Scotland: Players determined to 'make history' in Euros bid

Ryan Fraser & Ryan Porteous
Ryan Fraser, left, and Ryan Porteous have been included in the Scotland squad

Scotland's players are determined to "make history for the country" as they bid to secure a place at Euro 2020, says head coach Steve Clarke.

Clarke has named a 26-man squad for next month's play-off semi-final at home to Israel and Nations League games with Slovakia and the Czech Republic.

Norway or Serbia await in November's play-off final as Scotland look to end a 23-year exile from major tournaments.

"You have to respect the magnitude of the [Israel] game," said Clarke.

"I've spoken to the players in previous camps about the chance to make history for their country. The players are aware of the size of the game, what it means to the country, and we're all determined to put on a good show and make sure we're still involved come November."

Clarke's side drew 1-1 with Israel at Hampden in the Nations League last month, and Clarke expects a similarly tight encounter when they meet again behind closed doors on 8 October.

"A lot of people in this country seem to want to talk Israel down a bit, but they have really good players and attacking options," he said.

"The last three games between the countries, there's been a one-goal win for each and then a draw. So it will probably be a tight, nervous affair. It will come down to don't make mistakes and hope somebody can come up with something special for Scotland."

Ryan Fraser and Ryan Porteous are in the squad for the run of three home fixtures in seven days. Newcastle United winger Fraser returns after missing out last month because of a lack of match fitness, while Hibernian centre-back Porteous steps up from the under-21 side.

Porteous is suspended for the under-21s' qualifier in Czech Republic next Friday, so has been included to allow Clarke to assess his abilities.

Sheffield United striker Oli McBurnie and Dundee United counterpart Lawrence Shankland are back after pulling out last month through injury.

Midfielder Ryan Jack is also included - and will be given "every chance to be fit" - after not featuring in Rangers' past four games because of a calf problem. Livingston goalkeeper Robby McCrorie keeps his place.

However, Celtic winger James Forrest misses out with the ankle knock he suffered against Riga in the Europa League last week.

Half of Clarke's squad have domestic matches on the Sunday prior to the Israel game but the manager insists his players will be ready.

Scotland lead their Nations League group after beating a depleted Czech Republic in Olomouc and drawing with Israel at Hampden in their opening two matches.

Scotland squad

Goalkeepers: Marshall (Derby County), McCrorie (Livingston), McLaughlin (Rangers)

Defenders: Cooper (Leeds Utd), Gallagher (Motherwell), McKenna (Nott'm Forest), O'Donnell (Motherwell), Palmer (Sheff Wed), Porteous (Hibs), Robertson (Liverpool), Taylor (Celtic), Tierney (Arsenal)

Midfielders: Armstrong (Southampton), Christie (Celtic), Fleck (Sheff Utd), Jack (Rangers), McGinn (Aston Villa), McGregor (Celtic), McLean (Norwich City), McTominay (Man Utd)

Forwards: Burke (Sheff Utd), Dykes (QPR), Fraser (Newcastle Utd), McBurnie (Sheff Utd), Paterson (Sheff Wed), Shankland (Dundee Utd)

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