Scotland vs Ukraine: Nathan Patterson doubtful for World Cup play-off at Hampden Park

Scotland vs Ukraine: Nathan Patterson doubtful for World Cup play-off at Hampden Park

Scotland manager Steve Clarke has revealed Nathan Patterson is “doubtful” for the World Cup play-off against Ukraine, but is hopeful he will feature at some stage next month.

The Everton full-back has been included in a 28-man squad for the World Cup play-offs plus three Nations League fixtures despite being sidelined since April following ankle surgery.

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Scotland manager Steve Clarke does not expect to have Nathan Patterson available for the World Cup play-off against Ukraine, but hopes the Everton defender will feature in next month’s Nations League games.

Patterson is on the recovery trail and will be ready to play some part in Scotland’s fixtures next month, but manager Clarke admitted he may not be available in time for the Hampden Park clash with Ukraine on June 1, live on Sky Sports.

“I think at some stage over the four, or hopefully five, matches Nathan will be fit to play,” he said. “His return to play is imminent and it will just come down to match fitness. I would put him down as doubtful for the Ukraine game.”

Arsenal defender Kieran Tierney has not been included in the squad after undergoing knee surgery early in April.

Arsenal defender Kieran Tierney has not been included in the squad after undergoing knee surgery early in April.

“Probably for everybody just getting the news today it is a blow, but myself and my staff have known for a little while that Kieran won’t be ready for these games,” said Clarke.

“It’s disappointing for Kieran and for us.”

Arsenal...s Kieran Tierney in action during the English Premier League soccer match between Arsenal and Crystal Palace at  the Emirates stadium in London,  Monday Oct. 18, 2021.(AP Photo/Alastair Grant)..
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Kieran Tierney will miss Scotland’s next games after knee surgery

Chelsea midfielder Billy Gilmour has been selected after missing the final game of his loan spell at Norwich with a minor injury, but his Carrow Road colleague Kenny McLean has not made it.

“Billy’s good,” said Clarke. “I’m disappointed for Kenny McLean, who has missed out again. He missed out on the Euros with an injury and he’s missed out again with a broken toe.”

Centre-backs John Souttar and Liam Cooper are back in the squad following injury, while Bologna full-back Aaron Hickey and Sunderland striker Ross Stewart retain their places following their first call-ups in March.

Scotland host Ukraine a week on Wednesday in a delayed World Cup play-off semi-final, with Wales awaiting the winners four days later.

Aaron Hickey's been included in the Scotland squad for the first time.
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Aaron Hickey’s kept his place in the Scotland squad for the games in June


Clarke’s side also have two games against Armenia either side of a trip to Dublin to face the Republic of Ireland in their opening UEFA Nations League encounters

Hearts centre-back Souttar returned from ankle surgery in his club’s final two games of the season against Rangers, whom he will join in the coming weeks.

The former Dundee United player scored in Scotland’s final World Cup group game against Denmark in November.

Cooper missed four months of the season with a hamstring injury but played six games in the run-in as Leeds preserved their Premier League status.

John Souttar scored on his return to the Scotland team
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John Souttar is back after recovering from an ankle injury

Both he and Nottingham Forest’s Scott McKenna are natural left-sided alternatives to Tierney in Clarke’s back three.

Stephen O’Donnell and Anthony Ralston, plus left-back Hickey, are options for the right wing-back slot if Patterson is not ready for the Ukraine game.

Celtic midfielder David Turnbull returns after missing the first few months of 2022 with a hamstring injury

Clarke has named four goalkeepers in his squad – Craig Gordon, David Marshall, Liam Kelly and Zander Clark.

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