Leeds United: McCormack in Scotland squad but facing Martin competition

Ross McCormack
Ross McCormack
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ROSS McCORMACK is facing stiff competition from fellow Championship hot-shot Chris Martin to claim a starting spot for Scotland later this month.

The Leeds United captain, who enjoyed a stand-out 2013-14 which saw him plunder 29 goals, has been named in Gordon Strachan’s squad for the friendly clash with Nigeria at Fulham’s Craven Cottage on May 28.

The Glaswegian is now firmly back in Scotland’s plans under Strachan and started the impressive friendly win against Poland in Warsaw in March – his 11th cap for the Tartan Army.

McCormack started alongside first Steven Fletcher and then Steven Naismith, with the Everton striker in the latest squad along with fellow forwards Leigh Griffiths and Derby frontman Martin, who qualifies through his Scottish-born father.

But Martin, who has hit 25 goals this term and struck twice in the Rams’ 6-2 aggregate win over Brighton in the Championship play-off semi-final, has now propelled himself into Strachan’s thoughts and is emerging as a potential rival to McCormack.

The Scots start their Euro 2016 campaign against Germany in Munich’s Allianz Arena in September.

Last autumn, McCormack pulled out of Scotland’s squad ahead of their friendly with Norway on November 19 due to a hamstring injury sustained in the 1-1 draw with USA days four days earlier.

In March of last year, a head injury meant he missed the World Cup qualifying double-header with Serbia and Wales, while illness forced him out of Strachan’s first squad for the friendly with Estonia the previous month.

Meanwhile, loan keeper Jack Butland has missed out in a place in Roy Hodgson’s 23-man World Cup squad.

Fraser Forster and Ben Foster have been named as cover for England number one Joe Hart, with Norwich’s John Ruddy on stand-by.

Former United loanee Ross Barkley and former Leeds midfielder, Horsforth-born James Milner, are both in the party for the finals in Brazil.

Pontus Jansson went close with a first-half header at Sheffield United last time out. PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe

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