NEWS PREVIEW

Beth Mead returns to the England squad for the first time in over a year

Beth Mead has been recalled to the England squad for the first time in over a year following her return from an ACL injury.

The UEFA EURO 2022 player of the tournament has been a big miss for the Lionesses, who are playing against the Netherlands at Wembley and Scotland at Hampden Park in their final Nations League fixtures.

Having missed out on this summer's world cup, Mead returned to action for Arsenal last month but has yet to score in her five appearances this season.

After receiving their first call-ups in October, Tottenham's Grace Clinton and Manchester City goalkeeper Khiara Keating also retain their places in the squad.

Speaking about Mead's return to the squad, England manager Serena Wiegman believes it was the right time to recall the Arsenal forward following her recovery from injury.

She said: "It's really nice, she's played minutes, she's in a good place and still building too, but that was a very nice phone call, she was very happy.

"We've had conversations all the time, we had conversations before September camp, and during and in October too because she was already fully training and getting some minutes, but I just wanted to see a little more and that's what we've seen now.

"Her health is really good so she can just go and she's showed of course in games that she's in a good place and we want her to keep growing and improving.

"She's shown enough to me and for my technical staff to bring her in."

England find themselves third in their group and Wiegman knows what's at stake in their final two games of the year.

"We know we'll need to win our last two games of 2023 and we'll give everything we have for that outcome," she added.

"This group have shown resilience and strength of character time and time again, and I have absolutely no doubts we'll be ready to go when the whistle blows for both fixtures.

"We always embrace the opportunity to play at Wembley, it's been home to some of our biggest and happiest occasions. We'll need the crowd to play their part and continue the incredible backing they've shown for the team.

"They've always been there when we need them and we'll need them once again.

"An away fixture against Scotland is also an occasion we'll all look forward but we'll take it one game at a time."


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