Why Scott McTominay has withdrawn from the Scottish team

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Manchester United midfielder Scott McTominay has withdrawn from the Scottish squad ahead of his country’s last World Cup qualifier against Denmark on Monday night.

McTominay missed Scotland’s 2-0 victory against Moldova on Friday due to illness and has not recovered in time to play any role against Denmark at Hampden Park.

“Scott has not recovered enough from his virus,” was manager Steve Clarke’s assessment.

Fortunately for Scotland, the loss of a key player will not affect their attempt to qualify for a World Cup for the first time since 1998. Although it is not possible to capture Denmark, who were the first European nation to book a place in Qatar next winter, they are already sure of a play-off place and will compete for one of the last three UEFA places at the second round mini-tournament in March.

McTominay is replaced in the squad by 22-year-old Hibernian defender Ryan Porteous without a race.

McTominay, who has been a regular in Scotland since 2018, has already missed football this season due to a pre-season groin injury that required surgery. He has started nine of United’s last 11 games in all competitions and it makes sense for him not to push himself.

United staff will hope McTominay has recovered in time to face Watford at Vicarage Road on Saturday, with the club desperate for Premier League points following a terrible run recently.

The 24-year-old has been a key player for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and the United manager will rely on great performances from a number of players against the Hornets.

United have lost four of their last six Premier League matches and taken four points from 18 possible in that time. They have also struggled to get results in the Champions League, have been knocked out of the Carabao Cup and have undoubtedly not given a good all-round performance since the start of the Premier League season against Leeds well back in August.

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