Sheffield United striker Oli McBurnie named in Scotland squad

Oliver McBurnie.Oliver McBurnie.
Oliver McBurnie.
SHEFFIELD UNITED striker Oli McBurnie has been named in the Scotland squad for their forthcoming Euro 2020 play-off semi-final against Israel and their UEFA Nations League matches against Slovakia and the Czech Republic.

McBurnie was picked by Scotland manager Steve Clarke ahead of the Tartan Army's games against Israel and the Czechs at the start of September, only to withdraw due to a foot injury.

The subsequent news that the forward - who has endured a difficult start to his international career - came on at half-time in the Blades' pre-season friendly against Derby at Pride Park prompted an angry backlash from some Scottish fans.

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Blades chief Chris Wilder later stated that the decision to play McBurnie was made in consultation with Clarke, with it deemed that the Leeds-born player was not fit enough to feature in successive international matches.

McBurnie went onto post on social media to explain the reasons for his absence and clarify the situation.

Last September, McBurnie was forced to apologise to Clarke and the national squad last September after a clip emerged where he appeared to make derogatory comments about the Scotland set-up.

He claimed that his words were completely taken out of context – but accepted that he was in the wrong even joking about it.

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Meanwhile, McBurnie's team-mates Oli Burke and John Fleck and Leeds United captain Liam Cooper have also been named in the latest Scotland squad.

Sheffield Wednesday defender Liam Palmer and Owls transfer target Callum Paterson are also in the party.

Scotland welcome the Israelis to an empty Hampden on October 8, before a Nations League double-header in Glasgow with Slovakia on October 11 and Czech Republic three days later.

Should Scotland beat Israel - who they drew 1-1 with at Hampden last month - they would face either Norway or Serbia away from home in a one-off game on November 12.

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The winners of that would qualify for next summer's European Championships - with Scotland aiming to end a 23-year run without a major tournament appearance.

Blades trio Enda Stevens, John Egan and David McGoldrick have been named in Republic of Ireland manager Stephen Kenny's 25-man squad for their play-off semi-final against Slovakia in Bratislava on October 8 and the UEFA Nations League games against Wales in Dublin on October 11 and Finland in Helsinki three days later.

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