Scotland call for Watford full-back Ikechi Anya

 

Watford full-back Ikechi Anya could win his first international honour at the age of 25 after being called up by Scotland.

The Glasgow-born player has been named in Gordon Strachan's 27-man squad to face Belgium and Macedonian in World Cup qualifying Group A.

Strachan said: "He's a late developer but is a good prospect for Scotland."

Missing from the squad is Kenny Miller following the striker's decision to retire from international football .

With the Vancouver Whitecaps veteran departing the scene, Nottingham Forest's Jamie Mackie and Leeds United's Ross McCormack are recalled to the squad.

Ross McCormack

McCormack has been rewarded for a good start to the season with Leeds

"Ross McCormack's had a good start to the season and been big in games," said Strachan. "He was unfortunate not to be in the last squad."

Hull City's Allan McGregor is suspended for Belgium's visit to Hampden Park on 6 September, which means Kilmarnock's Craig Samson has also earned a recall as one of four goalkeepers.

Wingers Gary Mackay-Steven, of Dundee United, Chris Burke, of Birmingham City, Brighton midfielder Liam Bridcutt, Coventry City central defender Andy Webster and Motherwell full-back Stevie Hammell drop out of the squad following the 3-2 friendly defeat by England .

James Forrest is a potential early withdrawal following Celtic's announcement that the winger is to see a neurologist in a bid to resolve his long-standing injury problem.

Darren Fletcher, Steven Fletcher, Matt Philips and Gary Caldwell remain unavailable through injury and illness.

Anya, born of a Nigerian father and Romanian mother, began his senior career with Wycombe Wanderers before spells in non-league football with Oxford City and Halesowen Town.

Having joined the Glenn Hoddle Academy, established by the former England midfielder to resurrect playing careers, Anya joined League One outfit Northampton Town.

However, he embarked on a Spanish adventure that took him to Sevilla Atletico, the La Liga side's reserve team, Celta Vigo and Granada.

Following loan spells with Cadiz and Watford, he signed permanently for the English Championship outfit this summer.

"We knew about him at the end of last year and, when any of my friends watched him, they passed on information," said Strachan of the player who can play on the wing or in defence.

"He has got pace, technically he is good, he keeps the ball, so they are good credentials for an international player."

Belgium will arrive at Hampden unbeaten and top of Group A with 19 points from seven games.

The Scots travel to Skopje four days later to face Macedonia, who prop up the section - one point behind the Scots - having played a game less.

Scotland drew 1-1 with Macedonia in Glasgow in September and a 2-0 loss in Brussels the following month led to the sacking of former team boss Craig Levein.

Scotland squad

Goalkeepers : Matt Gilks (Blackpool), David Marshall (Cardiff City), Allan McGregor (Hull City), Craig Samson (Kilmarnock)

Defenders : Ikechi Anya (Watford), Gordon Greer (Brighton and Hove Albion), Grant Hanley (Blackburn Rovers), Alan Hutton (Aston Villa), Russell Martin (Norwich City), Charlie Mulgrew (Celtic), Steven Whittaker (Norwich City)

Midfielders : Charlie Adam (Stoke City), Barry Bannan (Aston Villa), George Boyd (Hull City), Scott Brown (Celtic), Craig Conway (Cardiff City), Graham Dorrans (West Bromwich Albion), James Forrest (Celtic), James McArthur (Wigan Athletic), James Morrison (West Bromwich Albion), Shaun Maloney (Wigan Athletic), Robert Snodgrass (Norwich City)

Forwards : Leigh Griffiths (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Jamie Mackie (Nottingham Forest), Steven Naismith (Everton), Ross McCormack (Leeds United), Jordan Rhodes (Blackburn Rovers)