Strachan mulls over Scotland options for Germany match

By Clive LindsayBBC Sport
Scotland manager Gordon Strachan
Scotland boss Gordon Strachan will announce his squad to face World Champions Germany on Monday.

Gordon Strachan has yet to decide whether to recall Craig Gordon and call up Scott Arfield for Scotland's opening Euro 2016 qualifier against Germany.

Manager Strachan will announce his squad on Monday and Gordon, who has played three times for Celtic following his return to the game after long-term injury, is in contention for a call.

He won the last of his 40 caps in 2010.

Arfield, who has impressed for Burnley in England's top flight, could benefit from injury absences in midfield.

Allan McGregor, who has continued to impress with Hull City, and Cardiff City's David Marshall are likely to be favourites for the goalkeeper's jersey in Dortmund on 7 September.

However, with Matt Gilks finding himself on the bench with Burnley following his summer switch from Blackpool, 31-year-old Gordon could return to the fold.

Celtic goalkeeper Craig Gordon
Celtic goalkeeper Craig Gordon has featured for his new club in Europe this season

Arfield, who has been capped at under-21 level, has shone in his first two appearances in England's top flight and scored against Chelsea on the opening day of the Premier League season.

The 25-year-old is an option for Strachan following the absence through injury of Hull's Robert Snodgrass, as well as Celtic pair Scott Brown and James Forrest.

In addition, Shaun Maloney has missed Wigan Athletic's last two outings, while Ikechi Anya has not been a regular starter for Watford.

James Morrison is returning to fitness but has yet to make his first outing of the season with West Bromwich Albion.

On the plus side, Morrison's club-mate, Graham Dorrans, has been a starter under new Baggies manager Alan Irvine, while Darren Fletcher has become a vital part of the Manchester United midfield under Louis van Gaal after recovering from long-term illness.

In the Scottish Premiership, Callum McGregor could be pushing for a promotion to the full international set-up after becoming a first-team regular and scoring three goals so far this season following his return to Celtic after a loan spell with Notts County.

Back in England, Don Cowie is enjoying more regular starts since his summer switch from Cardiff City to Wigan, where he is forming a central midfield partnership with James McArthur, for whom Burnley had two bids rejected last week.

Chris Burke, who scored on the opening weekend of the season, has helped Nottingham Forest to the top of the Championship, while uncapped Paul Caddis grabbed his second goal of the season for Birmingham City on Saturday in a 1-1 draw at Brentford.

Everton and Scotland striker Steven Naismith
Naismith could be Strachan's favoured option up front against Germany

Craig Conway set up Blackburn's third goal in their 3-2 win over Bournemouth on Saturday and Craig Bryson scored in Derby County's 5-1 demolition of Fulham.

However, it was Derby striker Chris Martin - who made his international debut against Nigeria in May and is forming an effective partnership with Johnny Russell - who made the most significant contribution of the weekend with a double to take his total for the season to three.

Strachan will also be pleased with the form of his other main three options up front.

Everton's Steven Naismith, the favourite to be handed a lone-striker role in Dortmund, scored his second goal in two games in a 2-2 draw with Arsenal.

Steven Fletcher also started for Sunderland against Manchester United in their

Meanwhile, Jordan Rhodes, the subject of two failed bids from Hull last week, opened his account for the season for Blackburn against Bournemouth.

Uncapped Stevie May pushed his case for inclusion by scoring his first goal in his third appearance for Sheffield Wednesday after his switch from St Johnstone in a 3-2 Championship victory away to Middlesbrough.

Craig Mackail-Smith confirmed his return from last season's injury problems with a goal in Brighton's 2-1 win over Bolton.

However, Ross McCormack's frustration after his £11m transfer from Leeds United continued as Fulham slumped to a fourth straight defeat with the Scot again firing another blank.

Although Gary Caldwell has remained an unused substitute with Wigan so far this season, Strachan's other English-based defenders have fared better.

Right-back Alan Hutton cemented his return to the first-team picture at Aston Villa by helping Paul Lambert's side to a second successive clean sheet in Saturday's 0-0 draw with Newcastle United.

Left-back Andy Robertson has impressed in his two outings for Hull since the 20-year-old's summer transfer from Dundee United.

Central defender Grant Hanley scored for Blackburn on Saturday, Craig Forsyth, who made his Scotland debut in May, has been a regular with Derby, while Russell Martin and Stephen Whittaker remain stalwarts with relegated Norwich City.