Niamh Charles and Beth England drop out of England Women’s squad with Covid | Football News

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Chelsea duo Niamh Charles and Beth England have withdrawn from England duty after testing positive for Covid.

Both players were asymptomatic and did not come into contact with other members of the squad at St George’s Park.

Head coach Sarina Wiegman has opted not to call up any replacements for the World Cup qualifiers against North Macedonia on Friday April 8 and Northern Ireland on Tuesday April 12, with her squad now at 22.

Wiegman’s assistant, Arjan Vurink, has also tested positive for the virus ahead of joining up with the squad.

There is hope the trio will be able to be part of the group for the Northern Ireland fixture, but it will depend on how they test over the coming days.

England’s recall was one of the notable inclusions when Wiegman named her squad last week.

It came on the back of scoring four goals in her last two games for Chelsea, with doubles in both the Women’s FA Cup win over Birmingham and Sunday’s 9-0 thrashing of Leicester, which took the Blues top of the WSL.

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Highlights of the Women’s Super League match between Chelsea and Reading

She followed that up with two more goals in the 5-0 demolition of Reading on Sunday.

The rest of the squad largely resembles the one named for the Arnold Clark Cup in February, with Fran Kirby missing out through injury and Lotte-Wubben Moy, originally included by Wiegman for that competition before dropping out, welcomed back to the fold immediately.

Wiegman: This is ‘more or less’ my Euros group

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England women’s head coach Sarina Wiegman is settled with her squad as they look ahead to this summer’s Euros but says the door is not closed to those still hoping to stake a claim for a place

At a press conference to accompany her squad announcement, Wiegman strongly suggested the list she had picked for the latest World Cup qualifiers would come close to resembling her Euro 2022 squad in June.

That will be her next squad announcement after this double-header, with the possibility of a larger initial group being named before being whittled down to the 23 who will look to lift the trophy on home soil.

She said: “We’ve used a group of around 27 players this season so most likely if they keep performing and stay fit – some others might come back from injury as they’re still recovering – but this will more or less be our group.

“It’s all about staying fit and performing. It doesn’t mean the door is closed for any other player, but if someone was to come in now then we would’ve probably made the wrong decisions earlier.

“The Arnold Clark Cup helped a lot [with my decisions]. We said that was needed so we’ve had qualification games and two more for the World Cup again. We needed those top-level games to see where we really are at and I thought we did well.

“We grew as a team on and off the pitch and it gave me lots of information. I was satisfied with the team and the performances we had.”

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