Strachan leaves out McCormack, Rhodes


Strikers Ross McCormack and Jordan Rhodes have been omitted from Gordon Strachan's squad as Scotland prepare for their opening game of the 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign.

McCormack, who joined relegated Aston Villa from Fulham for £12million earlier this month, and Middlesbrough forward Rhodes, rumoured to have cost £9m when he left Blackburn Rovers for the Riverside Stadium in January, were both overlooked.

Other prominent absentees include Hull's Shaun Maloney and Lee Wallace of Rangers.

Strachan must select a new captain for the team's opening game in Group F, away to Malta on September 4, following the retirement of Celtic's Scott Brown from international football.

Hearts goalkeeper Jack Hamilton and Fulham midfielder Kevin McDonald are the only uncapped players in the squad.

Scotland finished fourth in Group D of qualifying for Euro 2016, three points behind Republic of Ireland, who reached the tournament via the play-offs.

Scotland squad in full:

Goalkeepers: Craig Gordon (Celtic), Jack Hamilton (Hearts), David Marshall (Cardiff City).

Defenders: Christophe Berra (Ipswich), Gordon Greer (Blackburn), Grant Hanley (Newcastle), Alan Hutton (Aston Villa), Russell Martin (Norwich), Callum Paterson (Hearts), Andrew Robertson (Hull), Kieran Tierney (Celtic).

Midfielders: Ikechi Anya (Watford), Barry Bannan (Sheffield Wednesday), Oliver Burke (Nottingham Forest), Darren Fletcher (West Bromwich Albion), James Forrest (Celtic), James McArthur (Crystal Palace), Kevin McDonald (Fulham), John McGinn (Hibernian), Barrie McKay (Rangers), James Morrison (West Bromwich Albion), Matt Ritchie (Newcastle United), Robert Snodgrass (Hull City).

Forwards: Steven Fletcher (Sheffield Wednesday), Leigh Griffiths (Celtic), Chris Martin (Derby County), Steven Naismith (Norwich City).