Sarina Wiegman’s side go into a Nations League double-header against Belgium with Kirby back and no room for error

The return of Fran Kirby and, hopefully soon, Beth Mead cannot come soon enough for the Lionesses. England suffered their third defeat under Sarina Wiegman in the Netherlands last month and were made to work hard in the preceding 2-1 victory over Scotland. England have been missing players with the creative intelligence of Kirby and Mead. The team are creating openings but struggling to make the right decisions in the final third to make them count. Mead is not in the squad, having only recently made her return for Arsenal, but Kirby is back, as is Keira Walsh, who missed the last camp due to injury. Mead and Kirby have demonstrated exactly what Wiegman’s side have been missing recently, the former in style, providing an assist for Alessia Russo to earn Arsenal a 94th-minute winner against Aston Villa.

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