Lack of Leeds United game-time no barrier as Liam Cooper part of Scotland's Euro 2024 build-up

A lack of game-time with Leeds United has not stopped Liam Cooper being called into the Scotland squad for friendlies against the Netherlands and Northern Ireland.

Even with Pascal Struijk injured, the Whites captain has only made two substitute appearances – both in the 89th minute – in the Championship since New Year's Day, although he did play the whole of home-and-away FA Cup ties against Plymouth Argyle (the latter went to extra time), and the fifth-round tie at Chelsea.

Joe Rodon and Ethan Ampadu have been the regular central-defensive partnership in league football.

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The return of 41-year--old Heart of Midlothian goalkeeper Craig Gordon is the highlight of Steve Clarke's latest squad.

Gordon made his 74th and most recent appearance for his country in November 2022, and is second choice at club level behind fellow Scot Zander Clark since a year out with a double leg break. Gordon has only played three times since, all in the Scottish Cup.

Clark is also in the squad.

Celtic captain Callum McGregor misses out following a recent Achilles problem.

CALL-UP: Leeds United centre-back Liam CooperCALL-UP: Leeds United centre-back Liam Cooper
CALL-UP: Leeds United centre-back Liam Cooper

Leeds will probably be grateful if Cooper is able to get some match-time but the games are important preparations for the European Championship, which Scotland have qualified for.

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They open the tournament against hosts Germany on June 14, and also play Switzerland and Hungary.

SQUAD: Zander Clark, Craig Gordon (both Hearts), Angus Gunn (Norwich), Liam Kelly (Motherwell); Liam Cooper (Leeds), Grant Hanley (Norwich), Jack Hendry (Al-Ettifaq), Scott McKenna (Copenhagen), Nathan Patterson (Everton), Ryan Porteous (Watford), Anthony Ralston (Celtic), Andy Robertson (Liverpool), John Souttar (Rangers), Greg Taylor (Celtic), Kieran Tierney (Real Sociedad); Stuart Armstrong (Southampton), Ryan Christie (Bournemouth), Lewis Ferguson (Bologna), Billy Gilmour (Brighton), John McGinn (Aston Villa), Kenny McLean (Norwich), Scott McTominay (Manchester United); Che Adams (Southampton), Lyndon Dykes (QPR), Lawrence Shankalnd (Hearts).

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