• January 28, 2023

Steph Houghton missing from 24-player England squad

Steph Houghton has not been involved in Manchester City’s last four games

England will have to do without captain Steph Houghton in April’s friendlies against France and Canada.

The defender was not named to Hege Riise’s 24-player squad after his inclusion an Achilles injury while playing for Manchester City.

Striker Nikita Parris is also unable to join after a string of positive coronavirus cases at her club Lyon.

The football association says the situation is “regularly assessed”.

England will play France on April 9th ​​in Caen before facing Canada on April 13th at Bet365 Stadium in Stoke.

Both games are live on BBC Four, the BBC iPlayer and the BBC Sports website.

Seasoned goalkeepers Carly Telford and Karen Bardsley have been named to the squad, which will meet on April 4th in St. George’s Park.

Uncovered Chelsea defenders Niamh Charles and Manchester United’s Millie Turner have also been included.

“We have such an exciting group of players. Many have tremendous experience in major tournaments and others have proven capable of fighting for England at the highest level,” said Riise.

“This international window will really test our squad against some of the best in the world, which is crucial as we get closer to the Tokyo Olympics.”

Riise worried about France kindly

England interim boss Hege Riise said there were “concerns” about her team’s friendly against France on April 9 following a coronavirus outbreak in the Lyon squad.

Some Lyon players also represent their national team, but the entire squad has since been quarantined and the Champions League game against Paris St-Germain has been postponed.

There are further doubts about England’s Caen friendly as France could also be put on the UK government’s red list for travel.

Talks are expected to continue on Tuesday.

When asked about possible cases among French players, Riise said: “It’s going to be a problem. We still don’t know.

“We don’t want to risk anything but we plan to go to France and play and we haven’t heard anything else.”

Lyon striker Nikita Parris has also been banned from the English squad because of one of two friendly matches the Lionesses will play. The other is in Stoke City against Canada on April 13th.

But Riise said Parris could join the camp “for the last part” and confirmed the squad would not travel to France until the day before the game.

When asked why Parris couldn’t play France in Caen, Riise added: “I don’t know all the details there so I have to withhold my answer.”

Full English squad

Goalkeeper: Karen Bardsley, Sandy MacIver, Ellie Roebuck, and Carly Telford

Defender: Millie Bright, Lucy Bronze, Niamh Charles, Rachel Daly, Alex Greenwood, Demi Stokes, Millie Turner, Leah Williamson and Lotte Wubben-Moy

Midfield player: Fran Kirby, Jordan Nobbs, Jill Scott, Georgia Stanway and Keira Walsh

Forward: Bethany England, Lauren Hemp, Chloe Kelly, Beth Mead, Ella Toone, Ellen White

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