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“Houghton just ran out of time” – England boss Wiegman on ex-skipper Euro omission

England’s Lionesses take on Belgium tonight in an international friendly leading up to Euro 2022 that starts in July. Sarina Wiegman’s side will also face the Netherlands and Switzerland this month as they put together their final preparations for the tournament.

Wiegman confirmed her squad for Euro 2022 yesterday with the big headline being the omission of former Lionesses captain Steph Houghton who hasn’t fully recovered from an Achilles injury that saw her only start four games in the WSL this season.

Goalkeeper Sandy MacIver, defender Niamh Charles and midfielders Lucy Staniforth and Katie Zelem were also cut from the provisional squad.

That means Leah Williamson will lead the Lionesses into the tournament and will hope to build on the impressive start England have made under Wiegman. They are 11 games unbeaten since the Dutch manager took charge and head into the tournament as one of the favourites to lift the trophy on home soil.

Follow all the action as England take on Belgium at Molineux:

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Royal well wishes

Earlier this week the Duke of Cambridge, Prince William, visited the Lionesses training camp at St. George’s Park to wish Sarina Wiegman’s squad well ahead of their Euro 2022 campaign.

The Duke then took to Twitter to share his thoughts on the visit writing: “Wishing the very best of luck to the Lionesses ahead of this summer’s UEFA Women’s Euro 2022.

“A major tournament on home soil is an exciting prospect and it’s clear the players are looking forward to the opportunity to show what they can do.

“This squad is already inspiring the next generation of women and girls to play football, reaping the mental and physical benefits of activity. With an exciting summer of football ahead, the whole nation will be cheering you on!”

Michael Jones16 June 2022 18:30

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Wiegman close to knowing best XI

England women’s boss Sarina Wiegman says she is close knowing who makes her strongest starting XI but that these three warm-up games are an opportunity for individuals to stake their case to play.

“This team is really competitive so we have some hard choices to make. That is another reason as to why we play these three games,” she added.

“Players need to keep performing. When you play a really good game now you have opportunities. It’s about knowing where the players are and looking at how we can make other scenarios work.

“We still want to do some things in our style of play. We have different opponents in front of us. Chloe Kelly, for example, has been in the squad for the first time so it is really nice to see what she can bring to the team.

“I don’t want to share all of it but we will take it step by step.”

Michael Jones16 June 2022 18:25

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Euro 2022 warm-up

England have been training at St. George’s Park this month in preparation for their upcoming Euro 2022 campaign and with the tournament being played on home soil the Lionesses will be one of the pre-competition favourites.

Manager Sarina Wiegman hopes to use their upcoming friendlies to perfect their style of play and find a preferred starting XI for the Euros.

The Lionesses kick-off the tournament at Old Trafford against Austria on 6th July.

(PA)

Michael Jones16 June 2022 18:20

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Where the Lionesses come from

Sarina Wiegman’s Euro 2022 squad come from all over England from Lucy Bronze in Northumberland to Alessia Russo in Maidstone.

Is this the group that will lift the Euros trophy for England?

Michael Jones16 June 2022 18:15

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England’s Women’s Euros 2022 squad – full list

Lucy Staniforth, Katie Zelem, Niamh Charles and Sandy MacIver are the others from the provisional 28-strong group omitted by Lionesses boss Sarina Wiegman.

Houghton, England’s captain at their last three major tournaments, has not played since January due to an Achilles issue, for which she underwent surgery in February.

Jill Scott and Fran Kirby are two out of action towards the end of the season to get the nod from Wiegman, who named Leah Williamson as her skipper for the tournament in April.

The news comes on the eve of England’s first of three warm-up matches, against Belgium at Molineux – the team then play Holland at Elland Road and Switzerland in Zurich before opening the tournament by taking on Austria at Old Trafford on 6 July.

Michael Jones16 June 2022 18:10

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England vs Belgium

England host Belgium at Molineux tonight and will look to get back up to match fitness in time for Euro 2022 which starts in July. What will Sarina Wiegman’s starting XI look like this evening?

Will she take the opportunity to look at some players on the fringes or will she pick her strongest line-up and look to fine tune England’s performance?

Michael Jones16 June 2022 18:05

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England kick off final preparations for Euro 2022

England’s Lionesses get the final preparations for Euro 2022 underway with an international friendly against Belgium tonight before two further warm-up games against the Netherlands and Switzerland later this month.

Head coach Sarina Wiegman will be hoping to use these three matches to fine tune her formations and personnel after selecting the 23-player squad for the tournament yesterday. The big headline news is that former Lionesses’ captain Steph Houghton hasn’t made the squad after she failed to fully recover from an Achilles injury.

Goalkeeper Sandy MacIver, defender Niamh Charles and midfielders Lucy Staniforth and Katie Zelem were also cut from the provisional squad.

The Lionesses are 11 games unbeaten under Wiegman and head into the tournament as one of the favourites to lift the trophy on especially with the competition being played on home soil.

Leah Williamson will captain the side but first up are three warm-up matches. Can the Lionesses build some pre-tournament momentum and beat Belgium tonight?

Michael Jones16 June 2022 18:00