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Women's Football News
Wales manager Jarmo Matkainen has named his squad for next month's double header of UEFA Women's Championship qualifying matches.
The first match will be on Saturday 16th June against the Republic of Ireland at Turner's Cross, Cork, with the second against Israel at the GlynDwr University Racecourse Stadium, Wrexham, on Wednesday 20th June.
Republic of Ireland were 2-0 winners when the sides met in their opening group match last September whilst Wales will be looking to complete the double over Israel, having beaten them 2-0 in November with goals from Helen Lander and Sophie Ingle.
Jarmo Matikainen said: "These games will be a real test as all sides are looking to pick up points on the run-in. France are home and dry for the top of the group, but the runners-up spot is still there to play for.
'The timing of the matches is not ideal - we have players involved in the English Super League who are fully match fit, but others who have played in the traditional season who have not had a game in several weeks now. Finding a balance will be difficult.
"Jayne Ludlow, our captain has a calf injury, but I am confident that she will be with us. One of the other key defenders - Kylie Davies of Chelsea - has not been able to force her way into her club side, so has had no football over the last few weeks and that is a real issue."
With reference to the Republic of Ireland match, Jarmo said: "When we played at the start of the tournament in Newport, I thought we had most of the game, but we were punished for two individual errors and lost the game. They are certainly a well organised side and their ranking in Europe reflects that. We will need to be at our best to get a result in Cork.
"I have chosen a large standby squad as we do have a number of players on yellow cards and Loren Dykes is already suspended from the first game. I am happy that we do have enough strength within the squad to be able to cope with the double header.
"This is the way the matches will be played more and more in the future, so we have to be able to manage them and get results."
Wales were last in action back in early April when they were beaten 4-0 by France in front of a crowd of 16,000 in Caen.
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