Italy v Scotland

Hearts full-back Callum Paterson


BBC coverage

How to follow:
Listen on BBC Radio Scotland 810MW/DAB/online; live text commentary on BBC Sport website

Callum Paterson is expected to make his Scotland debut on Sunday evening against Italy in Malta.

The Hearts full-back, 21, is in the senior squad for the first time, along with defender Stephen Kingsley and winger Barrie McKay.

Uncapped goalkeepers Scott Fox and Jack Hamilton are also in the group.

QPR winger Matt Phillips is in line to start for Gordon Strachan’s side, who travel to France for another friendly test next weekend.

For Italy, midfield trio Riccardo Montolivo, Daniele De Rossi and Thiago Motta may be rested because of injury concerns.

Italy coach Antonio Conte, who is to take over at Chelsea, names a 30-man squad and will need to cut that down to 23 for Euro 2016.

The Azzurri will be without midfielders Claudio Marchisio and Marco Verratti for the finals because of injury, while forward Mario Balotelli is not considered after a poor season at AC Milan, on loan from Liverpool.

Italy begin against Belgium at the European Championship on 13 June and also face Republic of Ireland and Sweden in Group E.

Leigh Griffiths scored 40 goals for Celtic last season<!–

Griffiths is one of the Celtic players excused from the end of season trip

Scotland are missing Hull quartet Robert Snodgrass, Shaun Maloney, Andrew Robertson and Allan McGregor and Sheffield Wednesday’s Barry Bannan, who were involved in Saturday’s English Championship play-off final.

Craig Gordon, Kieran Tierney, James Forrest, Leigh Griffiths and captain Scott Brown have been given time off, with Celtic in Champions League qualifying action in mid-July.

Goalkeeper Scott Bain, full-backs Alan Hutton and Lee Wallace and striker Chris Martin withdrew because of injury, while Middlesbrough centre-forward Jordan Rhodes was once again overlooked.

The Scots have beaten Italy just once in their previous 10 encounters – a 1-0 success at Hampden in 1965.

Indeed, only four players have scored for Scotland against the Italians, with Kevin Gallacher grabbing the sole goal away from home.

However, Scotland manager Gordon Strachan has lost only one of his last nine friendlies in charge, with 1-0 wins against Czech Republic and Denmark in March.

Scotland squad

Goalkeepers: Scott Fox (Ross County), Jack Hamilton (Heart of Midlothian), David Marshall (Cardiff City)

Defenders: Christophe Berra (Ipswich Town), Gordon Greer (Brighton and Hove Albion), Grant Hanley (Blackburn Rovers), Russell Martin (Norwich City), Charlie Mulgrew (Celtic), Callum Paterson (Heart of Midlothian)

Midfielders: Ikechi Anya (Watford), Craig Bryson (Derby County), Oliver Burke (Nottingham Forest), Darren Fletcher (West Bromwich Albion), James McArthur (Crystal Palace), John McGinn (Hibernian), Barrie McKay (Rangers), Matt Phillips (Queens Park Rangers), Matt Ritchie (Bournemouth)

Forwards: Steven Fletcher (Marseille), Ross McCormack (Fulham), Steven Naismith (Norwich City)

Italy squad

Goalkeepers: Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus), Federico Marchetti (Lazio), Salvatore Sirigu (Paris Saint-Germain)

Defenders: Davide Astori (Fiorentina), Andrea Barzagli (Juventus), Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus), Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus), Angelo Obinze Ogbonna (West Ham), Daniele Rugani (Juventus)

Midfielders: Marco Benassi (Torino), Federico Bernardeschi (Fiorentina), Giacomo Bonaventura (Milan), Antonio Candreva (Lazio), Matteo Darmian (Manchester United), Daniele De Rossi (Roma), Mattia De Sciglio (Milan), Stephan El Shaarawy (Roma), Alessandro Florenzi (Roma), Emanuele Giaccherini (Bologna), Jorge Luiz Jorginho (Napoli), Riccardo Montolivo (Milan), Thiago Motta (Paris Saint-Germain), Marco Parolo (Lazio), Stefano Sturaro (Juventus), Davide Zappacosta (Torino)

Forwards: Eder (Inter), Ciro Immobile (Torino), Lorenzo Insigne (Napoli), Graziano Pelle (Southampton), Simone Zaza (Juventus)

You must be logged in to post a comment Login