Hearts defender John Souttar could be set for Scotland debut
Scotland host Belgium in friendly, live on Sky Sports on September 7, before facing Albania in UEFA Nations League opener on September 10
Last Updated: 29/08/18 11:56am
John Souttar has been named in the Scotland squad for the upcoming games against Belgium and Albania.
The 21-year-old Hearts defender missed the summer tour due to injury but could now be in line for a first cap.
Kilmarnock defender Stephen O'Donnell, versatile Aberdeen player Graeme Shinnie and Sporting Kansas City forward Johnny Russell retain their places after the summer trip to the Americas.
But there is no room for Newcastle midfielder Matt Ritchie, West Ham winger Robert Snodgrass or Rangers midfielder Ryan Jack.
Scotland host World Cup semi finalists Belgium in a friendly next Friday live on Sky Sports before kicking off their Nations League campaign against Albania the following Monday, also at Hampden Park.
And their youthful squad has an average age of less than 26. Just two of the players were born in the 1980s and the squad has a combined tally of just 10 international goals.
McLeish said: "It was very tricky to select, because there have been a lot of guys in good form.
"It is quite a young squad and it does seem quite like a new era - but I won't be disregarding anybody that has worn the jersey before either.
"But we have a young squad for this double header and we are looking forward to it."
Crystal Palace midfielder James McArthur has also been left out and McLeish confirmed the 30-year-old's exclusion was at the player's request.
McLeish said: "I like James, I think he's a terrific player, and it's disappointing not to have him, but he has some issues in his body.
"You hear a lot of players saying that when they get to a certain age, they know exactly what they need in terms of their fitness.
"He has had some issues with his back, and he felt at the moment he can't combine international football with the task of playing in the Premier League and cup games for Crystal Palace.
"So he has put his club first. They are the people who pay his wages.
"It's disappointing to lose him but it's his personal decision. He has not said he has hung up his boots for Scotland but that's the way he feels at the moment."
Scotland squad - Jordan Archer (Millwall), Craig Gordon (Celtic), Allan McGregor (Rangers); Jack Hendry (Celtic), Charlie Mulgrew (Blackburn), Stephen O'Donnell (Kilmarnock), Andy Robertson (Liverpool), Graeme Shinnie (Aberdeen), John Souttar (Hearts), Kieran Tierney (Celtic); Stuart Armstrong (Southampton), Tom Cairney (Fulham), James Forrest (Celtic), Ryan Fraser (Bournemouth), Kevin McDonald (Fulham), John McGinn (Aston Villa), Callum McGregor (Celtic), Scott McTominay (Manchester United), Callum Paterson (Cardiff); Leigh Griffiths (Celtic), Oli McBurnie (Swansea), Matt Phillips (West Brom), Johnny Russell (Sporting Kansas City).