Beth Mead back in England squad for Nations League games

Beth Mead has been recalled to the England squad for the first time in over a year after recovering from an anterior cruciate ligament injury.

Manager Sarina Wiegman named her squad for the Lionesses’ last two games of the Nations League on Tuesday.

Mead missed this year’s Women’s World Cup, where England finished as runners-up to Spain, but has now made her return to club football and made her first start in almost a year in Arsenal’s 3-0 win at Brighton & Hove Albion on Sunday.

“We’ve had phone calls all the time, since September, and October too, because she was training and getting some minutes, but I wanted to see more,” Wiegman told a press conference.

“Her health now is really good, she can just go. We hope she keeps improving, but she showed enough for me to bring her in.”

England plays a must-win game at Wembley Stadium against the Netherlands on December 1. If it has any chance of winning the group and progressing to the Nations League finals, it can secure Team GB qualification for next year’s Olympics.

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England is third in Group 1, three points behind leader the Netherlands. Second placed Belgium is a point ahead of England. England will face Scotland away in its final game on December 5.

Team GB is made up of players from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and as the highest ranked British team, England is the nominated nation to qualify on Britain’s behalf.

This means Scotland may need to lose against England if it is to take part in the Olympics. The Netherlands has a home game with Belgium in its final group game.

Khiara Keating keeps her place in the squad after the 19-year-old keeper earned her first call-up in October ahead of her Manchester City team mate Ellie Roebuck.

“I had to give her (Roebuck) the hard message that we didn’t pick her for now. Of course it’s hard. She needs to work hard and try to find opportunities to play. In the short-term that’s probably not going to happen,” Wiegman said.

England lost their last game, 3-2 in Belgium, but Wiegman won’t let that alter their preparations.

“The last result was not a reflection of us, now we are in a situation where we need wins,” the manager said.

“But our approach will not change, we will refuel, the process we do will not be a lot different. We just need to do better in moments in the game. We just have to be aware on the counter attack too.”

Lionesses’ squad:
Goalkeepers: Mary Earps, Hannah Hampton, Khiara Keating.
Defenders: Millie Bright, Lucy Bronze, Jess Carter, Niamh Charles, Alex Greenwood, Maya Le Tissier; Esme Morgan, Lotte Wubben-Moy.
Midfielders: Grace Clinton, Fran Kirby, Georgia Stanway, Ella Toone, Keira Walsh, Katie Zelem.
Forwards: Rachel Daly, Lauren Hemp, Lauren James, Chloe Kelly, Beth Mead, Alessia Russo.


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