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Former Dundee and United defender Lee Wilkie talks Scotland selection for Euro 2020 opener: Billy Gilmour, Callum McGregor and Grant Hanley

Whether to start Chelsea's Billy Gilmour or Celtic's Callum McGregor in midfield is a selection dilemma for Scotland boss Steve Clarke.
Whether to start Chelsea's Billy Gilmour or Celtic's Callum McGregor in midfield is a selection dilemma for Scotland boss Steve Clarke.

“If I was Steve Clarke I’d pick . . .”

It’ll be said countless times until Scotland’s Euro 2020 campaign kicks off against the Czech Republic on Monday but only the man himself has the answers.

That’s the view of former Dundee, Dundee United and Scotland defender Lee Wilkie.

Former Dundee, Dundee United and Scotland defender Lee Wilkie.

The 41-year-old, who won 11 caps for his country during Berti Vogts’ reign, believes the current national team boss will already know his starting XI for the Hampden opener.

Fans will naturally debate until the team lines are revealed shortly before next week’s 2pm kick-off.

Gilmour or McGregor?

At the top of the agenda will no doubt be Chelsea’s 19-year-old midfielder Billy Gilmour. Does he get the nod ahead of 30-cap Callum McGregor?

The former Rangers youngster impressed in warm-up clashes against Holland and Luxembourg but Wilkie thinks it would be too soon to rely on the teenager at the Euros.

“Clarke will have his team picked but he’s, obviously, saying he’s got ‘issues’ or ‘headaches’ for certain positions with boys like Gilmour coming in,” the Evening Telegraph columnist said.

“He’s showed what he can do and is playing at a high level with Chelsea.

“I don’t think he will start but that doesn’t mean to say he won’t.

“I wouldn’t play him if I was the coach.

Billy Gilmour has impressed in his first two Scotland appearances.

“I don’t think he’s probably done enough in the manager’s eyes to start.

“He’s definitely done enough to show he’s a serious contender, which is a lot considering the age he is.

“I don’t think he’s quite an out-and-out starter.

“He could eventually overtake McGregor in that position but just now I think he’s maybe not quite there to be starting.

“I would imagine, depending on how the games are going, you could definitely see him come off the bench.

“He’ll be one of the first substitutes he’ll be thinking about.”

Who gets the nod at centre-half?

It looks like Scotland will continue to line-up with a back three or five, with Kieran Tierney guaranteed to start in one of the central-defensive roles.

Beyond that, between Declan Gallagher, Grant Hanley, Jack Hendry, Liam Cooper, Scott McKenna and Scott McTominay, it’s anyone’s guess what two will partner the Arsenal man.

For centre-half Wilkie, though, one man is a clear choice.

“We’re in a good place just now,” he added.

“We’re a good team, difficult to beat as well and starting to look really quite dangerous.

Grant Hanley has had a good season for Norwich in the English Championship.

“There’s a lot of attacking options but I’m impressed defensively – we’re looking a little bit better than we were a few months ago.

“It’s a difficult one to say who’ll start at centre-half.

“Hanley will probably end up starting, even though he’s maybe not one of the supporters’ favourite players!

“I think he’s already shown in the league with Norwich that he’s a really steady player and somebody that has his team-mates respect.

“I wouldn’t say I’ve got a preferred back three or five or whatever Clarke goes with.

“I just think we’ve got a lot of quality regardless of who we have in there, which is perfect for any coach.”

What are Scotland up to until their Euro 2020 opener against the Czech Republic? Here’s Steve Clarke’s side’s itinerary…

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