Leigh Griffiths not in Scotland squad for European Qualifiers

27 August 2019, 11:12 | Updated: 27 August 2019, 12:49

Leigh Griffiths has not been included in Scotland's squad for their European Qualifiers against Russia and Belgium, but there is a recall for Robert Snodgrass.

Griffiths made a return to domestic football for club side Celtic in July, having taken time out of football following a battle with depression, and has scored three goals in eight matches in all competitions this season.

Scotland boss Steve Clarke has named a 24-man squad including West Ham midfielder Snodgrass, who has not featured for the national side since September 2018.

Defenders Grant Hanley and Liam Cooper have also been recalled, but there is no place for Scott McKenna who misses out through injury.

Portsmouth goalkeeper Craig MacGillivray has earned his first call-up, while captain Andy Robertson is back in the side after missing Scotland's 3-0 defeat to Belgium in June.

Asked how close Griffiths was to making the squad, Clarke said: "Close. Leigh has got some fantastic attributes. He has come a long way in a short space of time after a very difficult spell in his life.

"I feel we need to give him a little bit more time to settle into the role again at Celtic.

"A fully fit and firing Leigh Griffiths will always be good for us but at the moment I just feel it is a little too early to push him.

"The decision is my decision. That is what I am paid for."

Scotland sit fourth in Group I after four matches and are still to play Russia twice and favourites Belgium at home.

Watch Scotland vs Russia live on Sky Sports Football on Friday September 6 from 7.30pm.

Scotland squad

Goalkeepers

Craig MacGillivray, David Marshall, Jon McLaughlin

Defenders

Liam Cooper, Grant Hanley, Charlie Mulgrew, Stephen O'Donnell, Liam Palmer, Andy Robertson, Greg Taylor

Midfielders

Stuart Armstrong, Ryan Christie, Ryan Jack, John McGinn, Callum McGregor, Kenny McLean, Scott McTominay, James Forrest, Ryan Fraser

Forwards

Oli McBurnie, Steven Naismith, Matt Phillips, Johnny Russell