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Women's World Cup: Injured Mead misses out for England

Beth Mead has missed out on a place in England's World Cup squad as she is still recovering from an anterior cruciate ligament injury.

England manager Sarina Wiegman has named her 23-player squad for this summer's tournament in Australia and New Zealand but there's no place for Arsenal forward Mead, who has not played since November.

WhatWomen's World Cup 2023
WhereAustralia and New Zealand
When20th July - 20th August, 2023
How to watchITV & BBC
OddsUSA 11/4, England 7/2, Spain 6/1, Germany 7/1, France 8/1, Australia 12/1

Chelsea centre-back Millie Bright, who has also been out with a knee injury since March, has made the squad, though, and she will captain the team in the absence of the injured Leah Williamson.

Midfielder Fran Kirby is another player who misses out through injury, but Barcelona defender Lucy Bronze has been included in the squad despite only undergoing knee surgery in April. 

Welcome return for England

There is a return for Tottenham striker Beth England, who has 11 goals for her country and has been in fine form at club level recently, scoring 12 goals in her last 12 Women's Super League games this season.

However, there was disappointment for Manchester United defender Maya Le Tissier, who has only made the stand-by list, alongside uncapped goalkeeper Emily Ramsey and forward Jess Park, while United forward Nikita Parris has been left out completely.

Wiegman admitted the decision to leave Le Tissier out of the 23 was a particularly difficult one. 

She said: "That was a hard call. With all the defenders we had to think about it.

"She just didn't get there. She has had a very good season at Manchester United."

The build-up to the squad announcement was dominated by speculation over who would and wouldn't make Wiegman's final cut with several players carrying injuries.

Timescale too tight for Mead

The Lionesses' boss insisted Mead, who hit six goals to help her country win the Euros on home soil last year, never had a realistic chance of making her list for the World Cup, which starts on 20th July.

Wiegman added: "She's so positive and going well, but the timescale she had we would have taken so many risks to get to the World Cup.

"I'm not willing to take that risk to push her too much and she gets injured again. We need to take care of players."

Greenwood and Daly among experienced stars named

There is a good blend of youth and experience in the squad with Manchester City's Alex Greenwood, who has 74 caps, included alongside the likes of Bayern Munich's Georgia Stanway, who has played 49 times for her country, and the 68-capped Rachel Daly.

Manchester United midfielder Ella Toone, who has scored 16 goals for England, is also, as expected, part of the squad, as are familiar names like Barcelona midfielder Keira Walsh, Manchester City forward Lauren Hemp and Manchester United's Alessio Russo.

However, six players will be getting their first taste of a major international tournament. 

Manchester City midfielder Laura Coombs, her club-mate Esme Morgan, Chelsea duo Lauren James and Niamh Charles, Manchester United's Katie Zelem and Brighton's Katie Robinson have all been included.

The Lionesses' are 7/2 in the To Win Outright market for the World Cup, behind 11/4 favourites USA.

Spain are 6/1 to lift the trophy, Germany are 7/1, France are available at 8/1 and co-hosts Australia are 12/1 shots.

Haiti opener in Group D

Wiegman's side are in Group D and get their campaign under way against Haiti on 22nd July, before further group games follow against Denmark on 28th July and China on 1st August.

England squad in full:

Goalkeepers:
Mary Earps (Manchester United)
Hannah Hampton (Aston Villa)
Ellie Roebuck (Manchester City)

Defenders:
Millie Bright (Chelsea)
Lucy Bronze (Barcelona)
Jess Carter (Chelsea)
Niamh Charles (Chelsea)
Alex Greenwood (Manchester City)
Esme Morgan (Manchester City)
Lotte Wubben-Moy (Arsenal)

Midfielders:
Laura Coombs (Manchester City)
Jordan Nobbs (Aston Villa)
Georgia Stanway (Bayern Munich)
Ella Toone (Manchester United)
Keira Walsh (Barcelona)
Katie Zelem (Manchester United)

Forwards:
Rachel Daly (Aston Villa)
Bethany England (Tottenham Hotspur)
Lauren Hemp (Manchester City)
Lauren James (Chelsea)
Chloe Kelly (Manchester City)
Katie Robinson (Brighton & Hove Albion)
Alessia Russo (Manchester United)

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