Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Celtic's Scott Brown back in Scotland fold to face England

Scott Brown has been named in the Scotland squad to face England following the Celtic midfielder's return from international retirement.

The 31-year-old had stepped down from international duty in the summer, but returns to the fold after just three games.

Robert Snodgrass has also been named in the party for Wembley on 11 November despite being sidelined through injury.

Hull City said on 25 October the midfielder would be out for a month.

But Snodgrass has since voiced his determination to recover sooner from the ankle problem.

With Hull's Andrew Robertson and Celtic's Kieran Tierney ruled out through injury, Swansea City's Stephen Kingsley has been recalled for the match in London.

He will vie with Rangers' Lee Wallace for a starting place at left-back.

Aston Villa right-back Alan Hutton, Rangers winger Barrie McKay and Hull midfielder Shaun Maloney drop out from the squad chosen for the previous Group F games against Lithuania and Slovakia.

Brown had taken his decision to retire to concentrate on his club career following niggling injuries.

However, following improved form this season, his surprise u-turn has been welcomed by Strachan.

"Scott retired in August when he was in a different place to where he is now," Strachan said.

"At that time, it was beneficial for him and Celtic that he retired from international football.

"We respected that, but Scott is in a different place now and feels he can help us in our quest to get to a major finals."

Strachan had previously talked about Scotland's strength in depth at left-back, where Kingsley has been chosen ahead of other possible candidates like Aberdeen's Graeme Shinnie and Konyaspor's Barry Douglas.

"We're happy to have Stephen Kingsley in the squad," Strachan added. "He is a player who features in the English top-flight regularly for Swansea and, if you do that, you're not a bad player."

Scotland squad

Goalkeepers: Craig Gordon (Celtic), Jack Hamilton (Heart of Midlothian), David Marshall (Hull City).

Defenders: Christophe Berra (Ipswich Town), Gordon Greer (Blackburn Rovers), Grant Hanley (Newcastle United), Stephen Kingsley (Swansea City), Russell Martin (Norwich City), Callum Paterson (Heart of Midlothian), Lee Wallace (Rangers).

Midfielders: Ikechi Anya (Derby County), Barry Bannan (Sheffield Wednesday), Scott Brown (Celtic), Oliver Burke (RB Leipzig), Darren Fletcher (West Bromwich Albion), James Forrest (Celtic), James McArthur (Crystal Palace), John McGinn (Hibernian), James Morrison (West Bromwich Albion), Matt Ritchie (Newcastle United), Robert Snodgrass (Hull City).

Forwards: Steven Fletcher (Sheffield Wednesday), Leigh Griffiths (Celtic), Chris Martin (Derby County), Steven Naismith (Norwich City).

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