Defender Steph Houghton and midfielder Fran Kirby have both been included in England’s provisional squad for the 2022 European Women’s Football Championship, although midfielder Jordan Nobbs misses out with a knee injury.

Manchester City’s Houghton and Chelsea’s Kirby have both been absent since February, but both are included by Sarina Wiegman in the 28-player provisional squad for this summer’s European Championship. Houghton has been struggling with an Achilles’ tendon injury, while Kirby has been sidelined with fatigue but she did make the bench for Chelsea’s FA Cup final victory over City on Sunday.

They are joined in the squad by goalkeeper Sandy MacIver, midfielder Lucy Staniforth and forward Chloe Kelly, who have also all been absent, but there is no spot for Nobbs who will miss this summer’s tournament through the knee injury she picked up while on playing for Arsenal against Aston Villa in May.

The 28-strong squad gives Wiegman time to weigh up the final 23-player group ahead of announcing the final group in mid-June.

“The Euros are getting closer, and this is a big step towards the tournament,” Wiegman said. “We have a settled squad and I know we have players in our team that will give everything to make it a summer to remember.

“It is important the players have the chance to get some rest now after a very busy season before we get back to our work. We then have a series of prep camps coming up and it is important we use this time to build an even closer connection on and off the pitch.

“We also look forward to welcoming those who have been working individually and with their clubs on their fitness in the past few weeks. We are hoping to have them back on the pitch when the series of pre-camps start, so we can see where they are at.”

England have three pre-Euro matches against Belgium (June 16), Netherlands (June 24), and Switzerland (June 30) before starting their championship campaign against Austria at Old Trafford on July 6.

England squad:

Goalkeepers: Mary Earps, Hannah Hampton, Sandy MacIver, Ellie Roebuck.

Defenders: Millie Bright, Lucy Bronze, Jess Carter, Niamh Charles, Rachel Daly, Alex Greenwood, Steph Houghton, Demi Stokes, Lotte Wubben-Moy.

Midfielders: Fran Kirby, Jill Scott, Lucy Staniforth, Georgia Stanway, Ella Toone, Keira Walsh, Leah Williamson, Katie Zelem.

Forwards: Beth England, Lauren Hemp, Chloe Kelly, Beth Mead, Nikita Parris, Alessia Russo, Ellen White.



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