Soccer

Leah Williamson could make England return in Sweden qualifier – Sarina Wiegman

Williamson trained on her own on Tuesday after coming off at half-time of Arsenal’s Conti Cup final win over Chelsea on Sunday.

Leah Williamson is in contention to make her England return on Friday
Leah Williamson during England training Leah Williamson is in contention to make her England return on Friday (Jacob King/PA)

England coach Sarina Wiegman believes Leah Williamson is ready to make her long-awaited return in Friday’s Euro 2025 qualifier against Sweden.

Williamson trained on her own on Tuesday after coming off at half-time of Arsenal’s Conti Cup final win over Chelsea on Sunday.

But she trained with the group on Wednesday and if she makes it through Thursday’s session unscathed she will be in contention to make her first international appearance in 12 months as the Lionesses begin their qualification campaign.

She has not featured for her country since suffering an ACL injury last April, having pulled out of a training squad in March with a hamstring strain.

“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.

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


Leah Williamson captained the Lionesses to glory in Euro 2022
England’s Leah Williamson celebrates Leah Williamson captained the Lionesses to glory in Euro 2022 (Jonathan Brady/PA)

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.

“We have another training session. 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.”

Wiegman was asked for her opinion on Emma Hayes’ confrontation with Gunners counterpart Jonas Eidevall after that final at Molineux.

The Chelsea boss said after the game that male aggression was a problem in the women’s game, but Wiegman did not bite.

“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.”