlin also included.
But there is no place for Southampton midfielder Stuart Armstrong and West Brom winger Matt Phillips, along with the injured Steven Naismith.
Steve Clarke's side sit fifth in Group I after two wins and four defeats in their opening six games and visit Russia on October 10 before hosting San Marino three days later.
'Shankland deserves Scotland chance'
On the inclusion of Shankland, Steve Clarke said: "Obviously he's a goalscorer, he's in form.
"I know Lawrence quite well from my time here in Scotland having watched him a few times, and it's not an area that we are overburdened with top strikers.
"Lawrence is in form and deserves his chance. The best way to look at him and gauge what level he is at is to bring him into the squad.
"It's an opportunity to have him in the group, see how he works in the squad and hopefully he can score a few goals for us."
Sky Sports News reporter Luke Shanley...
Scoring goals have been an issue for Scotland recently and that is the reason Shankland is in the squad. He may only be playing in Scotland's second tier but he is no stranger to finding the back of the net. His tally of 15 goals in 12 appearances for Dundee United is impressive as they look to earn promotion at the fourth time of asking.
The striker left Ayr United in the summer and it was expected he would move south or to Scotland's top league. That didn't happen but nobody at Dundee United is complaining. The 24-year-old is a late developer compared with his former Queen's Park teammate Andrew Robertson, but will be looking to make his debut in the upcoming double-header while adding competition in the squad.
Leigh Griffiths is injured and there is no Steven Naismith. John McGinn was the last player to be selected from the Scottish Championship while with Hibernian. It shows form is key despite others playing at a higher level not being included.
Elsewhere, Scotland's strength in midfield is shown by the fact Stuart Armstrong has been omitted to give John Fleck the chance to impress. The Sheffield United man is a regular for Chris Wilder while Armstrong has had to be content coming off the bench for Southampton. Scott McTominay is suspended for the Russia game meaning Clarke may mix things up.
Oli Burke also returns, his goal gave Steve Clarke a win in his first game in charge. Scotland have struggled since then while Burke has made the move to Spain on loan seeking regular football.
Kieran Tierney is not included. Clarke says that is down to a request by Arsenal and an understanding that he is returning from injury and has played little football. Clarke admits he wants to work with him but won't rush him. Greg Taylor remains in the squad as cover at left-back.
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Ryan Jack is in the squad. He aggravated a knee complaint while on international duty last month. Clarke admits the communication between his coaching staff and Rangers could have been better after Steven Gerrard complained that Jack's workload after an Old Firm game led to the issue. This is an injury the head coach claims he was unaware of, and felt Gerrard's complaints should have been made in private.
Scotland are preparing for the playoffs, this double-header provides different challenges, a tough trip to Russia then a home game against the worst team in the world in San Marino. Clarke will want to improve results while continuing to get his message across. The odd fresh face may give him some food for thought.
Goalkeepers: Craig MacGillivray (Portsmouth), David Marshall (Wigan Athletic), Jon McLaughlin (Sunderland)
Defenders: Liam Cooper (Leeds United), Michael Devlin (Aberdeen), Grant Hanley (Norwich City), Charlie Mulgrew (Wigan Athletic), Stephen O'Donnell (Kilmarnock), Liam Palmer (Sheffield Wednesday), Andrew Robertson (Liverpool), Greg Taylor (Celtic)
Midfielders: Ryan Christie (Celtic), John Fleck (Sheffield United), Ryan Jack (Rangers), John McGinn (Aston Villa), Callum McGregor (Celtic), Kenny McLean (Norwich City), Scott McTominay (Manchester United), Robert Snodgrass (West Ham)
Forwards: Oliver Burke (Alaves), James Forrest (Celtic), Ryan Fraser (AFC Bournemouth), Oliver McBurnie (Sheffield United), Johnny Russell (Sporting Kansas City), Lawrence Shankland (Dundee United)