CELTIC’S in-form right-back Anthony Ralston could be in line for a dramatic World Cup call-up.
Nathan Patterson, his opposite number at Ibrox, scored a goal and set up the second for Che Adams in the 2-0 World Cup qualifier against Moldova last night to secure a play-off place in March in Scotland’s bid to reach the Qatar Finals in a year’s time.
However, the youngster, who was introduced to the top-flight international set-up by Steve Clarke in September, will miss the remaining Group F encounter against Denmark at a sell-out Hampden on Monday evening.
ON STAND-BY…Anthony Ralston has a chance of being given a dramatic World Cup call-up.
Patterson picked up his second booking in the qualifiers and that will automatically keep him out of match against section winners Denmark, who beat the Faroe Islands 3-1 in Copenhagen last night.
Boss Clarke had Motherwell’s Stephen O’Donnell on the substitutes’ bench as cover for the No.2 position. However, there was no other natural replacement for the right-sided defensive slot.
With Patterson sidelined, O’Donnell could step up, but that would leave a place open for back up in case of emergency.
Clarke could switch ex-Celt Jack Hendry to right-back and bring in Scott McKenna to play alongside Liam Cooper in the middle of his rearguard for the final game.
Hearts’ John Souttar answered an SOS during the week when he was summoned to join the squad when Norwich’s Grant Hanley called off through injury.
GOAL-DEN BHOY…Anthony Ralston races away in triumph after opening the scoring against Hibs in the 3-1 triumph at Easter Road last month. Carl Starfelt is equally impressed.
Hoops fans are mystified at the omission of Ralston who has been praised by Ange Postecoglou for his form since the start of the season.
The 22-year-old powerhouse was recently rewarded by the Greek-Australian with a four-year contract extension.
Earlier this month, the Hoops boss was asked about the possibility of the rejuvenated defender getting an international introduction in the near future, as CQN reported.
Postecoglou answered: “I don’t see any reason why not. I think every footballer has that ambition within them.
“In his position, he’s probably the stand-out performer this year in the Premiership, so I’m sure he’s on Steve Clarke’s radar and, at the end of the day, he needs to keep performing so that his form is compelling enough that he gets selected.”
Now Ralston could cap his extraordinary comeback with a call-up for his nation although manager Clarke has not mentioned the possibility as he gears up for the visit of the Danes.