By Alan Potts:
Scotland boss Craig Levein has revealed Blackpool midfielder Matt Phillips will start the friendly against the USA in Florida on May 26th.
The on-form frontman had been due to make his debut in the friendly against Slovenia back in February but injury ruled him out, and Levein admits he can’t wait to see the Seasiders’ star man in the dark blue of Scotland.
Speaking at his press conference today he said: “Matt will play in the match. I had hoped to start him in Slovenia but because of his injury he missed that one.
“As long as he gets through the play-off final then he will start the game in the US. I am very excited about his qualities as a player and I am itching to see him play for Scotland.”
The Scotland boss picked a familiar looking 22-man squad for the trip to Florida and he defended his decision to include only one debutant – Dundee United’s Johnny Russell – in his pool.
“I don’t think he will play any part in the match but I think he will get a lot from the experience of being in the senior squad.”
Levein also spoke highly of the Wigan trio of Shaun Maloney, Gary Caldwell and James McArthur and he believes the former Celtic player had a huge part to play as Roberto Martinez side secured their Premiership hopes for another season.
He said: “Shaun is on fire at the moment and it is no coincidence that the upturn in the fortunes of Wigan have coincided with him coming back into the team.
“All three of the Wigan lads are bang in form and showing some excellent fighting qualities and we will need that in the US.”
Goalkeepers: Allan McGregor, Craig Gordon, Matt Gilks
Defenders: Phil Bardsley, Christophe Berra, Gary Caldwell, Russell Martin, Charlie Mulgrew, Lee Wallace, Andy Webster, Steven Whittaker
Midfielders: Barry Bannan, Scott Brown, Craig Bryson, Don Cowie, James McArthur, Shaun Maloney, Matt Phillips
Strikers: David Goodwillie, Craig Mackail-Smith, Kenny Miller, Johnny Russell.