Stuart Armstrong tests positive for Covid-19; Kieran Tierney, Ryan Christie to self-isolate

Stuart Armstrong, Kieran Tierney and Ryan Christie will miss Scotland’s crucial Euro 2020 play-off semi-final against Israel on Thursday after Armstrong tested positive for coronavirus.

Armstrong is to isolate for 10 days while close contacts Tierney and Christie are required to self-isolate for 14 days from Tuesday, October 6.



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As well as the Israel match, the trio will also be absent for Scotland’s Nations League matches at home to Slovakia and the Czech Republic on October 11 and 14 respectively.

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A Scottish FA statement confirmed Armstrong initially tested negative when arriving for Scotland training on Monday, but then saw a supplementary UEFA test return a positive result on Wednesday morning.

All other members of the squad returned negative results, but Tierney and Christie – plus one physiotherapist and one masseur – were all deemed to have come in close contact with Armstrong.

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The 10-day period of self-isolation for Armstrong means he could return for Southampton in their next Premier League match at Chelsea on October 17.

For Arsenal defender Tierney however, the 14-day self-isolation means he is set to miss their league match at Manchester City on October 17, live on Sky Sports.

Celtic midfielder Christie – who scored in Scotland’s 1-1 draw with Israel in September – is set to miss the Old Firm derby against Rangers, also scheduled for October 17, live on Sky Sports.



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Clarke: Disappointing news ahead of huge match

Steve Clarke said all three clubs have been informed of the results, with the Scotland head coach now having to prepare for a play-off semi-final without three key players.

Armstrong and Christie both started in Scotland’s last match, a 2-1 win in Czech Republic, while Tierney also made that squad on his return from injury.

Clarke said: “While this is obviously disappointing news the most important thing is the health and safety of the individuals involved and the wider group.

“As soon as we were informed of the positive test, the Chief Medical Consultant immediately contacted the Scottish Government’s clinical adviser, who in turn alerted the local Health Protection Team.

“We have informed the respective clubs from whom we have borrowed the players and backroom staff and we now have to prepare for a huge match ahead tomorrow.”



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Scottish FA chief executive Ian Maxwell added: “We were made aware of the positive test this morning and I reiterate Steve’s view that the health and safety of those involved is paramount. We will maintain constant dialogue with Dr John MacLean to ensure that those who are required to self-isolate are given the full support of the Scottish FA in conjunction with their clubs and employers.

“Equally, the protocols and procedures in place are designed to ensure that the remaining members of the squad – who have all returned two rounds of negative tests – can continue to prepare for the forthcoming matches in a safe and secure environment.”

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