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  1. Gordon Strachan names Scotland squad for Malta game
  2. Jack Hamilton, John McGinn, Barrie McKay in 27-man list
  3. Hamilton complete signing of striker Rakish Bingham
  4. Celtic in Israel ahead of Champions League playoff second leg

Live Reporting

By Keir Murray

All times stated are UK

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Sportsound reminder - tune in

A final reminder that BBC Radio Scotland's Sportsound programme is just getting under way, with discussion of all the day's big stories and more reflection on Team GB's stunning Olympics success in Rio.

London 2012 Olympic silver medallist swimmer and Celtic fan Michael Jamieson and Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill have joined Kenny MacIntyre in the studio.

And you can hear what Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers has to say about tomorrow's Champions League play-off second leg against Hapoel Beer Sheva in Israel.

Until the next time...

Transfer news - Accies complete Bingham signing

Not a surprise this one, as Hamilton manager Martin Canning revealed after their 1-1 draw with Dundee on Friday he was in the process of tying up two new signings. 

One of those has now gone through, with striker Rakish Bingham - who had a loan spell with Falkirk in 2013 - receiving clearance to complete the relevant paperwork. 

The 22-year-old Londoner went spent last season at Hartlepool, where he scored four goals in 37 appearances. 

Canning is also hoping to finalise a deal for former  Partick Thistle defender Dan Seaborne.

Rakish Bingham in action for Hartlepool
Getty Images
Rakish Bingham also had a spell with Mansfield before joining Hartlepool

Hapoel 'still believe...a little'

Tomorrow will see Celtic trying to secure progress to the Champions League group stage for the first time since 2013.  They have taken a 5-2 lead to Israel for the second leg of their play-off tie against Hapoel Beer Sheva, but the hosts' coach Barak Bakhar hasn't given up all hope.

Bakhar insists the Scottish champions have weaknesses his side can exploit, and is aware of Celtic's less-than-impressive recent away record in Europe.

"We know (about the away record), but we are realistic," he told BBC Scotland. "We are up against a better team, we know the last result but we still believe a little.

"We come with confidence and we will give everything tomorrow; it is my players that give me that confidence. We weren't surprised by them, we saw them week after week before and knew we would be facing a good team."

Hapoel Beer Sheva coach Barak Bakhar gesticulates in their first leg defeat at Celtic Park

Two cities, four clubs, eight players

Four Scottish teams have representatives in the Scotland squad to play Malta: 

Celtic - Craig Gordon, Kieran Tierney, James Forrest, Leigh Griffiths

Hearts - Jack Hamilton, Callum Paterson 

Hibernian - John McGinn 

Rangers - Barrie McKay 

The remaining 19 players all play in England, but only six - Hull duo Andrew Robertson and Robert Snodgrass, West Brom pair Darren Fletcher and James Morrison, Watford winger Ikechi Anya and Crystal Palace midfielder James McArthur - for Premier League clubs.  

The other 13 - with Newcastle, Norwich and Sheffield Wednesday both providing two each - ply their trade in the English Championship.

Hearts' versatile defender Callum Paterson
Hearts' versatile defender Callum Paterson has won one Scotland cap to date.

Michaels Jamieson and O'Neill

BBC Radio Scotland's Sportsound has an interesting line-up of guests this evening at 18:30 BST. 

London 2012 Olympic silver medallist swimmer and Celtic fan Michael Jamieson will be on to discuss Team GB's achievements in Rio and to look ahead to his favourite team's match in Israel tomorrow. Joining him will be the Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill, who led his country to their first ever finals - Euro 2016.

And there will be news from Celtic's media conference at Hapoel Beer Sheva's Turner Stadium.

Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill
Getty Images
Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill led his team in France this summer in their first major finals.
There will be a meeting of Michaels in the Sportsound studio this evening.
There will be a meeting of Michaels in the Sportsound studio this evening.

Get Involved

Matt Brown on Facebook: "No McCormack or Rhodes this is the reason many people don't follow Scotland he's no got a clue."

Thierry Anglaise on Facebook: "McCormack shoulda got the nod over Fletcher."

Robie Ferguson on Facebook: "Good luck to them. But can't see this squad qualifying."

Things to make you go 'hmmm'

Ikechi Anya has played 9 minutes this season - and he's in the squad…

On the steps of Hampden. "It's Time" being scrubbed out...

On the steps of Hampden. "It's Time" being scrubbed out...

Thinking in the round

Ross McCormack scored 42 goals in two seasons for Fulham, enough to persuade Aston Villa to pay £12m for him. The 30-year-old missed his own stag do in Las Vegas to accept a late call-up for the post-season friendlies against France and Italy. 

