LEIGH GRIFFITHS and Craig Gordon have been called into the Scotland international squad for the vital Euro Play-Off Final against Serbia in Belgrade a week on Thursday.
It’s the Celtic striker’s first appearance for his country since he played in the Nations League win over Albania in 2018.
Griffiths has started only one game for Celtic this season, but has made four substitute appearances and scored crucial goals in the 2-0 win over St Johnstone in Perth and the 3-3 draw with Aberdeen at Pittodrie.
The 30-year-old attacker is one of four Hoops stars to get the nod alongside left-back Greg Taylor and midfielders Ryan Christie and Callum McGregor.
Former Parkhead keeper Craig Gordon, who rejoined Hearts in the summer and who is poised to face his old Team in the Scottish Cup Final on December 20, is one of three keepers in the squad alongside David Marshall and Jon McLaughlin.
Norwich City central defender Grant Hanley has also earned a place in the 27-man player pool for the match in Serbia and the subsequent Nations League clashes against Slovakia in Bratislava on Sunday, November 15 and Israel in Netanya three days later in Nations League Group B.
Clarke, speaking to STV, said: “Leigh’s qualities speak for themself, the goal he scored against Aberdeen recently in the league showed what he’s got. He can give us something, he can add something to the squad, that’s for sure.
“And it’s the same with Craig Gordon and Grant Hanley – experienced players, know their jobs and please to have them involved for the first time.
“It’s about getting the country back to a major finals. Hopefully, we can do it and then everyone who’s involved in it can get a little bit of credit.
“But the majority of the credit will go to the players as always, as they are the guys who have to do it on the pitch.”
The match in Belgrade is the opportunity for the Scots to win through to the final stages of a major tournament since they reached the World Cup Finals in France in 1998.
Marshall (Derby County), McLaughlin (Rangers), Gordon (Hearts);
Considine (Aberdeen), Gallagher (Motherwell), Hanley (Norwich City), McKena (Nottingham Forest), Cooper (Leeds), O’Donnell (Motherwell), Palmer (Sheffield Wed), Robertson (Liverpool), Tierney (Arsenal), Taylor (Celtic);
Christie and McGregor (both Celtic), McTominay (Manchester United), Armstrong (Southampton), Jack (Rangers), McGinn (Aston Villa), Kenny McLean (Norwich City);
Griffiths (Celtic), Dykes (QPR), Fraser (Newcastle), Burke (Sheffield United), McBurnie (Sheffield United), Shankland (Dundee United). Paterson (Cardiff City).