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EX-CELT STU GETS CALL-UP

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FORMER Celtic midfielder Stuart Armstrong has been brought into Scotland Euro squad for the double-header against Russia and San Marino.

The ex-Hoops fans’ favourite got the nod from international boss Steve Clarke to replace injured Sheffield United striker Oli McBurnie with the first qualifier due in Moscow on Thursday and the second at Hampden on Sunday.

Armstrong has been struggling for game time at Southampton since the start of the campaign, but Clarke has shown his faith in the playmaker.

The Scots are currently second bottom in Group I and must beat the Russians to have any faint hopes of automatic qualification, but third place, with Belgium running away with the section, is a more likely outcome for the nation.

The Russians enjoyed a 2-1 win in Glasgow last month and that was followed up by a 4-0 walloping from Roberto Martinez’s world No.1-rated outfit.

Clarke has also recalled Sheffield United’s John Fleck and on-loan Alaves winger Oliver Burke for the games while Dundee United’s Lawrence Shankland has received a first call-up to the national side.

The Tannadice striker has scored 15 goals in 13 games in the Championship this season and the 24-year-old hitman, speaking to Sky Sports News, said: “If I’m given the opportunity I hope to surprise people and do as well as I can.

“You can just do your best if you get the opportunity and if it works out, it works out.

“I see people’s point of view that it’s the second tier of Scottish football, but John McGinn has done it before with Hibs and it can happen. Hopefully, I can replicate that.”

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Editor

Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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