Alan Hutton injury doubt for Scotland doubleheader

Right back suffered a sprained ankle against QPR. Picture: Robert Perry
Right back suffered a sprained ankle against QPR. Picture: Robert Perry
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SCOTLAND full-back Alan Hutton is a major doubt for the forthcoming Euro 2016 qualifier against the Republic of Ireland and friendly international against England.

The right-back sprained his ankle in training and missed Aston Villa’s 2-0 defeat at QPR on Monday – their fifth straight defeat. He will definitely sit out tomorrow’s Barclays Premier League visit of former club Tottenham Hotspur.

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Villa manager Paul Lambert admits he could still be sidelined for the clashes against Ireland and England at Celtic Park later this month. “The Scotland game will be touch and go. I know we’ve got a fortnight roughly to go but it depends how quick a healer he is,” said Lambert. “Alan sprained his ankle in training, on the Friday before the QPR game. There was no major tackle.”

Former Rangers defender Hutton has returned to the Villa side after being left out by Lambert during most of his reign but he has impressed this season and signed a new three-year contract in September.

Lambert added: “Even last year he was playing well for Scotland and I never had any trepidation in him playing. He has been excellent.”

There was better news about the prospects of midfielder James McArthur and left-back Andrew Robertson being fit enough to feature in Gordon Strachan’s squad for the internationals, after upbeat assessments from their clubs – Crystal Palace and Hull City respectively.

McArthur had been a doubt for a call-up after he damaged his thigh during Crystal Palace’s 2-1 defeat at the hands of Chelsea on 18 October. But the former Hamilton and Wigan man, who helped Scotland beat Georgia 1-0, is making a swifter than expected recovery and could line up for Palace against Sunderland on Monday.

Robertson has returned to fitness in time for Hull’s clash against Southampton today, although he may have to settle for a place on the bench.

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