Scotland squad announcement: Steve Clarke explains his picks as three Lanarkshire players set for Euro 2024

Scotland boss Steve Clarke has named his provisional squad for the European Championships in Germany this summer - with three Lanarkshire players named in the 28-man pool.

Arsenal left-back Kieran Tierney, who hails from Muirhouse, is in the squad and will be a certain start for Clarke, while Norwich City midfielder Kenny McLean also makes the cut. The Cambuslang man - who was a qualifying hero with a last-gasp winner over Norway in Oslo - is included after a knee injury ruled him out of selection for the delayed Euro 2020 Championships.

And there is a spot for Bellshill's Anthony Ralston. The Celtic defender is set to be involved in his first major tournament and could be thrust into the role of first-choice right-back given the injury woes which have prevented Aaron Hickey and Nathan Patterson being involved in the finals.

Hamilton ace and Bologna midfielder Lewis Ferguson was ruled out last month with an ACL injury.

Clarke will assess his charges over the next weeks and in a friendly away to Gibraltar on June 3 before deciding which two players won't make the cut ahead of the June 7 deadline to submit the final 26-man squad to UEFA.

The Scots will also play Finland in a friendly at Hampden on June 7, allowing the Tartan Army to give the team a big send off before the travel to Germany to take on the hosts in the tournament opener on Friday, June 14 at the Allianz Arena in Munich.

Motherwell goalkeeper Liam Kelly is also in the squad but with four shot-stoppers named in the provisional pool, could be one of those in danger of not landing a place on the plane.

There are a few surprises in there as well with uncapped Liverpool wonderkid Ben Doak called up and Bristol City's Ross McCrorie. There is no place for former Motherwell man Max Johnston, who has just celebrated winning a double with Austrian outfit Sturm Graz and had been tipped to get the call from Clarke.

Speaking at the squad announcement press conference this afternoon, Clarke said: "It gives us a little bit of breathing space and we'll look over them during the camp to see how their fitness is. Two will miss out, which is unfortunate, but such is the life of a head coach.

"There's probably five or six players that we have a little bit of doubt about but, ultimately, there will be two difficult conversations to have.

"We are much more experienced. The group at the delayed Euro 2020 were a wee bit inexperieneced but there are more caps and a better understanding of what to expect from the tournament.

"Good enough to make a bit of history for Scottish football.

"I think they are capable. It is a good group of players and if we play to the best of our abilities we could be the first Scottish team to come out of the group stages and that would be a magnificent achievement. That will be the aim.

"Hopefully, come the end of the summer we are all still smiling."

On the incluson of Doak and McCrorie and how he balances his squad, Clarke added: "Ben's got a lot of talent, he catches your eye. His pace would be something we don't have in abundance so it is something a bit different. It just seemed like the right opportunity to put him in and we'll see how he does.

"I lost my two first-choice right wing backs Aaron and Nathan. Ross had a difficult time when he first went down to Bristol but got back into the team in the second half of the season, so it is a chance to look at him as well and see how he is doing.

"Fergie [Lewis Ferguson] would have been part of the squad so you start thinking about how to balance the squad and get the right people in. The squad isn't all about who plays, sometimes it is about who doesn't play because they can bring the harmony to the group.

"To get the balance right was quite tricky. More than a third have still got games to play this week. There's probably five or six players that we have a little bit of doubt about but, ultimately, there will be two difficult conversations to have.

"I'm really pleased that I can sit here and put out those names out this afternoon because it makes the tournament feel a little bit more real."

The full squad is as follows:

Goalkeepers: Angus Gunn (Norwich City), Zander Clark (Hearts), Craig Gordon (Hearts), Liam Kelly (Motherwell).

Defenders: Andy Robertson (Liverpool), Kieran Tierney (Real Sociedad), Jack Hendry (Al Ettifaq), Ryan Porteous (Watford), Liam Cooper (Leeds United), Scott McKenna (FC Copenhagen), Grant Hanley (Norwich City), Greg Taylor (Celtic), John Souttar (Rangers), Anthony Ralston (Celtic), Ross McCrorie (Bristol City).

Midfielders: Callum McGregor (Celtic), Ryan Christie (Bournemouth), Billy Gilmour (Brighton & Hove Albion), John McGinn (Aston Villa), Kenny McLean (Norwich City), Scott McTominay (Manchester United), Stuart Armstrong (Southampton), Ryan Jack (Rangers).

Forwards: Lyndon Dykes (Queen's Park Rangers), Che Adams (Southampton), Lawrence Shankland (Hearts), Ben Doak (Liverpool), James Forrest (Celtic).

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