Scotland head coach Anna Signeul names her Cyprus Cup squad

Ahead of the Cyprus Cup, Signeul has named her squad as she continues to experiment ahead of the 2017 Euros.

Scotland head coach Anna Signeul names her Cyprus Cup squad
Photo: VI-Images/Getty Images

As Scotland approach their debut tournament this summer, it seems that Anna Signeul is settling on a 4-4-1-1 formation, although there is a possibility the Cyprus Cup will see some experimentation with this shape.

Goalkeeper situation

Scotland's captain Gemma Fay misses out, as expected, as she recovers from the injury she picked up in the recent friendly against Denmark

Signeul has called up her regular second-choice keeper Shannon Lynn, and she is likely to start the Euros as the 'official back-up keeper' to Fay.

But, Fay's Glasgow City team-mate Lee Alexander has also been called up. If she plays any of the games at the Cyprus Cup, this will be her making her international debut. Alexander has recently re-joined Glasgow City after a season with Mallbackens.

Glasgow City's Lee Alexander (l) could make her Scotland debut

Defenders

Hibernian's captain Joelle Murray returns to the Scotland squad after missing the Denmark games through injury.

With Scotland bringing four centre-backs (Ifeoma Dieke, Jennifer Beattie, Joelle Murray and Rachel Corsie), and just two full-backs in Frankie Brown and Emma Mitchell - it implies that Glasgow City's Hayley Lauder and Leanne Ross will play as full-backs at some point, as well as in more attacking positions.

Midfielders

Erin Cuthbert will look to continue her highly impressive start to her international career to try and continue to impress Signeul in the 4-4-1-1 formation. One, or all of, Bayern's Lisa Evans, Eskilstuna United's Fiona Brown and Doncaster Rovers Belles' Christie Murray will probably be played in this position.

Signeul has the opportunity to experiment with the options in the centre of midfield. The only question (assuming the 4-4-1-1 formation is kept) is who will partner Kim Little. If the Euros were starting tomorrow, I'd suggest that Liverpool's Caroline Weir would start. Signeul has spoken before about her praise for how Weir has improved since her move to the Merseyside club, and her set-piece and passing ability is a huge asset. 

But challenging Weir is Notts County's Leanne Crichton, Glasgow City's Jo Love and possibly Christie Murray.

Attacking options

Who plays on the wings is possibly the most interesting question. Fiona Brown and Hibernian's Lizzie Arnot will bring pace and direct attacking play, but probably the players who start in pole position would be Lisa Evans and Hayley Lauder. 

However, Evans and Lauder can play in several positions. For example, Lauder ended last season playing as an attacking midfielder for Glasgow City. Evans has played recently for Scotland as the main striker, a position that Fiona Brown can also play in. Leanne Ross and her Glasgow City team-mate Jo Love can also play on the wing.

The likelihood is that Signeul will take the Cyprus Cup as an opportunity to experiment with the aforementioned players in the different positions within that formation.

Jane Ross could reach two impressive landmarks in Cyprus. She is currently sitting on 98 caps, and therefore only needs to make two appearances to bring up a century of caps. And, the Manchester City striker is also on 47 goals.

Lana Clelland, who is topping the scoring charts in Italy with her club UPC Tavagnacco will also be looking to impress.

The tournament has become an integral part of Scotland's international calendar with last year's controversial absence the only time they've not taken part in the past decade.

To date, Scotland's best finish has been fourth – which they achieved in 2011 and 2014, with Scotland famously beating England in 2011.

Full squad

Goalkeepers: Lee Alexander (Glasgow City), Shannon Lynn (Vittsjo GIK) 19 caps

Defenders: Jennifer Beattie (Manchester City), Frankie Brown (Bristol City), Rachel Corsie (Seattle Reign), Ifeoma Dieke (Vittsjo GIK), Emma Mitchell (Arsenal), Joelle Murray (Hibernian)

Midfielders: Leanne Crichton (Notts County), Erin Cuthbert (Chelsea), Lisa Evans (Bayern München), Hayley Lauder (Glasgow City), Kim Little (Arsenal), Joanne Love (Glasgow City), Christie Murray (Doncaster Rovers Belles), Leanne Ross (Glasgow City), Caroline Weir (Liverpool)

Forwards: Lizzie Arnot (Hibernian), Fiona Brown (Eskilstuna United), Lana Clelland (UPC Tavagnacco),
Jane Ross (Manchester City)

Scotland's Cyprus Cup schedule 

Scotland v New Zealand, Group B
Wednesday 1 March 2017, kick-off 2.30pm (12.30pm UK time)

Scotland v Korea Republic, Group B
Friday 3 March 2017, kick-off 5.30pm (3.30pm UK time)

Scotland v Austria, Group B
Monday 6 March 2017, kick-off 5.30pm (3.30pm UK time) 

Placing match
Wednesday 8 March 2017, kick-off TBC