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How does Scotland’s squad look after injuries to key players?

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There are fewer headaches for Clarke in other departments of his squad at least.

It appears likely that Craig Gordon, Zander Clark and Angus Gunn will be the three goalkeepers in Germany, with Motherwell’s Liam Kelly seeming the favourite to miss out.

Clarke’s striking options would also appear set too, with Che Adams, Lyndon Dykes and Lawrence Shankland offering different qualities up front.

Kevin Nisbet’s 2024 has been ravaged by injury but he is back on the bench for Millwall and if he could find some goals in the next few weeks, he would give Clarke something to think about.

Jacob Brown has been a regular in Clarke’s squads, but could be the odd man out when it comes to the crunch, unless perhaps Euro 2024 squads are increased in number from 23 to 26.

Leaving aside right wing-back, the defence has plenty of options – but two Clarke favourites may well be causing the manager sleepless nights.

Scott McKenna and Grant Hanley both missed the defeats against the Netherlands and Northern Ireland in March and time is running out for them.

Hanley is scheduled to return to Norwich training this week while McKenna has at least featured for Copenhagen since those friendlies.

Liam Cooper of Leeds United, Al-Ettifaq’s Jack Hendry, Ryan Porteous of Watford and Rangers’ John Souttar along with the versatile Kieran Tierney mean Clarke will not feel pressure to include McKenna or Hanley if they are not fully fit.

At left-back, Tierney and captain Andy Robertson could be joined in the squad by Greg Taylor of Celtic.

The area Clarke has always been able to rely upon during his tenure has been the heart of midfield, and it remains Scotland’s strongest suit despite the question marks over Ferguson and Armstrong.

Even if those two were ruled out, he would still able to call on the likes of Billy Gilmour, John McGinn, Callum McGregor, Scott McTominay and Kenny McLean.

Ryan Christie floats between there and the forward line and if Clarke was to drop any surprises in his squad, it could be in augmenting that role.

Might Newcastle’s Elliot Anderson decide to throw his lot in with Scotland finally, with the lure of a European Championship on the horizon? Or what about his team-mate Harvey Barnes, who is also eligible for Scotland?

Clarke may enjoy having them as options, but what he may enjoy even more is his key men avoiding injury between now and June – plus Hickey and Patterson healing quickly.

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