Scotland squad to face Belgium and Albania announced

John Souttar is one of three centre-backs in the Scotland squad for the upcoming games against Belgium and Albania.

Scotland boss Alex McLeish. Picture: John Devlin
Scotland boss Alex McLeish. Picture: John Devlin

The Hearts defender joins Celtic’s Jack Hendry and Charlie Mulgrew of Blackburn in Alex McLeish’s squad.

Stephen O’Donnell, Graeme Shinnie and Johnny Russell retain their places after the summer trip to the Americas.

Sign up to our Football newsletter

There is no place for the likes of Newcastle midfielder Matt Ritchie, West Ham winger Robert Snodgrass and Rangers midfielder Ryan Jack.

Crystal Palace midfielder James McArthur has also been left out and McLeish confirmed the 30-year-old’s exclusion was at the player’s request.

McLeish said: “I like James, I think he’s a terrific player, and it’s disappointing not to have him, but he has some issues in his body.

“You hear a lot of players saying that when they get to a certain age, they know exactly what they need in terms of their fitness, and he has had some issues with his back, and he felt at the moment he can’t combine international football with the task of playing in the Premier League and cup games for Crystal Palace. So he has put his club first. They are the people who pay his wages.

“It’s disappointing to lose him but it’s his personal decision. He has not said he has hung up his boots for Scotland but that’s the way he feels at the moment.”