Scotland v Canada: Celtic's Stuart Armstrong ready for first cap, says Brendan Rodgers
|International friendly: Scotland v Canada|
|Date: Wednesday 22 March Venue: Easter Road, Edinburgh Kick-off: 19:45 GMT|
|Coverage: Listen on BBC Radio Scotland 810MW/DAB/online; live text commentary on BBC Sport website|
Celtic midfielder Stuart Armstrong is ready for a Scotland debut, according to club manager Brendan Rodgers.
The uncapped 24-year-old midfielder scored his 12th goal of the season in Sunday’s 2-1 win away to Dundee.
Asked if Armstrong should be a candidate to face Canada on Wednesday, Rodgers said: “Yes, I think so.
“He has all the tools to play at the top level of international football in a really quick game, so he certainly can go in and play.”
Armstrong, who was a regular with Scotland Under-21s, was last in the senior squad in 2015 but was forced to withdraw before a double-header against Georgia and Germany because of injury.
The former Dundee United midfielder has benefitted from a return to a central midfield role since Rodgers took over at Celtic and has been included in Gordon Strachan’s squad to face Canada ahead of next Sunday’s World Cup qualifier against Slovenia.
“There are obviously good players with Scotland and in that part of the field,” admitted Rodgers.
“The one thing I will say is that I have always believed that international football is about technique, speed, mobility and a tactical awareness – and he has got those elements.
“He has this inbuilt brain to score goals and different types of goals.
“He is a big talent and he is only going one way, which is nice for Celtic and Scotland.”
Armstrong’s chances of playing have been enhanced by injuries to West Brom duo Matt Phillips and James Morrison, but the Celtic midfielder was more reticent about his debut prospects.
“I will hopefully be taking my Celtic form into training,” he said.
“The last time I was called in was a while ago and I had to pull out through injury, which was frustrating.
“It has taken a while to get back in and I am very excited and looking forward to it.
“Playing the Champions League was a great experience and you learn a lot from big occasions like that.
“Every player wants to represent their country and I am sure it will be a special moment if I do pull on the jersey.”
Meanwhile, Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes praised Kenny McLean for following the disappointment of missing out on the Scotland squad with a man-of the-match performance against Hearts on Saturday.
The 25-year-old, who has one Scotland cap, outshone Greece international Alexandros Tziolis in midfield as the Dons won 2-0.
“We spoke about it before the game,” said McInnes. “It was important for Kenny to demonstrate the same level of performance – and certainly the same approach to the game.
“Kenny was playing in a high gear. He was pressing, running beyond the strikers, crossing and shooting. He’s done everything but score.
“He was disappointed, but he’s channelled it in the right way.”