Scotland boss Gordon Strachan watched McCormack as Villa drew 0-0 with Derby on Saturday but it was County striker Chris Martin who has made the squad. 

Asked whether McCormack just missed out, Strachan said: "There could be about 10-12 players, but you have to have a variation of players when you're picking your squad so you can change the game, change the way you want to play at times. 

"With the strikers, you have to have more rounded. I wish we could have everything but guys have their different strengths. 

"I watched Ross on Saturday, I saw two games with 11 Scotsmen. It was good but I have got to think what is best for the whole group."

Ross McCormack
Ross McCormack celebrates scoring for Villa against Huddersfield on 16 August

Scotland's fabulous four

So, we have the list of players who are IN the squad, but what of those who HAVEN'T been named? Here are a few who might have been hoping for a call from Gordon Strachan...

Rangers captain Lee Wallace
Kieran Tierney and Andrew Robertson have been chosen ahead of Rangers captain Lee Wallace.
Shaun Maloney
Hull forward Shaun Maloney has been an enthusiastic member of Scotland squads for years, but he won't be travelling to Malta.
Jordan Rhodes and Gordon Strachan
Perhaps Jordan Rhodes and Gordon Strachan won't be seeing eye to eye this week.
Aston Villa's Ross McCormack
Aston Villa's £12m striker Ross McCormack may be fearing that the rocks will melt wi' the sun before he gets a game for Scotland.


Kieran Tierney, left-back

Andrew Robertson, left-back

Ross McCormack, left back in Aston area of Birmingham...

GS: we could make a decent team out of left-backs but these two (Tierney & Robertson) are the best at the moment

Strachan also said that Ross McCormack & "about 12 others" were close to selection but it's about having different types of player in squad

A trio of goalies

It's great to see Hearts' 22-year-old goalie Jack Hamilton being called up to the squad. It's a long shot, surely, that he could displace Gordon Marshall or Craig Gordon, who are both hugely experienced. 

Now, if only Hull City's Allan McGregor had been expected to be in the squad but had been sold to Fleetwood, then we could have had the headline: "I'd rather Jack than Fleetwood Mac". That's not only a very bad gag but I doubt Jack Hamilton has ever even heard of the 1980s pop duo the Reynolds Girls... 

Celtic's Craig Gordon and Hearts counterpart Jack Hamilton
Celtic's Craig Gordon and Hearts counterpart Jack Hamilton shake hands after Celtic's 2-1 win at Tynecastle earlier this month.

If there's a hole, Darren it

Richard Wilson

BBC Scotland at Hampden

Scotland manager Gordon Strachan says he has not spoken to any squad members about the captaincy of the national team. When asked if the role would revert to Darren Fletcher, he would only say that he "will speak to Darren about it".

On Scott Brown's retirement, Strachan said the squad would be "quieter" without the Celtic midfielder. "I loved his company," Strachan said. "We just get on with it. We thank him, we respect his decision. It's the best for Scott Brown. I was at Celtic Park last week to speak to him and people were saying how terrifically he's doing and how I'll enjoy that. We were giggling, because two weeks before he'd told me his decision. Midfield is one of our stronger areas, but we're weaker without him."

Darren Fletcher captained Scotland against France
West Brom midfielder Darren Fletcher captained Scotland against France in the summer friendly.

Compare and contrast

Steven Fletcher: 1 club goal in his last 25 games. Ross McCormack: 9 club goals in his last 25 games.

Any goal machines out there?

The Scotland squad - 2 uncapped players, 3 with only one appearance so far, & nobody with a double-figure goal tally

The Scotland squad - 2 uncapped players, 3 with only one appearance so far, & nobody with a double-figure goal tally

No place for McCormack

Richard Wilson

BBC Scotland at Hampden

"The Scotland squad is evolving under Gordon Strachan. Familiar faces remain as the foundation, but places for Hearts goalkeeper Jack Hamilton, Fulham midfielder Kevin McDonald, Hibernian's John McGinn and Rangers' Barrie McKay tell of new figures coming into prominence. Absences still draw attention, in particular no places for Ross McCormack, the striker who moved for £12m from Fulham to Aston Villa during the summer, or Shaun Maloney, who scored last weekend for Hull City on his return to the English Premier League. We wait, though, to hear from manager Gordon Strachan who will replace Scott Brown as captain, now that the Celtic midfielder has retired from international football."

Scotland squad to face Malta

The Scottish Football Association has announced the Scotland squad for the game in Malta at the start of September.


