After setting up Luis Palma for Celtic’s winner against St. Mirren on trophy day, right-back Anthony Ralston will have his sights firmly set on this weekend’s Scottish Cup final.

The treble-winner won’t start the game but throughout the season, he has proved a reliable asset who can come off the bench and prove an attacking threat or tighten things up at the back.

He won’t be looking any further ahead than Hampden on Saturday but recent injury news surrounding the Scotland national team has put Ralston in the frame to be the first-choice right-back for his country at the Euros.

Lawrence Shankland
Soccer Football – UEFA Euro 2024 Qualifier – Group A – Georgia v Scotland – Boris Paichadze Dinamo Arena, Tbilisi, Georgia – November 16, 2023 Scotland’s Lawrence Shankland celebrates scoring their second goal with Anthony Ralston REUTERS/Irakli Gedenidze

Yesterday, Steve Clarke’s assistant, John Carver, confirmed to STV Sport that Aaron Hickey and Nathan Patterson won’t make the summer tournament in a colossal boost for the Celt.

Many have mentioned Max Johnston as a potential option to come into the team in the absence of the Premier League duo and while he is a valid shout who will likely make the squad, he has no senior caps.

Steve Clarke is known for going with tried and tested and he named Ralston in his most recent squad in March for friendlies against the Netherlands and Northern Ireland.

The six-time capped defender was the third choice at right-back behind Hickey and Patterson but with them both out now, one assumes the starting berth will be his to lose going into the Euros.

Just a few years ago, Ralston would never have pictured himself to be in the position where he will likely start in the opening game of a major international tournament.

His sharp career turnaround since 2021 has been something to behold, and he deserves enormous credit.


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