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Euros: Five outsiders who could make the Scotland squad

Scotland now know they face group matches against Germany, Hungary and Switzerland at the Euros this summer and will get the finals under way when they face the hosts at the Allianz Arena on 14th June.

Steve Clarke’s team are 9/1 to cause a shock in that game and there will be a host of fringe players who will hope they do enough in the next six months or so to force their way into the Scotland boss’s plans.

Here, we take a look at five players who could come into the equation for the 23-man squad.

Max Johnston (Sturm Graz)

This could be a big six months for Max Johnston, who made the move to Austria last summer after impressing in a breakthrough season at Motherwell.

The son of former Scotland international Allan Johnston, the right-back was voted young player of the year by the Scottish Football Writers Association last season and was called up to Clarke’s squad for the first time in October following injuries to Andy Robertson and Aaon Hickey.

He was sent off for two late bookings in an Under-21 game against Hungary that month and he needs to establish himself in the Graz first team in the next few months, after starting the season in their reserve line-up.

He has been involved in their Europa League matches, but regular appearances in Austrian Bundesliga will be key if he is to make it on the plane to Germany.

Liam Lindsay (Preston North End)

The Preston centre-half Liam Lindsay has yet to receive an international call-up but his case may be difficult to ignore if he continues to play a pivotal role for the Championship outfit as they target a place in the playoffs during the second half of the season.

He has scored three goals for North End this season, including the winner in the all-Lancashire clash with Blackburn and what boosts his chances of being included as a squad player is that he is a flexible performer.

Lindsay can play as part of a back three or back four and is equally comfortable on the left and right, so that is a tick in the box.

If Preston can force their way into the playoff picture, that could raise his profile and boost the chances of the 28-year-old from Partick being involved.

Dominic Hyam (Blackburn Rovers)

Dominic Hyam has had brief international experience after coming on as a substitute in June’s 2-1 win over Norway, having been called up to his first squad as a replacement for Jack Hendry in March, so the Rovers defender is clearly knocking on the door.

He joined Blackburn from Coventry in August 2022, having started his career at Reading and taken part in loan spells at several non-league clubs, but as a regular in the Championship, the central defender could well come into the equation.

Hyam, who was born in Fife while he father was serving in the RAF, grew up in the south of England but as he looks to recover from an ankle injury that has kept him out of action for the last month, he may well be a factor if Rovers can make a push for the top six.

Elliot Anderson (Newcastle United)

Highly-regarded Newcastle midfielder Elliot Anderson is sidelined with a back injury but he could make a strong case if he can get involved with Eddie Howe’s side during the second half of the season.

Anderson, who joined the Newcastle academy at eight and has made 29 appearances for the Magpies, has played for England Under-19s against Arsenal Under-23s but, as that was not an official match, his international representation is still up in the air and he has played for Scotland at youth level.

Having played for the Under-21s in a goalless draw, Clarke will hope to get Anderson to commit, although he withdrew from a squad in August for games against Cyprus and England through injury.

Participation in a major finals could be a big carrot to dangle in front of Anderson, who is clearly in Clarke’s thoughts and an injury-free second half of the season can only boost the chances of the 21-year-old being involved.

Ryan Hardie (Plymouth Argyle)

Scotland are short of out-and-out strikers and Plymouth’s Ryan Hardie still has time to make the trip.

The 26-year-old former Rangers and Livingston forward has adjusted well to life in the Championship this season after a couple of decent campaigns in League One, scoring six goals since August following two double-figure returns at the lower level.

He could represent an option and although he has yet to be involved in a full squad, his claims could be difficult to ignore if he has a goal-filled second half of the season for the Pilgrims.

Euro 2024

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