Craig Gordon (Celtic)    Jack Hamilton (Heart of Midlothian)David Marshall (Cardiff City)Defenders

Christophe Berra (Ipswich Town)    Gordon Greer (Blackburn Rovers)    Grant Hanley (Newcastle United)    Alan Hutton (Aston Villa)Russell Martin (Norwich City)Callum Paterson (Heart of Midlothian)Andrew Robertson (Hull City)Kieran Tierney (Celtic)


Ikechi Anya (Watford)

Barry Bannan (Sheffield Wednesday)Oliver Burke (Nottingham Forest)Darren Fletcher (West Bromwich Albion)James Forrest (Celtic)    James McArthur (Crystal Palace)Kevin McDonald (Fulham)John McGinn (Hibernian)Barrie McKay (Rangers)James Morrison (West Bromwich Albion)Matt Ritchie (Newcastle United)Robert Snodgrass (Hull City)


Steven Fletcher (Sheffield Wednesday)

Leigh Griffiths (Celtic)Chris Martin (Derby County)Steven Naismith (Norwich City)

Confirmed: Big Mixu is not Totti

This clip from Saturday's Off the Ball will give you a lunchtime laugh, though maybe not if you're a Hibs fan...

Mixu Paatelainen recalls the worst penalty of his career on Off The Ball. #bbcsportscot…

Get Involved

We have just under half an hour to wait to discover who has made Gordon Strachan's Scotland squad for the World Cup qualifier in Malta next month.

Who would you like to see in the squad? Let us know by sending a text to 80295, or by tweeting your opinions using the hashtag #bbcsportscot, or by leaving a comment on our Facebook page.

The Scotland starting XI that played France in June, and lost 3-0
The Scotland starting XI that played France in June, and lost 3-0. Back row (L/R): Steven Fletcher, Robert Snodgrass, Gordon Greer, Grant Hanley, David Marshall and Russell Martin. Front row (L/R): Sean Maloney, Andrew Robertson, Darren Fletcher, James McArthur and Matt Ritchie

Scotland's Game

If that story by John Robertson about the Edinburgh derby and the city's polis has whetted your appetite for Scotland's Game, then perhaps you'd like to view the trailer for part one.

One of the producers is peering over my shoulder here at Pacific Quay checking I'm not giving away too much.

"Expect a few surprises and a wee bit of a trip down memory lane," he says.

I've popped a couple of extra clips from the series on the highlights tab at the top of this page. They feature ex-Scotland star Graeme Souness and former First Minister Alex Salmond.

Celtic fans dig deep

Celtic fans have raised more than £28,000 for Palestinian charities after the club was charged by Uefa over a flag display during last week's game with Israeli side Hapoel Beer Sheva.

Palestinian flags were waved around Celtic Park during the Champions League match on Wednesday night.

Uefa later charged the club over an "illicit banner" display.

Celtic fans have now launched a "#matchthefineforpalestine" campaign to raise funds for two charities.

Read the full story.

Celtic fans hold up Palestinian flags during the match against Hapoel Beer Sheva
Celtic fans displayed Palestinian flags at the match against Hapoel Beer Sheva, an act that is to be assessed by Uefa as it contravenes its policy on "illicit banners".

'If you can help it, don't score'

Whatever you are usually up to on a Thursday evening, try to ditch it this week. That's the advice of a man thinking in an analog way. But with digital technology we have such things as the BBC iPlayer and all manner of recording devices. So-o-o, there really is no excuse to miss the first instalment of BBC Scotland's new four-part series on Scottish football. Scotland's Game goes out at 21:00 BST on BBC One Scotland.

As a wee taster of what's to come, using much the same techniques as supermarkets who waft the comforting air from their bakeries around the aisles, we released a story from part one, "I Play for Money".

In it, the former Hearts striker John Robertson reveals that a police officer came into the Jambos changing room at Easter Road in a game back in 1990 asking the men in maroon to go easy on Edinburgh rivals Hibs in the second half, lest they extend their 3-0 lead and risk a pitch invasion.

Key to the tale is that the match came just a few months after the Hearts chairman Wallace Mercer had announced a takeover of the club on the opposite side of the capital city.

It's quite a story.

Hearts chairman Wallace Mercer
Hearts chairman Wallace Mercer upset fans on both sides of Edinburgh with his plans to buy Hibs in 1990.

'No complacency'

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers, ahead of the return leg against Hapoel Beer Sheva, into which Celtic take a 5-2 advantage: "There will be no issues of complacency with us.

"We have been very clear with the message with the players. The players are very focused, you can see the focus is there. (Against St Johnstone on Saturday) we had an opportunity where we could possibly have rotated some players but we didn't, we chose to keep them in, win the game and keep the winning mentality.

