Scotland will be without Kieran Tierney and Scott McKenna against Ukraine


Scotland suffered a savage double blow on Sunday night when Kieran Tierney and Scott McKenna were ruled out of Tuesday night’s crucial Nations League clash with Ukraine.

Already missing Manchester United’s Scott McTominay through suspension, Steve Clarke moved quickly to call in Hearts duo Stephen Kingsley and Barrie McKay ahead of Monday afternoon’s flight to Krakow.

Starters in the 2-1 win over the Republic of Ireland at Hampden, the twin loss of Arsenal’s Tierney and Nottingham Forest central defender McKenna represents a setback to hopes of claiming the single point the Scots need to secure a Euro play-off and promotion to Pool A of the Nations League.

Victim of an innocuous clash with Irish attacker Troy Parrott, Tierney tumbled to the ground holding his head before half-time.

Reluctant to leave the fray on medical advice, concussion protocols forced the full-back return to his club side Arsenal for further assessment.

With no sign of an injury in the drama of a late win over Ireland, the withdrawal of McKenna with a knee strain is more unexpected. Solid in the back-to-back wins over Ukraine and the Irish, the loss of the 25-year-old prompted a call-up for 28-year-old left-sided Hearts defender Stephen Kingsley.

Kingsley and club-mate McKay received their only previous caps in an end-of-season Euro 2016 warm-up against France in June 2016, the game ending in a 3-0 defeat.

Meanwhile, Callum McGregor has urged Scotland to seize the chance of competing with Europe’s elite nations.

Finishing top of League B Group 1 would guarantee Clarke’s side a Euro 2024 play-off spot — as well as the chance of a more favourable draw when the qualifying draw is made in Frankfurt on October 9.

But Celtic skipper McGregor feels that promotion to League A — and the chance to play against nations like Spain, Germany and Belgium — would be a true indicator of the progress the side has made in the past few years.

‘That’s where we want to be,’ he stated. ‘That was the target and goal for us when the Nations League started and we were in Pot C.

‘We wanted to get up the pots and play against better teams and that would ultimately develop the team and make players better.

‘That’s where we want to be and we understand the repercussions of the group and this game on Tuesday night.

‘It’s a big game for us and we have to go and do everything we can to perform.

‘We understand we have got ourselves in a brilliant position now to top the group. Now it’s just about going to try and finish that job.

‘We will try and take the emotion away from it, do everything right and try and top the group.’


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