Manager Alex McLeish had a decision to make for his first game in charge with Scott Brown retired from international football and Darren Fletcher not in the squad.
Kieran Tierney skippered Scotland in Malky Mackay’s sole game in interim charge against Holland but the Celtic left-back pulled out through a calf injury.
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McLeish said: “Charlie is a natural choice. It’s for this game, we will see what happens in the next game. We want him to help the young kids round about him. Charlie is a good leader and he deserves to be captain.”
Mulgrew has captained Celtic before but never his country.
The 32-year-old said: “I’m very honoured. It’s unexpected but I’m honoured. I grew up watching Scotland so to be captaining the team is great. I’m delighted to be the leader in that changing room.”
Nine players are aiming to win their first caps on Friday night.
Mulgrew said: “Training’s been brilliant. Everyone is working hard to stay in the squad and push for starting places.”
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