Rangers' Nathan Patterson among three Scotland players to miss Austria match with one replacement called up by Steve Clarke

Steve Clarke has another depleted squad flying out to Vienna for Scotland's second away match in this month’s World Cup qualifiers.

Nathan Patterson, Ryan Fraser and Kenny McLean have all dropped out of the international squad for the third and final match of the month, with only one defensive recruit called in.

The national team boss has again turned to Hibs’ Paul McGinn as a late replacement, to join his brother John at the camp. The siblings were united on the international stage last year when Paul was called into the squad to face Israel last October.

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Rangers defender Patterson impressed in Scotland's dreary 1-0 win over Moldova at Hampden, while McLean came off the bench in the second half. Newcastle forward Fraser started last week’s disappointing defeat to Denmark, but no reasons have been announced for the trio’s omission on the trip to Austria.

Nathan Patterson in action for Scotland during a World Cup qualifier match between Scotland and Moldova at Hampden Park, on September 04, 2021, in Glasgow, Scotland (Photo by Ross Parker / SNS Group)

It is the second away-day selection headache for Steve Clarke who was also forced to do without Patterson in Copenhagen with the 19-year-old in isolation after being deemed a close contact of a covid-19 case. John McGinn was another absentee after his own positive covid test result ruled the Aston Villa midfielder out of the game, and Stephen O’Donnell was also unable to travel into Denmark for the match, which Scotland lost 2-0.

At the halfway stage in Group F, Scotland sit third in the qualification table, two points behind Israel and seven behind the Danish leaders who have a perfect record after five matches.

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