Unexpected start for Celtic hero on international duty

By David Walton

June 8, 2022

Celtic defender Anthony Ralston has secured his first start for Scotland against Armenia in the Nations League this evening.

Ralston was left out of the matchday squad for last Wednesday’s World Cup playoff defeat to Ukraine at Hampden. However, Steve Clarke has thrown him in out of nowhere as the Tartan Army kickstart a new campaign.

The full team has been announced on Twitter, with Celtic teammate Callum McGregor also part of the XI:

Ralston’s only appearance for Scotland came in a short cameo against Denmark back in November. Tonight, however, will certainly feel like a debut for him.

The Lennoxtown academy graduate has had a stunning breakthrough season at Celtic Park, sparking a renaissance that saw him go from Parkhead outcast to a double-winner.

David Turnbull is also a part of the squad tonight as he takes his spot on the bench. Greg Taylor, meanwhile, isn’t involved.

Anthony Ralston suddenly has a big night ahead

This always felt like a fixture for fresh starts given the disappointment of last week.

Ralston has been behind the likes of Stephen O’Donnell and Nathan Patterson in the pecking order in recent months. With the latter on the bench, this grants Ralston a massive opportunity to impress Clarke.

The Scotland boss has shown that he’ll stick by those he feels performs on a regular basis for him. A big display from Anthony tonight could seriously kickstart his international career.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Celtic fans will also be hoping to capture a glimpse of Turnbull this evening as he continues to build up the minutes after his return from injury earlier this year.

McGregor, meanwhile, will be looking to add another big contribution to the Scotland cause after netting against Ukraine last week.

But tonight will see the spotlight focused on Ralston. This is the big chance he’s been waiting for.

In other news, Celtic midfielder Matt O’Riley handed class training opportunity with senior Denmark squad