June 23, 2021

Injury forces Russo out of England Women squad

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Manchester United forward Alessia Russo has been forced to pull out of the England Women squad to face Germany due to a thigh injury.

Phil Neville’s side take on Germany in the Brita Arena in Wiesbaden on October 27 for their first match since their disappointing SheBelieves Cup tournament in the USA in March, which saw them lose to hosts USA and Spain but beat Japan.

Russo will be replaced in the 28-player squad by her club team-mate Katie Zelem who, along with Millie Turner, Esme Morgan, Niamh Charles and Ella Toone, has received her second senior call-up after impressing in camp last month, with eight uncapped players in total named in the 28-player squad.

Manchester United Women players Katie Zelem (l) and Alessia Russo
Image: Katie Zelem (l) replaces her Manchester United teammate Alessia Russo in the England squad

Lucy Bronze and Nikita Parris are also included after missing the last international get-together through injury and coronavirus travel restrictions, respectively.

The England players have been assembling at their St George’s Park, where they will play an in-house training game on Friday before the squad travels to Germany.

They will then play 1995 Women’s World Cup winners Norway at Bramall Lane on December 1.

Jill Scott will win her 150th cap in either the Germany match or the friendly against Norway, which completes England’s fixtures for 2020, head coach Neville previously confirmed.

England lost to eventual winners Netherlands in the semi-finals in 2017 2:32
Former England international Sue Smith is encouraged by the FA’s plans to increase quality and access to women’s football across all levels.

Speaking when he initially announced his squad, Neville said: “It’s exciting to be facing top-class opposition again after such a long lay-off since the SheBelieves Cup earlier this year.

“Germany are currently ranked second in the world so there’s no doubt it will be a tough test for us, but a vital one, as we measure our progress against one of the best teams in the world.

“It will give us a clear idea of where we’re at in terms of our squad depth and development as we prepare for the home UEFA EURO in 2022. We want to compete for the highest honours in world football and that means challenging ourselves against the very strongest opposition.

“I was impressed with the performances of a number of younger players who joined our senior squad last month and I look forward to seeing their further integration and development during this camp.

“This is an exciting period for England players of all ages and experience to stake their claim for a place in the squad as we build towards upcoming major tournaments.”

Updated England Women Squad List:

Carly Telford, Ellie Roebuck, Sandy MacIver, Hannah Hampton, Steph Houghton, Abbie McManus, Abbie McManus, Millie Bright, Grace Fisk, Millie Turner, Lucy Bronze, Alex Greenwood, Demi Stokes, Esme Morgan, Niamh Charles, Leah Williamson, Jill Scott, Ella Toone, Keira Walsh, Izzy Christiansen, Katie Zelem, Georgia Stanway, Fran Kirby, Beth Mead, Rachel Daly, Chloe Kelly, , Nikita Parris, Bethany England, Ellen White.