Football: Two new caps for Scotland

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BILLY McKINLAY, of Dundee United, and Rob McKinnon, of Motherwell, are two new caps in the Scotland side to play in Malta tonight, a match that could well result in Craig Brown being offered the manager's job on a permanent basis.

The 24-year-old McKinlay has scored nine goals for his club this season, and he is finally winning his first cap after a broken leg kept him out of the game for a year.

Brown is not naming his team in advance, but he confirmed that McKinlay and McKinnon will make their debuts, with Colin Hendry returning to collect a third cap. He has been a long-time fan of McKinlay's direct, elegant play and McKinnon's more robust, aggressive style.

Paul McStay was ruled out after a recurrence of a hamstring injury, and his manager at Celtic, Lou Macari, insisted that his captain returned to Scotland immediately.

Kevin Thomas, of Hearts, scored the goal for Scotland's Under-21 side in their 1-0 victory over Malta in Paola yesterday.

SCOTLAND (probable team v Malta, World Cup Group One, Valletta, tonight): Leighton (Hibernian); McLaren (Hearts), Hendry (Blackburn), Irvine (Aberdeen), Boyd (Celtic), McKinlay (Dundee United), McAllister (Leeds), Durrant (Rangers), McKinnon (Motherwell), Nevin (Tranmere), Gallacher (Blackburn).