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CLARKE’S CROCKS HOTLINE

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STEVE CLARKE is receiving up-to-date bulletins on the squad’s crocks as he plots ahead for Scotland’s crucial Euro 2020 play-off semi-final against Israel at Hampden Park on March 26.

The international boss has concerns over left-back Kieran Tierney, the former Celtic left-back who quit for Arsenal in a record-breaking £25million deal in the summer, Aston Villa midfielder John McGinn, who came close to joining his Parkhead boyhood idols the previous year, and Manchester United anchorman Scott McTominay.

The talented trio are struggling to be fit for the crunch encounter that could see the nation edge towards our first appearance in a major tournament’s finals since the World Cup in France in 1998.

Tierney has had surgery on his dislocated shoulder, but is not likely to return to full training until March, McGinn suffered an ankle fracture last month and could be out for three months while McTominay is recovering from a knee ligament injury sustained on Boxing Day.

Clarke, speaking to Sky Sports News, admitted: “I am keeping my fingers crossed that the three mentioned recover well and can be available.

“It will be close for all of them, but always hopeful, never ruling anyone out at this stage. There is still a long time to go before we get to March.

“I’ve had feedback from the medical departments, all three are working towards recovery. Whether they make it or not, is a different story.”

 

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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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