England Women’s squad named for first two EURO qualifiers

Leah Williamson returns to England squad
Leah Williamson returns to the England squad. (Karl W Newton/SPP)

Sarina Wiegman has named a 23-player England squad to begin EURO qualifying and the defence of their title against Sweden and the Republic of Ireland in April.

Leah Williamson is included, the Arsenal defender will be looking to make her long-awaited return having been forced to withdraw from February’s squad with injury. The squad is largely unchanged from the group who performed impressively beating Austria and Italy in Spain last month. There is no place for Millie Bright who misses out with injury.

The Lionesses face FIFA Women’s World Cup semi-finalists Sweden at Wembley Stadium connected by EE on Friday 5 April (8pm BST), before heading to Dublin to face the Republic of Ireland on Tuesday 9 April (7.30pm BST) at the Aviva Stadium.

England take on Sweden for the first time since an unforgettable 4-0 triumph in the UEFA Women’s EURO 2022 semi-final in Sheffield. Tickets for the game at Wembley Stadium are priced from £5 for concessions and £15 for adults, and are available to purchase from wembley.com/events.

England’s away trip to Dublin to face Republic of Ireland on Tuesday 9 April will be the first time the sides have met in almost four decades with the visitors securing a 1-0 win in the Irish capital at Dalymount Park in 1987.

Wiegman told englandfootball.com: “There’s no time to waste. February’s window showed who we are and where we want to go and we’ll look to continue that momentum from the minute we arrive at St. George’s Park next week.

“We know it’s a challenging group, but it’s really exciting. These are all big games that will test us and that’s the kind of fixtures we want to play in. Every opponent we face is a top nation and we know we have to perform at our best to achieve our goals. We’ll be ready for Sweden at Wembley.”

With tickets still available for the Sweden fixture at Wembley Stadium, Wiegman said the Lionesses fans can once again drive the team on to success.

“Wembley has been the home of some of our biggest moments together and it holds such special memories. It’s no coincidence that we feel inspired when play there. The fans have provided such fantastic support every time and there’s no doubt they can help us again against Sweden.”

France join England, Sweden and the Republic of Ireland in Group A3. In all, 15 nations will be bidding to join hosts Switzerland at UEFA Women’s EURO 2025. The top two nations in the four League A groups will all automatically qualify for the finals, with a further seven places available via the play-offs.

England Squad

Goalkeepers: Mary Earps (Manchester United), Hannah Hampton (Chelsea), Khiara Keating (Manchester City)

Defenders: Lucy Bronze (Barcelona), Jess Carter (Chelsea), Niamh Charles (Chelsea), Alex Greenwood (Manchester City), Esme Morgan (Manchester City), Millie Turner (Manchester United), Leah Williamson (Arsenal), Lotte Wubben-Moy (Arsenal)

Midfielders: Grace Clinton (Tottenham Hotspur, loan from Manchester United), Fran Kirby (Chelsea), Jess Park (Manchester City), Georgia Stanway (Bayern Munich), Ella Toone (Manchester United), Keira Walsh (Barcelona)

Forwards: Rachel Daly (Aston Villa), Lauren Hemp (Manchester City), Lauren James (Chelsea), Chloe Kelly (Manchester City), Beth Mead (Arsenal), Alessia Russo (Arsenal)

England learn group opposition for UEFA Women’s U-17 Euros

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