Lee Evans and Ryan Gauld get maiden Wales and Scotland calls
Sporting Lisbon teenage starlet Ryan Gauld has been named in the Scotland squad for their Euro 2016 qualifiers against Georgia and Poland, despite struggling to settle in Portugal.
Gordon Strachan has handed the 18-year-old former Dundee United midfielder a maiden call-up alongside Sheffield Wednesday striker Stevie May. Uncapped duo Callum McGregor and Kevin McDonald drop out alongside the versatile Charlie Mulgrew, however.
In-form West Bromwich Albion player Graham Dorrans joins clubmate James Morrison in midfield ranks as Strachan opts largely for continuity from the roster that performed so well against world champions Germany, despite defeat in Dortmund.
Scotland are even-money with Coral to qualify from Group D, which also includes Gibraltar and the Republic of Ireland.
Wales boss Chris Coleman, meanwhile, has given Wolverhampton Wanderers midfielder Lee Evans a first-ever senior call, and he is one of six uncapped played included in Dragons ranks ahead of home games with Bosnia-Herzegovina and Cyprus.
Understudy keepers Owain Fon Williams and Kyle Letheren, Leicester City forward Tom Lawrence, Reading winger Jake Taylor and Charlton Athletic left back Rhoys Wiggins are the others yet to see senior action included.
Star midfielders Joe Allen and Aaron Ramsey are both missing through injury for Wales, however, so the likes of Andy King, Joe Ledley and David Vaughan will have to step up. The Dragons are 6/4 to advance from Group B, a pool which also contains Andorra, Belgium and Israel.
Northern Ireland have recalled skilful winger Paddy McCourt following his move to Brighton, as manager Michael O’Neill prepares to tackle the Faroe Islands and Greece. Manchester United’s teenage defender Paddy McNair is on standby after making his debut and because clubmate Jonny Evans is an injury doubt.
O’Neill keeps faith with the bulk of his squad that draws on players from the Premier League down to English football’s third-tier, plus some Scottish Premiership talents. Northern Ireland are 2/1 chances to advance from Group F, which also pairs them with Finland, Hungary and Romania.
Scotland squad to face Georgia and Poland:
Goalkeepers: Craig Gordon (Celtic), David Marshall (Cardiff City), Allan McGregor (Hull City)
Defenders: Christophe Berra (Ipswich Town), Craig Forsyth (Derby County), Gordon Greer (Brighton), Grant Hanley (Blackburn Rovers), Alan Hutton (Aston Villa), Russell Martin and Steven Whittaker (both Norwich City), Mark Reynolds (Aberdeen), Andrew Robertson (Hull)
Midfielders: Ikechi Anya (Watford), Barry Bannan and James McArthur (both Crystal Palace), Scott Brown (Celtic), Craig Bryson (Derby), Chris Burke (Nottingham Forest), Graham Dorrans and James Morrison (both West Brom), Darren Fletcher (Man Utd), Ryan Gauld (Sporting Lisbon), Shaun Maloney (Wigan Athletic)
Forwards: Steven Fletcher (Sunderland), Steven May (Sheffield Wednesday), Chris Martin (Derby), Steven Naismith (Everton)
Wales squad to face Bosnia-Herzegovina and Cyprus:
Goalkeepers: Wayne Hennessey (Crystal Palace), Owain Fon Williams (Tranmere Rovers), Kyle Letheren (Dundee)
Defenders: James Chester (Hull), James Collins (West Ham United), Paul Dummett (Newcastle United), Ben Davies (Tottenham), Danny Gabbidon (Cardiff City), Chris Gunter (Reading), Sam Ricketts (Wolves), Neil Taylor and Ashley Williams (both Swansea City), Rhoys Wiggins (Charlton Athletic)
Midfielders: David Cotterill (Birmingham City), Dave Edwards and Lee Evans (both Wolves), Emyr Huws (Wigan), Andy King (Leicester City), Joe Ledley (Crystal Palace), Jonny Williams (Ipswich Town)
Forwards: Gareth Bale (Real Madrid), Simon Church (Charlton), Tom Lawrence (Leicester), Hal Robson-Kanu and Jake Taylor (both Reading), George Williams (Fulham)
Northern Ireland squad to face the Faroe Islands and Greece:
Goalkeepers: Roy Carroll (Notts County), Alan Mannus (St Johnstone), Michael McGovern (Hamilton)
Defenders: Aaron Hughes (Brighton), Chris Baird and Gareth McAuley (both West Brom), Jonny Evans (Man Utd), Ryan McGivern (Port Vale), Craig Cathcart (Watford), Conor McLaughlin (Fleetwood Town), Luke McCullough (Doncaster Rovers), Ryan McLaughlin (Liverpool)
Midfielders: Steven Davis (Southampton), Chris Brunt (West Brom), Sammy Clingan (Kilmarnock), Corry Evans (Blackburn), Oliver Norwood (Reading), Shane Ferguson (Newcastle), Paul Paton (Dundee United), Ben Reeves (MK Dons), Paddy McCourt (Brighton)
Forwards: Kyle Lafferty (Norwich), Niall McGinn (Aberdeen), Jamie Ward (Derby), Billy McKay (Inverness), Josh Magennis (Kilmarnock), Will Grigg (MK Dons)