Scotland: Nathan Patterson and Anthony Ralston included in squad for World Cup play-off semi-final

Scotland: Nathan Patterson and Anthony Ralston included in squad for World Cup play-off semi-final

Nathan Patterson and Anthony Ralston have been included in Steve Clarke’s Scotland squad for the World Cup play-off semi-final and upcoming Nations League matches.

Everton’s Patterson is included despite the right-back undergoing surgery on an ankle problem in April, while Billy Gilmour also keeps his place in the squad, but left-back Kieran Tierney misses out due to injury.

Celtic defender Ralston returns after his last appearance in November as a substitute against Denmark following a title-winning campaign in Scotland’s top-flight.

David Marshall is also back in after joining Hibernian following a brief spell at QPR – with the goalkeeper’s last international appearance coming at Euro 2020.

There is also a place for John Souttar after his vital goal in the 2-0 win over Denmark last November.

The centre-back, 25, struggled with injury this season but still made 33 appearances in all competitions as Hearts sealed third in the Scottish Premiership before finishing runners-up in the Scottish Cup to Rangers – the club Souttar will join this summer.

Striker Ross Stewart keeps his place in the squad after scoring his 26th goal of the season in all competitions to help fire Sunderland into the Sky Bet Championship.

Scotland could be set to play five matches over two weeks in June, with potentially two World Cup play-off ties followed by three Nations League fixtures.

Scotland squad:

Goalkeepers: Craig Gordon, Liam Kelly, Zander Clark, David Marshall.

Defenders: Grant Hanley, Jack Hendry, Aaron Hickey, Craig Halkett, Stephen O’Donnell, Andy Robertson, Greg Taylor, Scott McKenna, Liam Cooper, Nathan Patterson, Anthony Ralston, John Souttar.

Midfielders: Stuart Armstrong, Lewis Ferguson, Billy Gilmour, Ryan Jack, John McGinn, Callum McGregor, Scott McTominay, David Turnbull.

Strikers: Lyndon Dykes, Ryan Christie, Che Adams, Jacob Brown, Ross Stewart.

Why Scotland vs Ukraine was postponed

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Ukraine will visit Hampden Park on June 1 to face Scotland with the winner facing Wales

Scotland’s World Cup play-off semi-final was due to take place on March 24 but was delayed following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The winner of the match at Hampden Park will face Wales, who beat Austria 2-1 in their semi-final, with the final taking place at the Cardiff City Stadium on June 5.

Following the original postponement, Scotland pledged to play the loser of the Wales-Austria game in a friendly on March 29 and Steve Clarke’s side drew 2-2 in Vienna to extend their unbeaten run to eight matches.

Russia were due to take part in the World Cup play-offs but were thrown out of the tournament as a sanction for its actions in Ukraine.

That handed Poland a bye into the path B final, in which they saw off Sweden to secure their place in the World Cup in Qatar this winter.

Scotland’s fixtures

The schedule of the UEFA Nations League was also impacted as a result of the delayed World Cup play-offs, so here’s a look at Scotland’s upcoming matches.

June 1 (World Cup play-off semi-final)

  • Scotland vs Ukraine (7.45pm) – live on Sky Sports

June 5 (World Cup play-off final)

  • Wales vs Scotland/Ukraine (5pm) – live on Sky Sports

June 8 (Nations League)

  • Scotland vs Armenia (7.45pm)

June 11 (Nations League)

  • Republic of Ireland vs Scotland (5pm)

June 14 (Nations League)

  • Armenia vs Scotland (5pm)

September 21 (Nations League)

  • Scotland vs Ukraine (7.45pm)

September 24 (Nations League)

  • Scotland vs Republic of Ireland (7.45pm)

September 27 (Nations League)

  • Ukraine vs Scotland (7.45pm)

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