Adam and Griffiths earn Scotland recalls ahead of Ireland encounter
Stoke City’s in-form midfielder Charlie Adam and Celtic striker Leigh Griffiths have both returned to the Scotland fold ahead of an end of season friendly against Qatar, and a crunch clash with Euro 2016 qualifying Group D rivals the Republic of Ireland.
Gordon Strachan is an 11/10 chance to steer the Scots on the France finals next summer, and the former Bhoys boss has shown no Old Firm grudge against ex-Rangers player Adam following his fantastic displays for his current club.
Left-footer Adam, who has scored four in his last seven for the Potters, was last on international duty over a year ago when he was included on the Scotland roster to face Poland in a friendly. Strachan has also recalled Hoops frontman Griffiths following two Scottish Premiership hat-tricks in April.
Ain't a better honour than pulling on a strip for your country! DELIGHTED to be called into the squad. Really looking forward to the games
— leigh griffiths (@Leighgriff09) May 18, 2015
Versatile Celtic teammate Charlie Mulgrew, just back from a lengthy injury absence, is back in international contention too. There is a maiden call-up for Dundee goalie Scott Bain, with Allan McGregor dropped as Hull City boss Steve Bruce has done likewise.
Craig Gordon, another from the Scottish champions, sees his main competition for the number one jersey come from Cardiff City custodian David Marshall.
That means Gordon Greer is still among Strachan’s defensive options despite a difficult campaign with Brighton and Hove Albion. Christophe Berra’s play-off pain will have to quickly abate, as the Ipswich Town centre back, who was sent off in the semi-final loss to Norwich City, is included alongside East Anglian foes Russell Martin and Steven Whittaker.
Aston Villa full back Alan Hutton remains on the roster despite losing his place under Tim Sherwood to Leandro Bacuna. Craig Forsyth (Derby County), Aberdeen’s uncapped Andrew Reynolds and Hull wing back Andrew Robertson complete selections in defence.
Joining Adam in midfield are ex-Bolton Wanderers loanee Barry Bannan, Celtic skipper Scott Brown, West Bromwich Albion counterpart Darren Fletcher, Shaun Maloney (Chicago Fire), James McArthur (Crystal Palace) and Fletcher’s Hawthorns teammate James Morrison.
Mid-table Championship strikers Jordan Rhodes (Blackburn Rovers), Ross McCormack (Fulham) and Stevie May (Sheffield Wednesday) are all left out, but the rest of the previous roster are retained. That means four wingers are included; Ikechi Anya (Watford), James Forrest (Celtic), Matt Ritchie (Bournemouth), Johnny Russell (Derby).
Scotland are 14/1 shots to top their pool in Euro 2016 qualifying, but Germany and Poland are in pole position for the automatic places.
Coral betting tip: Take those awesome 11/10 odds on Strachan steering the Scots to the Euro 2016 finals.