"And from what we have seen from the players led by Scott Brown the captain, who is a real colossal figure for the team, there will be no issues of complacency with us, we know what we have to do.

"It is about being in control defensively but having an attacking threat, which we have shown we have got in all the games.

"The mentality in our approach is that it is half-time, just as we said when we came back from some difficult first legs and took the teams back to Celtic Park. 

"That's what it is, we are 5-2 up but it is half-time. We have to perform with and without the ball, defensively have control, offensively have a threat and hopefully we can have a result in the end."

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers
Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers is no mood for a spectacular collapse by his team in Israel.

Ten matches - but how many points?

Two weeks out from Scotland's opening World Cup qualifier and already I have that familiar nervousness building. It's that night-before-the-return-to-school, lead-in-the-gut visceral dread that all Scotland fans will recognise.

Have a butcher's at the qualification fixtures. How many points do you reckon Scotland will "amass"?


4 September: (a) v Malta

8 October: (h) v Lithuania

11 October: (a) v Slovakia 

11 November: (a) v England


26 March: (h) v Slovenia

10 June: (h) v England

1 September: (a) v Lithuania

4 September: (h) v Malta

5 October: (h) v Slovakia

8 October: (a) v Slovenia  

Will Celtic be a revelation in Israel?

Celtic flew to Israel on Sunday - using a private jet once hired by Madonna, so says The Herald today, as mentioned in our gossip column - to prepare for the second leg of their Champions League play-off against Hapoel Beer Sheva.

Despite holding a 5-2 lead from last Wednesday's first leg in Glasgow, all the noises coming out of Celtic Park promise that there will be no let-up from the visitors. They are determined to reach the Champions League group stage, for the prestige, the coefficient points, the drama...and the estimated £20m.

Celtic will train at the Turner Stadium at 18:00 BST and follow that with a media conference.

Thankfully, we have our top commentator Liam McLeod (who can describe even a modest visit to the BBC canteen in a way that leaves your palms sweating) and the former Celtic goalkeeper Pat Bonner to report on news from the Celtic camp.

Celtic head for Israel
Goalkeeper Craig Gordon looks relaxed as he and his Celtic team-mates leave Glasgow for the crucial second leg of their play-off tie against Hapoel Beer Sheva.

Goals, goals, goals

If you fancy catching up with the best action from the Premiership matches from Friday and Saturday, then you could do worse than have a browse through the highlights. We have the best bits from all six matches, including Hearts' 5-1 win over Inverness and Celtic's 4-2 victory at St Johnstone.

To view them, just click on the "highlights" tab below the main photo at the top of this page. Please note, for rights reasons you have to be inside the UK to view them.

Sam Nicholson scored two goals in as many minutes as Hearts crushed Inverness 5-1 at Tynecastle on Saturday
Sam Nicholson scored two goals in as many minutes as Hearts crushed Inverness 5-1 at Tynecastle on Saturday.

'A massive honour'

Gordon Strachan is also expected to announce his captain for the forthcoming campaign. The captaincy has been held mostly by Scott Brown in recent months but Darren Fletcher has also worn the armband.

Now that Brown has retired from the Scotland scene, there's an eager hand going up at the back of the class. "Sir! Sir!", cries Hull City midfielder Robert Snodgrass. "Me! Me!" he implores.

The 28-year-old, who has won 17 caps, returned to the national squad in March after missing the entire Euro 2016 qualifying campaign through injury.

"It is a dream to play for your country first and foremost. It is even bigger to try to captain the side," he said.

"I will throw my name in the hat, definitely. It is a massive honour."

One D Fletcher of West Bromwich may have something to say about that.

Read the full story

Robert Snodgrass celebrates scoring against Croatia
Robert Snodgrass celebrates scoring against Croatia with team-mate Barry Bannan in October 2013.

Yaba daba doo, we support the boys in blue...

Scotland's first match in the qualifiers for the 2018 World Cup is away, at the Ta'Qali Stadium in Malta. Get off to a flyer there and we're set up beautifully for an evening home match against Lithuania on 8 October. What could be simpler? Um...

Strachan's "Malteaser"

The big story today is likely to be the announcement of who has made the Scotland squad. Gordon Strachan has summoned reporters to the Nevis Suite at Hampden at lunchtime today to reveal who has a chance of playing Malta when the World Cup qualifiers get under way next month.

Just another manic Monday?

It's the Monday after the Sunday from the Saturday before, when fans are cherishing the memory of a triumph or trying to avoid friends and colleagues who might remind them of their team's failings at the weekend. In any case, welcome to our live page which we hope will keep you abreast of what's going on in Scottish football today and for the rest of the week.