Scotland dealt double injury blow as Ryan Fraser and Grant Hanley are ruled out of all-or-nothing Euro 2020 play-off against Serbia on Thursday
- Ryan Fraser, 26, and Grant Hanley, 28, are both managing hamstring problems
- Scotland will make their first major tournament in 22 years if they beat Serbia
- Steve Clarke’s men reached this stage by beating Israel on penalties last month
Ryan Fraser and Grant Hanley will both miss Scotland’s Euro 2020 do-or-die play-off against Serbia on Thursday due to injury.
Newcastle United winger Fraser is out with a hamstring problem that also saw him miss his club’s 2-0 defeat by Southampton on Friday, while Norwich City central defender Hanley also struggled with a hamstring issue earlier on this season and won’t be risked despite lasting the 90 minutes in a 1-0 home win over Swansea City on Saturday.
‘It’s disappointing,’ said Scotland assistant manager Steven Reid. ‘Grant’s missed a little bit of football and unfortunately won’t be with us, and Ryan, who played really well in the last camp.
Ryan Fraser did not feature in Newcastle’s last game as the Magpies lost 2-0 to Southampton
Grant Hanley is not being risked despite playing in Norwich City’s last seven league matches
‘That is a blow, but we’ve got strength in depth. We’ve obviously got bigger numbers than usual in the squad [due to the Covid-19 situation] and we feel we’ve got a squad capable of competing at our strongest in the Serbia game and then in the two Nations League games after [against Slovakia and Israel].
‘What’s been pleasing in the last couple of camps is that despite the issues and the injuries and the Covid situation, the lads who stepped up were first class.’
Despite the two injuries, Scotland’s squad is still strong and includes a number of Premier League stars including Andy Robertson, Kieran Tierney and John McGinn.
Scotland face Serbia after defeating Israel 5-3 on penalties in a nailbiting contest at Hampden
After finishing third in their Euro 2020 qualifying group behind Belgium and Russia last November, Steve Clarke’s men were pitted against Israel in their first play-off match, winning 5-3 on penalties at Hampden Park last month after a tense 0-0 draw.
They will now face Serbia in the Red Star Stadium knowing they are one game away from a first appearance at a major tournament since the 1998 World Cup in France and a first appearance at a European Championships since 1996.
Serbia reached this stage after defeating Norway 2-1 in their last play-off game as Sergej Milinkovic-Savic’s double proved the difference.
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