Women's Euros 2022: England name Steph Houghton in provisional squad

Steph Houghton
Houghton has made 129 international appearances for England and Great Britain

Former captain Steph Houghton has been named in England's provisional 28-player squad for the Women's Euros.

The Manchester City defender has not played since January through injury and is yet to feature under Sarina Wiegman.

Chloe Kelly is back after a knee injury while Fran Kirby (illness) and Jill Scott (injury) are also included despite recently being sidelined.

However, Arsenal midfielder Jordan Nobbs is out of the Euros after picking up an injury earlier this month.

The club said: "Jordan Nobbs picked up a low-grade knee ligament strain against Aston Villa which means she is unavailable for selection for the Euros. Arsenal expect her to be fit to start pre-season training as normal."

Everton goalkeeper Sandy MacIver, 23, has been selected for the first time by Dutch coach Wiegman, who took over as Phil Neville's permanent successor last September.

Houghton, 34, has captained England in the last three major tournaments but has handed over the armband to Leah Williamson, who will have Millie Bright and Ellen White as her vice-captains.

Kelly, 24, returned from a lengthy lay-off for Manchester City last month and has not featured in an England squad under Wiegman.

Scott, 35, is on loan at Aston Villa from Manchester City but has not played since making her 162nd international appearance in England's 10-0 win over North Macedonia during last month's Women's World Cup qualifiers.

England players will report to St George's Park twice in June before playing the first of three warm-up games on 16 June against Belgium in Wolverhampton.

The Lionesses then face the Netherlands on 24 June in Leeds and have a training camp in Basel, during which they will play Switzerland on 30 June in Zurich.

Hosts England must submit their final 23-player squad for the Women's Euros on 26 June, before they face Austria in the tournament opener at Manchester United's Old Trafford on 6 July.

"We look forward to welcoming those who have been working individually and with their clubs on their fitness in the past few weeks," said Weigman.

"We are hoping to have them back on the pitch when the series of pre-camps start, so we can see where they are at."

Latest international heartache for Nobbs will come as a blow

Analysis - BBC Sport reporter Emma Sanders

The big news is that Steph Houghton is included despite having Achilles surgery and missing the majority of the season through injury.

Manchester City boss Gareth Taylor said in March a return for the Euros was "going to be tight" but Wiegman is giving Houghton an opportunity to prove her fitness.

The biggest omission is probably Jordan Nobbs, who has struggled for game time with Arsenal this season and picked up an injury in May.

It will come as a blow to the talented midfielder, who had an early exit from the 2015 World Cup, was ruled out of the 2019 World Cup and missed out on Olympic selection in 2020, all because of injury.

And it is of no real surprise that Fran Kirby is included. She has struggled with fatigue and illness in recent weeks and there was concern over her availability, but she returned to Chelsea's squad for the FA Cup final on Sunday.

England provisional squad

Goalkeepers: Mary Earps (Manchester United), Hannah Hampton (Aston Villa), Sandy MacIver (Everton), Ellie Roebuck (Manchester City).

Defenders: Millie Bright, Jess Carter, Niamh Charles (all Chelsea), Lucy Bronze, Alex Greenwood, Steph Houghton, Demi Stokes (all Manchester City), Rachel Daly (Houston Dash), Lotte Wubben-Moy (Arsenal).

Midfielders: Fran Kirby (Chelsea), Jill Scott (Aston Villa, on loan from Manchester City), Lucy Staniforth, Ella Toone, Katie Zelem (all Manchester United), Georgia Stanway (Bayern Munich), Keira Walsh (Manchester City), Leah Williamson (Arsenal).

Forwards: Beth England (Chelsea), Lauren Hemp, Chloe Kelly, Ellen White (all Manchester City), Beth Mead, Nikita Parris (both Arsenal), Alessia Russo (Manchester United).

Around the BBC - SoundsAround the BBC footer - Sounds

Top Stories

Elsewhere on the BBC