Scotland team v Georgia: Steve Clarke picks back four as Hearts star makes first start and Celtic man returns
Steve Clarke has named his starting XI for Scotland’s Euro 2024 qualifier in Georgia.
The Scots are already through to next summer’s finals in Germany but are looking for a win that will keep that in with a slim chance of winning Group A ahead of Spain.
Clarke had a big decision to make over his team selection with no fewer than six regular starters unavailable through injury.
First-choice goalkeeper Angus Gunn, defenders Kieran Tierney, Andy Robertson, Aaron Hickey and Grant Hanley, as well striker Che Adams, are all missing which has given an opportunity for fringe players to stake a claim.
Hearts goalkeeper Zander Clark has been given the nod to start in goals ahead of Motherwell’s Liam Kelly and Rangers’ Robby McCrorie. It is Clark’s first start for his country after he earned his first cap as a half-time substitute in the friendly defeat to France last month.
Head coach Clarke appears to have opted for a back four with Celtic's Greg Taylor returning at left-back and Everton’s Nathan Patterson starting on the right, either side of a centre-back pairing of Ryan Porteous and Scott McKenna, with Jack Hendry, surprisingly, left on the bench.
In midfield, Aston Villa’s John McGinn wears the captain’s armband in the absence of Robertson, with Celtic’s Callum McGregor, Brighton’s Billy Gilmour and Bournemouth’s Ryan Christie making up the five-man engine room.
Queens Park Rangers forward Lyndon Dykes has been selected to lead the line with late call-up Lawrence Shankland, the Hearts captain, on the bench.
Scotland XI: (4-2-3-1) Clark; Patterson, Porteous, McKenna, Taylor; Gilmour, McGregor; McTominay, McGinn, Christie; Dykes.
Subs: McCrorie, Kelly, Ralston, Doig, Cooper, Shankland, Hendry, Armstrong, Brown, Ferguson, Jack, McLean.
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