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Steph returns for vital double header
 Women's Football England International News - 22 Aug 2018
 
Phil Neville has named an experienced England squad for the final two matches of the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup qualifying campaign.
 
The Lionesses must avoid defeat away at Group 1 leaders Wales on Friday 31st August to keep their hopes of automatic qualification alive.
 
A victory for either side in Newport would take the winners through to the finals while a draw would mean England, a point behind Wales but with a game in hand, could still top the group with a victory in Kazakhstan on Tuesday 4th September.
 
Neville said: "We are looking forward to the Wales game and know we have to be ready for the challenge.
 
"They will be determined to make the most of home advantage and their crowd will be expecting a victory.
 
"Wales are top of the group and deserve total respect.
 
"We will have to be at our very best to get the result we need and no one in our squad is looking beyond this match.
 
"I know my players are up for it and will be fully focused on the job they have to do."
 
Of the 23-player squad, only Gabby George has yet to receive a senior cap, while Neville has welcomed back Manchester United defender Alex Greenwood after suspension ruled her out of the 3-1 win over Russia in June.
 
Jill Scott scored twice that day adding to an early goal by Nikita Parris and both have retained their place in the selection.
 
Captain Steph Houghton also returns to the squad following knee surgery.
 
The Wales and Kazakhstan fixtures will be the first for Neville's new-look backroom staff with the appointment earlier this month of Bev Priestman as assistant coach.
 
The highly regarded Priestman returned to the FA as Neville's number two after a successful spell with Canada and will take her place on the bench alongside assistant coach Geraint Twose and goalkeeping coach Mark Mason.
 
With both Wales and England guaranteed at least second place in Group 1, there is still a potential route to the finals for whoever does not qualify automatically once all matches are concluded.
 
The best four runners-up from all seven groups will go into a play-off competition for the one remaining European place at next summer's finals in France.
 
England squad:
 
NAMECLUBCAPSGOALS
Karen BARDSLEYManchester City730
Mary EARPSVfL Wolfsburg10
Carly TELFORDChelsea120
Millie BRIGHTChelsea221
Lucy BRONZEOlympique Lyonnais586
Rachel DALYHouston Dash81
Gabby GEORGEEverton00
Alex GREENWOODManchester United272
Steph HOUGHTONManchester City9611
Abbie McMANUSManchester City60
Leah WILLIAMSONArsenal10
Izzy CHRISTIANSENOlympique Lyonnais255
Jordan NOBBSArsenal526
Jill SCOTTManchester City13021
Keira WALSHManchester City60
Fara WILLIAMSReading FC Women16840
Toni DUGGANFC Barcelona6020
Fran KIRBYChelsea3110
Melissa LAWLEYManchester City91
Beth MEADArsenal30
Nikita PARRISManchester City239
Jodie TAYLORSeattle Reign3617
Ellen WHITEBirmingham City7426

 

 
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