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Preview: Lionesses to take on Japan and Norway in Spain later this month.

The Lionesses will travel to Spain for two international friendlies later this month. The squad will travel to the Pinatar Arena football centre in Murcia, southern Spain. Both games will be played at the Pinatar Arena with a capacity of 3,000.

The first of two fixtures will see the European Champions face Japan on the 11th of November (7pm GMT), followed by a meeting with Norway on Tuesday the 15th of November (7pm GMT). Wiegman will hope to keep her unbeaten run going as the team start preparing for the World Cup.

Lionesses manager Sarina Wiegman said, “We are hoping the conditions in Spain will help us to maximise our training as every session counts, along with the matches of course, in helping us to be ready for the World Cup”.

This set of fixtures will top off what has been a historical and hugely successful year for the Lionesses. With the upcoming World Cup next summer, the team’s focus is now fully on preparation for the tournament. England have been placed in group D and will play Denmark, China and the winner of playoff B (either Chile, Senegal or Haiti) in the group stages.

The last time England faced Japan was in March 2020 at the SheBelieves Cup. The match was held in New Jersey and the Lionesses came out 1-0 winners thanks to a goal from newly retired England striker, Ellen White.

The Lionesses then play Norway on the 15th of November which will be a rematch of the Euro Group A fixture. The two sides met only months ago, in which England came out emphatic 8-0 winners. Norway will be hoping to put right their disappointing performance at the Euros.

Euro 2022 player of the tournament, Beth Mead will be hoping for a repeat of the recent fixture in which she scored a hattrick. Mead, who has become a key player in the England side, has had a great start to the season with six leagues goal in six appearances for Arsenal.

Captain Leah Williamson remains side-lined after sustaining a foot injury during an England training in October. Fran Kirby, initially in the squad, has withdrawn as she recovers from a viral infection. Midfielder Jess Park, who is on loan from Everton, replaces her.

There is a welcomed return for key striker, Alessia Russo as she returns to the squad after withdrawing from the last camp through injury. The two friendlies could see first caps being given to Maya Le Tissier and Katie Robinson as they are involved with the team for the first time.

Lauren James keeps her place in the squad after an impressive start to the season with Chelsea and her stand-out debut performance against the Czech Republic. Niamh Charles and Jordan Nobbs return to the England side after missing out on a place last camp. Jordan Nobbs will continue to push for a place at the World Cup after an impressive start to her season with Arsenal.

England Women’s travelling squad:

GOALKEEPERS: Mary Earps, Sandy MacIver, Ellie Roebuck

DEFENDERS: Millie Bright, Lucy Bronze, Niamh Charles, Rachel Daly, Alex Greenwood, Maya Le Tissier, Esme Morgan, Lotte Wubben-Moy

MIDFIELDERS: Fran Kirby (replaced by Jess Park), Jordan Nobbs, Georgia Stanway, Ella Toone, Keira Walsh, Katie Zelem

FORWARDS: Lauren Hemp, Lauren James, Chole Kelly, Beth Mead, Nikita Paris, Alessia Russo, Katie Robinson, Ebony Salmon

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