Decision time is almost upon Steve Clarke as he looks to name his Scotland squad for Euro 2020 this summer.
Clarke will name his squad on Wednesday, ahead of the tournament getting underway next month, and will have the bulk of his team nailed down.
But he will have a few late calls to make ahead of the announcement, with injuries and lack of game-time potentially ruling out one or two players.
The fact the Scotland boss can name 26 players in his squad will be a boost, though, to some of the fringe players and their hopes of featuring in the tournament.
Here is a run-down of the potential squad for Wednesday.
Even though David Marshall has lost his place in the Derby side in recent weeks, he is firmly entrenched as Clarke’s number one. His heroics in Serbia and consistent performances under Clarke mean he is assured of his place.
Craig Gordon has had a good season at Hearts and is a capable deputy to Marshall, so should also be in the squad.
Rangers’ Jon McLaughin has been Clarke’s third-choice goalkeeper but has barely featured until after the split, when the title was already secured. Those couple of games may well be enough to keep his spot, although Liam Kelly and Craig MacGillvray merit consideration given they have featured regularly for their clubs this season.
Much of these players will be nailed-on, bar a catastrophic late injury. Andy Robertson, Kieran Tierney, Declan Gallagher, Scott McKenna and Stephen O’Donnell are Clarke staples, while Grant Hanley has shaken off injury concerns to get back in the fold.
Liam Palmer has been a Scotland squad regular for a while now and has done little to deserve being dropped. Jack Hendry has rejuvenated his career in Belgium and earned a Scotland recall for the last internationals.
The last call may come down to Andy Considine or Liam Cooper. Considine was the feel-good story after his debut at the age of 33 last autumn and has kept his place in recent squads.
Cooper has missed games for Leeds recently through suspension and was also left out of the squad for the March fixtures. It could well come down to who has been available most often for club and country when Clarke makes his choice.
The area of the field where Scotland and Clarke have an embarrassment of riches. Callum McGregor, Scott McTominay, Stuart Armstrong, John McGinn and Ryan Christie have been key contributors for their clubs this season and played important roles for Scotland in the qualification process.
John Fleck has endured a difficult season at club level with Sheffield United and suffered a back injury on international duty in October, which saw him miss out on the trip to Serbia. He was back in the squad earlier this year and should keep his place.
James Forrest’s return from injury and minutes for Celtic mean he should make the cut and may well be an option for Clarke at right-wing back. Ryan Fraser has impressed in a forward role for Scotland and barring any fitness issues, has to be included.
Injuries to Ryan Jack and Kenny McLean mean there is a big decision to make in midfield. Both have been key contributors under Clarke and will be big misses from the Scotland squad.
It makes one decision easier – playing McTominay in midfield rather than defence – but leaves Clarke looking for another holding midfielder.
Billy Gilmour’s return to the Chelsea team could see him get the nod. He will not be expected to play every game, even though he has shown a compunction for the big occasions during his short career at Stamford Bridge. But he will be an important cog in Scotland’s future and should get some big tournament exposure early.
Backers of Ryan Gauld may well be left disappointed again but his inclusion should not be too far off in the future. His form at Farense cannot continually be ignored.
Che Adams’ declaration for Scotland earlier this year and impressive campaign at Southampton make him a certainty, while Lyndon Dykes has been one of the finds of Clarke’s tenure.
Kevin Nisbet has forced his way into the picture for his role in helping Hibernian finish third in the Premiership, while Callum Paterson is a dependable figure Clarke appears to trust and can fill a multitude of positions.
The final pick of the forwards comes down to one of three men: Lawrence Shankland, Leigh Griffiths and Oli McBurnie.
Shankland has had a solid season at Dundee United but has played just 50 minutes for Scotland since his only start in October 2019. He was left out of the squad in March and could find himself on the outside looking in.
Griffiths’ natural ability will be a selling point for any manager but the question of his sharpness comes into it. The 30-year-old has started just once since January and his only goal came off the bench against Aberdeen.
But if his role is to be an impact player, with Adams, Dykes and Fraser ahead of him in the pecking order, then that might be enough to convince Clarke to take him.
McBurnie is a difficult one. His poor goal return for Scotland is well-documented and has recent off-the-field matters to deal with. The Sheffield United striker has also been sidelined for the last month with a foot injury.
Oli Burke may come into Clarke’s thinking but is another who has had a difficult club campaign at Bramall Lane
Goalkeepers – David Marshall, Craig Gordon, Jon McLaughlin
Defenders – Andy Robertson, Kieran Tierney, Scott McKenna, Declan Gallagher, Grant Hanley, Stephen O’Donnell, Liam Palmer, Jack Hendry, Andy Considine
Midfielders – Callum McGregor, Scott McTominay, Stuart Armstrong, John McGinn, Ryan Christie, John Fleck, Billy Gilmour, James Forrest, Ryan Fraser
Forwards – Che Adams, Lyndon Dykes, Kevin Nisbet, Callum Paterson, Leigh Griffiths