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Strachan names Scotland squad for Ireland and England encounters

Scotland boss Gordon Strachan has included uncapped 20-year-old Rangers winger Lewis Macleod in his squad for the Euro 2016 qualifier against the Republic of Ireland and grudge friendly with England.

Macleod has eight Under-21 caps and averaged a goal every other game for Scottish Championship side Gers this term in all competitions. Of the Ibrox outfit talent, Strachan said: “I get good reports from our coaches, people who have played against him, people who have worked with him and I look forward to seeing him.”

“I like bringing young players along. I want to find out whether they’ll work in the system we’re trying. You get to find out what they’re like and that will be beneficial when they come in next time, so it’s not such a scary thing.”

Strachan has also handed a recall to Stoke City’s Phil Bardsley in defence, because injury has ruled Alan Hutton of Aston Villa out of these British Isles battles. “Phil has been a regular at Stoke and has been very steady,” the national manager continued. “Stoke are reasonably happy with their start to the season and so should Phil. Along with Steven Whittaker, I’ve got good options at full back.”

The Tartan Army have a largely similar squad to savour from their side’s last set of fixtures. Sporting Lisbon midfielder Ryan Gauld and Aberdeen defender Mark Reynolds, both uncapped, are dropped to make room for Bardsley, Grant Hanley, Macleod and Charlie Mulgrew.

Scotland are 13/10 chances with Coral to qualify for Euro 2016 from Group D, which also includes World Cup winners Germany, Poland, Georgia and UEFA new boys Gibraltar.

Full Scotland squad to face Republic of Ireland and England:
Goalkeepers: Matt Gilks (Burnley), Craig Gordon (Celtic), David Marshall (Cardiff City)

Defenders: Phil Bardsley (Stoke City), Christophe Berra (Ipswich Town), Craig Forsyth (Derby County), Gordon Greer (Brighton and Hove Albion), Grant Hanley (Blackburn Rovers), Russell Martin and Steven Whittaker (both Norwich City), Andrew Robertson (Hull City)

Midfielders: Ikechi Anya (Watford), Barry Bannan and James McArthur (both Crystal Palace), Scott Brown and Charlie Mulgrew (both Celtic), Craig Bryson (Derby), Chris Burke (Nottingham Forest), Graham Dorrans and James Morrison (both West Bromwich Albion), Darren Fletcher (Manchester United), Lewis Macleod (Rangers), Shaun Maloney (Wigan Athletic)

Strikers: Steven Fletcher (Sunderland), Chris Martin (Derby), Stevie May (Sheffield Wednesday), Steven Naismith (Everton)