England Women: Hannah Hampton and Alessia Russo recalled for October World Cup qualifiers

Keira Walsh returns after injury for matches against Northern Ireland and Latvia later this month; Northern Ireland match will be Lionesses' first competitive game at Wembley; Head coach Sarina Wiegman began tenure with two emphatic wins

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England manager Sarina Wiegman says she is looking forward to working with Hannah Hampton, Alessia Russo and Keira Walsh after they were named in the squad to face Northern Ireland and Latvia.

England Women's head coach Sarina Wiegman has recalled Aston Villa goalkeeper Hannah Hampton and Manchester United forward Alessia Russo for their upcoming World Cup qualifiers.

Manchester City midfielder Keira Walsh is also back after injury for the October matches against Northern Ireland and Latvia.

England face Northern Ireland at Wembley - their first competitive match at the stadium - on October 23, before taking on Latvia away three days later.

Manchester City's Keira Walsh greets referee Stacey Pearson before the FA Women's Super League match at the Academy Stadium, Manchester. Picture date: Saturday March 27, 2021.
Image: Manchester City's Keira Walsh is back in the England squad after recovering from injury

Head coach Sarina Wiegman has selected a 24-player group and Russo, who made her sole appearance for the Lionesses to date in March 2020, returns to the squad.

United captain Katie Zelem and Villa goalkeeper Hampton are the two uncapped players to be selected.

While the fit-again Walsh is back after missing last month's 8-0 win over North Macedonia and 10-0 victory against Luxembourg, there is no place in the squad for Jordan Nobbs, who has also recovered from an injury.

England were skippered for the two games in September by Leah Williamson in the absence of the injured Steph Houghton, who remains sidelined along with Lucy Bronze and Ellie Roebuck.

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Wiegman said: "After a wonderful start to our World Cup qualifying campaign last month, we are incredibly excited to play our first competitive fixture at Wembley Stadium.

Steph Houghton has been England captain since being appointed by Mark Sampson in January 2014
Image: Regular England captain Steph Houghton remains absent due to injury

"The incredible atmosphere our supporters generated at St Mary's Stadium for our match against North Macedonia gave our players and staff a tremendous lift, so the prospect of playing in front of thousands of fans at our national stadium later this month will be a special moment.

"Northern Ireland have made strong progress in recent years, qualifying earlier this year for the 2022 home UEFA Women's Euros.

"On top of that, their recent 4-0 victory over Latvia shows the strength of their team and their determination to qualify for the World Cup.

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England manager Sarina Wiegman says her women's squad will talk about the prospect of suffering abuse on social media after Georgia Stanway was targeted following her red card for Manchester City against Manchester United.

"I can't wait to get back together with our squad this weekend. Every player showed great ability and the collective positivity and ambition within the group was fantastic to see.

"We do still have one or two injuries to key players to contend with, but the depth in our squad is very strong. We hope to give our supporters more reasons to celebrate this month as we continue our progress towards qualification."

Sarina Wiegman is concerned about players' workload if a biennial World Cup format is introduced.
Image: England head coach Sarina Wiegman says playing at Wembley will be a 'special moment' for herself and the squad

England squad:

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

Defenders: Millie Bright (Chelsea), Jessica Carter (Chelsea), Niamh Charles (Chelsea), Rachel Daly (Houston Dash), Alex Greenwood (Manchester City), Demi Stokes (Manchester City), Lotte Wubben-Moy (Arsenal)

Midfielders: Jill Scott (Manchester City), Lucy Staniforth (Manchester United), Georgia Stanway (Manchester City), Keira Walsh (Manchester City), Leah Williamson (Arsenal), Katie Zelem (Manchester United)

Forwards: Bethany England (Chelsea), Lauren Hemp (Manchester City), Fran Kirby (Chelsea), Beth Mead (Arsenal), Nikita Parris (Arsenal), Alessia Russo (Manchester United), Ella Toone (Manchester United), Ellen White (Manchester City)

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