Forrest in, Tierney out for Scotland? The fans speak

Public Scotland line-up

Nations League, League C, Group 1: Israel v Scotland
Venue: Sammy Ofer Stadium, Haifa Date: Thursday, 11 October Kick-off: 19:45 BST
Coverage: Listen on BBC Radio Scotland 810MW/DAB/online; live text commentary on BBC Sport website

In-form James Forrest makes it into Scotland’s starting XI, but Celtic team-mate Kieran Tierney doesn’t for Thursday’s match against Israel.

We don’t yet know whether that will be Alex McLeish’s choice. This is the team based on 14,000 respondents to BBC Scotland’s squad selector.

The Scotland head coach has admitted that Forrest’s four goals against St Johnstone could force a rethink.

“We can mix up the system,” he said ahead of the Nations League game.

McLeish has favoured a 3-5-2 system since taking over from Gordon Strachan and Forrest was on the bench for the opening group win over Albania.

“I didn’t say he wouldn’t fit my system as he has played wing-back for Celtic – but I don’t think it’s his favourite position,” he said responding to questions about the winger’s “dynamic” display at McDiarmid Park.

  • Which Scot makes Gullit’s All-Time XI[1]
  • McLeish seeks ‘rhythm and continuity’[2]
  • Naismith targets ‘dream double’[3]

“We have to adjust sometimes. We adjusted in the Hungary game and James could have had a hat-trick that night playing beside Matt Phillips.”

Forrest’s chances of starting have been enhanced after fellow winger Ryan Fraser, who has also been in form for Bournemouth and played at wing back in the friendly defeat by Belgium, failed a fitness test.

“I’ve spoken about Ryan Fraser and I thank him for the commitment he made in coming up,” McLeish said.

“It’s just unfortunate we didn’t get him fit. Forrest scored four at the weekend and he will be in big confidence.”

McKenna in for Souttar

McLeish has been tweaking his formation to make sure Tierney and Andy Robertson are both squeezed into his starting line-up and the Celtic man played in a three-man central defence against Albania.

However, the Liverpool man wins the public vote for the left-back slot in what turns out to be a traditional 4-4-2 formation.

And, with Scott McKenna back from injury, the Aberdeen man received the fans’ backing to partner Charlie Mulgrew in central defence.

That also means no place for Hearts’ John Souttar, while Tierney paid somewhat for receiving votes in several different positions and Kilmarnock’s Stephen O’Donnell was top choice at right-back.

With Forrest on one wing, Celtic team-mate Callum McGregor is pushed out wide on the other to make way for Aston Villa’s John McGinn and Southampton’s Stuart Armstong in central midfield.

Hearts’ Steven Naismith and Sporting Kansas City’s Johnny Russell get the nod up front, with Swansea City’s Oliver McBurnie also paying for receiving votes in several positions.

Rangers goalkeeper Allan McGregor is chosen ahead of Celtic rival Craig Gordon.

You still have time to select your own Scotland team…

My Scotland team to face Israel

References

  1. ^ Which Scot makes Gullit’s All-Time XI (www.bbc.co.uk)
  2. ^ McLeish seeks ‘rhythm and continuity’ (www.bbc.co.uk)
  3. ^ Naismith targets ‘dream double’ (www.bbc.co.uk)

BBC Sport – Scottish

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