The key questions answered as England Women name first squad since World Cup
England boss Phil Neville has named his first squad since the summer’s fourth-placed finish at the Women’s World Cup in France.
The Lionesses take on Belgium in Leuven on August 29, then face Norway in Bergen five days later.
Here, the PA news agency answers the key questions related to the 24-player squad.
How much change is there from the World Cup squad?
Neville has included 19 members of the 23-player group he selected for the World Cup. One of those who was in France was no longer an option in 32-year-old, 144-cap midfielder Karen Carney, who retired after the 2-1 third-placed play-off defeat against Sweden.
Who else has been left out?
Three other players from the summer’s campaign are missing, all of whom play for Manchester City. Striker Ellen White, the joint top scorer at the tournament with six goals, and goalkeeper Karen Bardsley have been ruled out by injury, and Neville has opted to rest midfielder Jill Scott.
Who has come in?
Another City goalkeeper, twice-capped Ellie Roebuck, is named as a member this time having trained with the squad in France, and there are four players who have been handed their first senior call-ups. The prominent names are Chelsea forward Bethany England and defender Aoife Mannion, who, like White, made a switch to City from Birmingham over the summer. Also promoted to the seniors for the first time are goalkeeper Sandy MacIver, 21, and 20-year-old defender Anna Patten. They play for Clemson University and the University of South Carolina respectively and were both part of the England squad that finished third at the 2018 Under-20 World Cup, along with Roebuck.
Who are the ones to watch?
It will be interesting to see how striker England fares at this level after scoring 22 goals in all competitions for Chelsea last season. Lionesses and City captain Steph Houghton will be looking to bounce back following a World Cup in which she produced some superb defensive work but had a late penalty saved in the 2-1 semi-final loss to the United States. Lyon full-back Lucy Bronze was one of the stars of the tournament, ending up with the Silver Ball.