England women: Jordan Nobbs returns for Brazil and Portugal friendlies

Jordan Nobbs of Arsenal
Jordan Nobbs returned to action for Arsenal in September after being injured in November 2018

Midfielder Jordan Nobbs is back in the England women squad for the friendlies against Brazil and Portugal after returning from a serious knee injury.

Arsenal's Nobbs ruptured her anterior cruciate ligament in November, ruling her out of the summer's World Cup.

Manchester City's Jill Scott, Chelsea striker Fran Kirby and Lyon's Alex Greenwood are in Phil Neville's squad.

City defender Aoife Mannion could get her first cap, while Atletico Madrid's Toni Duggan is a notable absentee.

The 28-year-old striker has recently been sidelined by injury.

Nobbs was delighted the Brazil game will be played at Middlesbrough's Riverside Stadium, at the club she first joined as a youngster aiming to make her breakthrough in the game.

"It's pretty special that the first game is in the North East," she said.

"I don't know what my game time will be, but right now I want to be back in that squad, training well and if I get a chance to be on the pitch with that England shirt, that'll be a privileged moment for me.

"My first step is going and just making sure that I keep my head down and keep working hard."

Lionesses head coach Neville, who guided England to fourth at the World Cup in France, admitted that his team had been suffering from a World Cup "hangover" in the draw with Belgium last month and the defeat by Norway.

But he said the return of Nobbs, who has made four Arsenal appearances this season, and other senior players would help the team improve for the coming friendlies.

He said: "To get Jordan back is really exciting. Her mentality has been great. From the moment she was diagnosed, her focus was to get back into that England shirt as soon as possible.

"Her enthusiasm and the performances she has had so far this season - that player we have become accustomed to and we missed at the World Cup has got back up to speed incredibly."

The Football Association says 23,000 tickets have been sold for the match against Brazil in Middlesbrough on Saturday, 5 October, with the fixture in Portugal three days later.

"It will be great to be back in front of our fans again after two away matches," Neville added.

"I know playing in Middlesbrough will mean passionate support and the big crowd we're expecting shows just how much the team connected with the public in the summer."

Full 20-player squad

Goalkeepers: Mary Earps, Ellie Roebuck, Carly Telford.

Defenders: Alex Greenwood, Millie Bright, Lucy Bronze, Steph Houghton, Aoife Mannion, Abbie McManus, Demi Stokes.

Midfielders: Beth England, Beth Mead, Jordan Nobbs, Jill Scott, Keira Walsh, Leah Williamson, Jodie Taylor.

Forwards: Rachel Daly, Fran Kirby, Nikita Parris.

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