Southampton striker Che Adams, Everton full-back Nathan Patterson and Norwich City midfielder Kenny McLean have all pulled out of Steve Clarke’s squad for the first fixture between the nations in 62 years.
All three played the full 90 minutes for their clubs at the weekend with Adams scoring a consolation goal for Saints in a 3-1 defeat to Liverpool at Anfield. No official reason has been given for the withdrawals and, as things stand, no replacements have been drafted in.
The loss of three key players will come as a particular blow to head coach Clarke, who was also prevented from naming anyone from Celtic in his squad due to the Parkhead club using a FIFA loophole to retain their players for the Sydney Super Cup in Australia.
“The base-line is that it’s not an official international window,” said Clarke after naming his 23-man squad last week. “I don’t know why because there’s a World Cup window going on. That sounds pretty official to me.
“The clubs don’t have to release their players and Celtic have chosen not to release their players for this game. I’m disappointed with that decision but we have to take it on the chin.”