The Lionesses begin their Euro 2022 campaign in less than a month as head coach Sarina Wiegman prepares to name her final squad for the tournament at 5pm on Wednesday.
Wiegman named her initial 28-player squad in May and will now cut the squad down to 23 with some of the players in question including ex-skipper Steph Houghton, Fran Kirby, Chloe Kelly and Nikita Parris.
England kick off their campaign against Austria at Old Trafford next month, but with still so many injury and fitness concerns the composition of the squad remains unclear.
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Firstly Steph Houghton, who has only been able to string together five Women’s Super League appearances all season for Manchester City, is a doubt due to her recovery from a serious achilles problem.
She has not played a match since January but has prioritised working on her fitness at St George’s Park instead of going on holiday before the Euros commences, like the rest of the squad have done.
Her England team-mate Lucy Bronze says that she has faith in Houghton finding full fitness for the tournament.
Bronze told Sky Sports: “If there's one person you'd put money on being in the best shape possible it's Steph.
“I completely understand why Sarina wants to bring her in to give her a chance. I know people say she's been injured a lot this season but anyone that's played with or against Steph, knows what she can bring on and off the pitch.
"She's not the captain but she's still a leader. The team knows that and respects that, Sarina respects that and she's got as good a chance as anyone at being picked in the squad.”
Houghton is also confident within herself that she will be able to play, telling Sky Sports: “It's been a tough journey having the surgery, but I've worked really hard to get myself in this position and I'm taking it day-by-day. I'm excited to get back on the pitch and back to my best."
Another fitness concern for the Lionesses ahead of the squad announcement is the sharpness of Chelsea and England regular, Fran Kirby.
The forward has battled with an illness since February and hasn’t played any football since then.

Fran Kirby

Image credit: Getty Images

It could be a gamble for Wiegman to include a player that has such little match fitness, despite Kirby’s undoubted quality in the final third. England have arranged three friendlies to ensure their players are all up to the required intensity before the Euros starts.
Manchester City forward Lauren Hemp meanwhile has urged her fellow players to be excited ahead of the squad announcement.
She said to the Guardian: “We spend so much time sort of thinking about what’s next that you don’t really embrace what you’re in now.
“It’s important to just embrace the journey and enjoy it while it lasts. We’ve got a very competitive team and we’re all kind of nervous. We’re all really excited for this week."
Another question mark surrounds Parris. The Arsenal forward has only scored one goal all season and with the form of Lauren Hemp and Alessia Russo, Parris may find herself as the one to miss out.
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