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Sarina Wiegman says Leah Williamson could make England return against Sweden in Friday's Euro 2025 qualifier

Leah Williamson has not played for the Lionesses for 12 months and missed last summer's World Cup tournament in Australia and New Zealand after suffering an anterior cruciate ligament injury

Leah Williamson has been included in an England Women's squad for the first time since rupturing her ACL
Image: Leah Williamson could be in line for a return against Sweden for Friday's Euro 2025 qualifiers.

England coach Sarina Wiegman says Leah Williamson is in "a good place" and could be ready to make her long-awaited return in Friday's Euro 2025 qualifier against Sweden.

Williamson has not played for England since last year April's 2-0 defeat to Australia. Eight days later the Arsenal defender suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury which ruled her out of the World Cup.

After coming off at half-time in Arsenal's Conti Cup final win over Chelsea, Williamson initially trained on her own on Tuesday, but was back training with the group the following day.

If she makes it through Thursday's session unscathed, she will be in contention to make her first international appearance since her lengthy knee injury, after having pulled out of a training squad in March with a hamstring strain.

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England manager Sarina Wiegman said that she's looking forward to welcoming Leah Williamson back to the Lionesses squad following her return from a hamstring injury.

"We need to manage it a little bit. She had a full training session on Wednesday, she will be on the pitch today (Thursday), so that looks really good," Wiegman said.

"We know where she has come from, she is still building but she is in a good place and she is ready, if she comes through today OK.

"It's just really good that she is back, first of all for herself because she is so excited to come back, that means she is fit. It is good to have a quality player in the squad.

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"We are in a good place already and now we are in an even better place."

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England women's manager Sarina Wiegman speaks positives and negatives around the progress of Leah Williamson and Khiara Keating.

Williamson, who returned to club duty in January, captained the Lionesses to glory in Euro 2022 and Wiegman said she would resume her leadership duties if she was selected at Wembley.

"Leah is our team captain - that will not change, but we want to get through this training session first and then see what
final decision we make tomorrow," the Dutchwoman added.

"If she plays, she would be captain, we just want to get through the training session and see how she is and how the team is. She needs that team environment from where she has come."

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Anton Toloui reacts to Arsenal's Conti Cup victory against Chelsea.

Tempers flared following Arsenal's 1-0 win over their west London opposition Chelsea in the Continental Cup final at Molineux.

Wiegman was asked for her opinion on Emma Hayes' confrontation with Gunners counterpart Jonas Eidevall.

The Chelsea boss said after the game that male aggression was a problem in the women's game, but Wiegman wished not to be drawn into the conversation.

"It was a great final, very competitive, so the emotion builds up," she said.

"I haven't been there in that situation so I really don't want to comment about that one day before the most important game in a couple of months for us."

Women's Euro 2025 qualifiers explained:

Holders England will face Republic of Ireland, Sweden and France in Women Euro 2025 qualifying, with the new-look qualifying campaign, as they begin the defence of their trophy.

Taking inspiration from the Nations League, qualifiers were split into League A, League B and League C, based on their Nations League rankings.

As with a usual Nations League or European Qualifying campaign, each team will play each other twice - once at home and once away - in a table format.

The top two teams from each of the League A groups will automatically qualify for Euro 2025. There will be 16 teams playing at the tournament.

The third and fourth placed teams will then enter the play-offs, alongside teams from League B and C.

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