Ryan Fraser becomes latest player to drop out of Scotland squad

Ryan Fraser has become the latest player to withdraw from the Scotland squad ahead of Thursday's Nations League clash in Israel.
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Celtic's Leigh Griffiths pulls out of Scotland squad to focus on fitness

It comes just 24 hours after Celtic striker Leigh Griffiths dealt boss Alex McLeish a blow by deciding sit out the trip to “focus” on his fitness.

Now the Scottish Football Association has tweeted confirmation that Bournemouth winger Fraser has also withdrawn from the travelling party with an injury he suffered during his club’s 4-0 triumph over Watford on Saturday.

Ryan Fraser has dropped out of the Scotland squad. Picture: PARyan Fraser has dropped out of the Scotland squad. Picture: PA
Ryan Fraser has dropped out of the Scotland squad. Picture: PA
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As well as the Group C1 showdown with Israel in Haifa, Fraser will also miss Sunday’s friendly clash with Portugal at Hampden.

The SFA has yet to announce if they will be calling up a replacement but the absence of Griffiths and Fraser leaves McLeish short on forward options.

Meanwhile, John Souttar is eyeing qualification with Scotland after being immersed in the fortunes of the national team growing up in the north-east of the country.

The Hearts defender made his competitive Scotland debut in last month’s 2-0 victory over Albania and knows victory in Israel would put Scotland in the driving seat for a guaranteed Euro 2020 play-off place via the Nations League.

The 21-year-old grew up in the Aberdeenshire village of Luthermuir and went to secondary school in Laurencekirk, where the national team took centre stage in people’s football affiliations.

And he knows how much it would mean to people if Scotland were to return to the major arena for the first time since the 1998 World Cup.

“We have obviously not qualified for a long time and it’s a great chance to qualify,” the former Dundee United centre-back said.

“I’m from a part of Scotland where the Scottish national team is massive. In Aberdeenshire there’s no Rangers or Celtic, the Scottish national team is huge.

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“I know a lot of people from the Brechin and Montrose area are already through in Tel Aviv just now with the Tartan Army.

“I know how much it means to my family as well. I know how big it is for this country. And if we do succeed it will be huge and I think that’s got to be the goal for all of us, to get this country back to a major tournament.

“I’m sure the boys are all the same, we want to do it for the country. If I can be any small part of getting the country back to a major tournament, it would be incredible.”