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Beth Mead returns to England squad after ACL injury

Arsenal forward Beth Mead has been recalled to the England squad for decisive Women’s Nations League matches after a year out with a serious knee injury.

Sarina Wiegman’s side host the Netherlands at Wembley on December 1 before taking on Scotland at Hampden Park four days later.

Mead, who won the Golden Boot in England’s victorious Euro 2022 campaign, suffered an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury last November.

England are currently third in Group A1 of the Nations League, three points behind leaders the Netherlands and a point behind Belgium.

Scotland are bottom of the table with one point.

The Lionesses, who are trying to secure a place at the 2024 Paris Olympics on behalf of Great Britain, must win their group if they are to have any chance of qualifying for the Games.

Wiegman, whose team were beaten finalists at this year’s Women’s World Cup, knows what is at stake.

“We know we’ll need to win our last two games of 2023 and we’ll give everything we have for that outcome,” said the former Netherlands coach.

“This group have shown resilience and strength of character time and time again, and I have absolutely no doubts we’ll be ready to go when the whistle blows for both fixtures.

“We always embrace the opportunity to play at Wembley. It’s been home to some of our biggest and happiest occasions. We’ll need the crowd to play their part and continue the incredible backing they’ve shown for the team.”

Tottenham midfielder Grace Clinton and Manchester City goalkeeper Khiara Keating also retain their places in the squad after receiving their first senior call-ups in October.

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