Macleod surprise in Strachan’s Scotland squad

Lewis Macleod in action for Scotland Under 21s
Lewis Macleod in action for Scotland Under 21s

Rangers midfielder Lewis Macleod was the surprise inclusion as Scotland manager Gordon Strachan named his squad for the international double-header later this month.

The Scots face the Republic of Ireland in what could be a crucial Euro 2016 qualifier on Friday, November 14, before they take on England in a friendly four days later.

And Macleod was the one name that stuck out as Strachan named his 27-man squad for the fixtures earlier today.

The 20-year-old midfielder has clearly impressed of late, scoring seven goals in 15 appearances for the Ibrox side this season, and will make the step up from the U21 ranks for the first time.

Elsewhere, there were few other major shocks as former Dundee United defender Andrew Robertson merited another spot in the squad after his performances for Hull City.

Ex-St Johnstone striker Stevie May, now with Sheffield Wednesday of course, also retained his place, while former Dundee player Craig Forsyth earned another call-up courtesy of his showings for Derby County.

Defenders Charlie Mulgrew and Phil Bardsley also return to the line-up.

There was no place, however, for ex-Dundee United playmaker Ryan Gauld, who dropped out along with Aberdeen’s Mark Reynolds and the likes of the injured Alan Hutton and Allan McGregor.

Scotland sit third in Group D, ahead of Germany on goal difference and trailing Poland and Ireland by three points.

Full Scotland squad:

Goalkeepers: Matt Gilks (Burnley), Craig Gordon (Celtic), David Marshall (Cardiff City).

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

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

Forwards: Steven Fletcher (Sunderland), Chris Martin (Derby County), Steven May (Sheffield Wednesday), Steven Naismith (Everton).