Scotland: Who will be in Steve Clarke's first squad as head coach?

Jack Harper and Eamonn Brophy
Jack Harper and Eamonn Brophy could be "left-field" options up front

Steve Clarke will name his first Scotland squad on Tuesday for next month's matches against Cyprus and Belgium.

The Scots have one win from two so far in Euro 2020 qualifying, the opening 3-0 defeat away to Kazakhstan being a prime reason Alex McLeish departed as Clarke's predecessor as head coach.

Their first home game of the campaign will be against the Cypriots on 8 June, with a visit to overwhelming group favourites Belgium three days later.

So who will, and who will not, make Clarke's cut?

The stick-ons

John McGinn celebrates scoring for Aston Villa
John McGinn scored Aston Villa's second goal in a 2-1 win over Derby County on Monday

Scott Bain started the last two games of McLeish's reign and finished the season as Celtic's first-choice goalkeeper, so expect him to be chosen again. Jon McLaughlin, one of Bain's back-ups in Kazakhstan and San Marino, took his season's tally of Sunderland appearances to 55 in Sunday's League One play-off final and is likely to be involved again.

Clarke knows all about right-back Stephen O'Donnell from his time at Kilmarnock, as well as Hearts centre-back John Souttar and Aberdeen defender Scott McKenna. Hamburg's David Bates has regularly partnered McKenna and he too should be involved.

As long as he comes through the Champions League final with Liverpool unscathed, national captain Andy Robertson will also be there. Liam Palmer made the last squad and finished the season well with Sheffield Wednesday.

In midfield, regular names Stuart Armstrong, John McGinn, Callum McGregor, Kenny McLean, Scott McTominay, James Forrest and Ryan Fraser all had regular game time as the domestic season drew to a close, with Forrest and Fraser in particular impressing.

Graeme Shinnie, who had a difficult night at left-back in Kazakhstan, has had plenty of good performances for Aberdeen this season that Clarke will have seen. Up front, Oli McBurnie finished the campaign with 24 domestic goals and Johnny Russell netted a hat-trick in Kansas City's 3-2 win over Seattle on Sunday.

Unavailable or out of form

Neither Millwall goalkeeper Jordan Archer nor experienced Blackburn Rovers defender Charlie Mulgrew have played in recent weeks, while Celtic left-back Kieran Tierney will miss out as he goes for surgery. His club-mates, Ryan Christie and Leigh Griffiths, are also unavailable.

Oliver Burke started his loan spell with Celtic well, but the forward's performances tailed off, while winger Lewis Morgan, who had a frustrating start to the season with Celtic before joining Sunderland on loan, scored just twice this season and was on the bench for Sunday's play-off. Midfielder Robert Snodgrass, meanwhile, has not played for West Ham United since April, while Callum Paterson has not featured for Cardiff since March due to injury.

Marc McNulty, the third striker in the last squad, scored in Hibernian's last game of the season, but that was his first since March.

In with a shout and wildcards

Leeds United's Liam Cooper
Liam Cooper helped Leeds United reach the promotion play-offs

Liam Kelly's performances in goal for Livingston will not have gone unnoticed by Clarke, while Motherwell midfielder David Turnbull caught the eye with several goalscoring performances for the Steelmen.

Ryan Jack was Rangers' most consistent midfielder and Aberdeen's Lewis Ferguson had an impressive first season at Pittodrie.

Centre-half Liam Cooper helped Leeds United reach the Championship play-offs and could make a return to the squad, while midfielder John Fleck could again be included after winning promotion to the Premier League with Sheffield United.

With options up front limited, Eamonn Brophy is being tipped by some for a first call-up, largely because he did so well at Kilmarnock under Clarke, while Jordan Rhodes helped Norwich City win the Championship on loan from Sheffield Wednesday, where Steven Fletcher ended the season back in the starting XI.

Brophy and Harper could be left-field choices - analysis

Former Scotland striker Steven Thompson

I am going to go a bit left-field and suggest that Eamonn Brophy will be called into the squad and he might start.

We are not blessed with a lot of options up front. Out best player, Leigh Griffiths, hopefully he's back playing football next season.

Callum Paterson started the last game up front and that just shows you the problems we have in that area.

Former Scotland midfielder Michael Stewart

I would be surprised if Eamonn Brophy started the game, but I would expect him, whether it's in this double header or over the next wee while, to get into the squad because he's done really well and obviously Steve Clarke knows him extremely well.

Thinking out of the box slightly, young Jack Harper, who is out in Spain, he is going to be moving from Malaga in the second tier to Getafe and they were on the verge of getting into the Champions League. He is somebody who has clearly got ability, having come through at Real Madrid.

When Brendan Rodgers was at Celtic, he got the best out of Oli Burke playing him as a number nine. He is a player who has his deficiencies, but he is someone whose strengths we can utilise and Steve Clarke is of the same ilk as Rodgers.

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