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Mead back in England squad after ACL injury

England have received a timely boost for their final Nations League fixtures with Beth Mead returning to the squad for the first time in over a year.

Mead last featured in an England squad in November 2022 but suffered an ACL injury later that month which saw her miss the summer’s World Cup. The Lionesses reached the final without Mead, but with their hopes of topping their Nations League group hanging in the balance, the Arsenal forward’s return is much needed.

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England face the Netherlands on Dec. 1 at Wembley and Scotland on Dec. 5 at Hampden Park, and need to win both matches if they are to top their group. England are the designated team for Team GB’s qualification for the Olympics, and have to reach the final of the Nations League to guarantee qualification to Paris 2024.

England head into this batch of fixtures off the back of a 3-2 defeat to Belgium, a performance which Sarina Wiegman described as “sloppy” and “unnecessary.” It was the first time they have conceded three goals under Wiegman in her 43-match tenure.

Mead’s return will come as a huge boost — not least because she was the top scorer in the Lionesses’ triumphant Euro 2022 campaign. Elsewhere Grace Clinton and Khiara Keating retain their spots in the squad having received their first call ups last time round.

“We know we’ll need to win our last two games of 2023 and we’ll give everything we have for that outcome,” Wiegman said. “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 to, but we’ll take it one game at a time.”

Full 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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