Che Adams: Scotland call up Southampton striker for World Cup qualifiers

Che Adams named in Scotland's 26-man squad following talks with manager Steve Clarke; the 24-year-old played for England at U20 level; Kevin Nisbet also given first call-up; John Fleck, Grant Hanley and Jack Hendry recalled; Scotland face Austria, Israel and Faroe Islands this month

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Steve Clarke says he is looking forward to working with Che Adams as the Southampton striker received his first call-up

Che Adams has been called up by Scotland for their upcoming World Cup qualifiers.

The in-form Southampton striker, who has scored three goals in his last three games, pledged his international allegiance to Scotland following talks with head coach Steve Clarke.

Adams played for England at U20 level and had previously turned down an approach by Scotland. The 24-year-old was born in Leicester but qualifies for Scotland through one of his grandparents.

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Clarke says there have been no talks with Celtic about the vacant manager's job at Parkhead and would be 'delighted' to lead Scotland to the 2022 World Cup

"Che is obviously someone we tried to get before when Alex McLeish was manager," Clarke told Sky Sports News.

"It's four years ago now so he was a young man at the time. He has matured a little bit more, played a few more games, got his move to the Premier League and done very well.

"At the start of last week I got a little tip-off that he was interested in choosing Scotland as his international country. Thankfully after a couple of conversations he's come down on our side.

"I look forward to working with him and hopefully he can add goals to the squad."

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Clarke discussed his squad selection alongside Bryan Swanson at Sky Studios

Hibernian striker Kevin Nisbet has also been called up for the first time, having scored 14 goals in 36 appearances this season including the winner in last weekend's victory over Ross County, while Jack Hendry could make his first Scotland appearance in over two years after he was also named in Clarke's 26-man squad.

The defender, who won the last of his three caps against Portugal in October 2018, has impressed while at on loan at Belgium club KV Oostende from Celtic.

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Jack Hendry spoke to Sky Sports earlier this month where he questioned whether he was given a 'fair opportunity' at Celtic before being loaned out to Belgian side KV Oostende

There are also recalls for Norwich City defender Grant Hanley and Sheffield United midfielder John Fleck.

Scotland begin their Group F campaign at home to Austria on March 25 and three days face Israel in Tel Aviv.

They conclude a hectic week against the Faroe Islands at Hampden Park on March 31, with all three games live on Sky Sports.

Live World Cup Qualifier

Scotland squad

Goalkeepers: Craig Gordon, Jon McLaughlin, David Marshall

Defenders: Andrew Considine, Declan Gallagher, Grant Hanley, Jack Hendry, Scott McKenna, Stephen O'Donnell, Liam Palmer, Andy Robertson, Kieran Tierney, Greg Taylor

Midfielders: Stuart Armstrong, Ryan Christie, John Fleck, Ryan Jack, John McGinn, Callum McGregor, Kenny McLean, Scott McTominay

Forwards: Che Adams, Lyndon Dykes, Ryan Fraser, Oliver McBurnie, Kevin Nisbet

Clarke: Time on our side to get fans back

Clarke believes that should the European Championships go ahead this summer as planned, there is hope that enough time is still available to get fans back into Hampden Park for the scheduled matches.

Recent reports have suggested Glasgow and Dublin are set to be dropped as host nations for this summer's tournament over concerns around the number of fans that will be allowed to attend matches due to coronavirus restrictions.

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Clarke is hopeful his side will be able to play in front of their home fans during the Euros

The Scottish Government has said it is still planning to host matches at Hampden, which is due to stage four fixtures during the tournament - three group games and a round-of-16 tie, and Clarke admits sticking to this format would be a huge boost.

"It would be a blow to have no fans or to lose out on Hampden games but we have to be guided by the pandemic first and foremost," Clarke said. "That is going to determine everything. There is a bit more hope around with the vaccinations, we seem to be getting on top of it that way. I am pleased to say I got my first vaccination last week.

"It is going to be great if we can get a crowd into Hampden and great to have those matches in Scotland in the summer. It is out of our control and it isn't something anyone can do anything about.

"I'd like to think that there will be enough time for the Scottish government to convince Uefa that there can be a crowd at Hampden. Whether it is a full house I don't think so. The stadiums are empty at the moment, so any crowd that we get into Hampden at the moment will be a big step forward. The more we can get in the better.

"We all want the tournament to go ahead in its original format, I think that goes for every country."

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