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Celtic star can prove his worth to Scotland’s Euro 2016 cause

| 06.10.2015

His Celtic bias could be pointed to, but Bhoys and Scotland legend Tom Boyd is not alone in believing that Leigh Griffiths can fire his country back into contention for a spot at Euro 2016.

Despite finishing last season with 20 Celtic goals to his name and notching 10 more ahead of Scotland’s crunch Euro 2016 qualifier against Poland, manager Gordon Strachan has overlooked Griffiths.

Other than granting Griffiths a cameo against Georgia, Strachan has stuck almost exclusively with Sunderland striker Steven Fletcher leading the line during qualifying.

Fletcher’s hold-up play is a real strength, but he has only struck twice in eight for the Black Cats this season, while his three qualifying campaign goals all came against a hapless Gibraltar side.

“My liking would be to put Leigh in there (against Poland),” said Boyd. “He’s now first choice at Celtic and rightly so, because of his attitude and the way he’s performed on the field.

“Sticking with things the way they are has not seen us win a game in the last three qualifying games,.

“We want to make sure we get a victory here and I would start Leigh, but managers tend to stick by the players who have done it and it might be sometimes to their cost.”

Obviously the decision to drop Fletcher straight after he has notched in the Premier League won’t be an easy one for Wee Gordon, but that doesn’t mean it’s the wrong decision.

Griffiths has pace, which Strachan’s first-choice man sorely lacks, while the Celtic marksman is seldom off the scoresheet regardless of competition.

His goal and performance against quality opposition such as Fenerbahce a week ago show the 25-year-old is ready to take his chance internationally.

Griffiths is priced as an 11/5 shot to score a goal anytime against the Polish at Hampden Park on Thursday night.

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Christian Crowther

Give Christian a sport with anything remotely spherical in it and he’ll happily while away the hours watching it on the box. However, he’d much prefer writing about, playing or betting on golf, football, cricket, tennis, snooker.... you get the picture.