Kim Little, Jen Beattie & Lisa Evans return for crucial Scotland qualifiers

Kim Little, Jen Beattie & Lisa Evans return for crucial Scotland qualifiers

‘One of the strongest squads we’ve picked’ – Kerr pleased with group for key games

The return of experienced Arsenal trio Kim Little, Jen Beattie, and Lisa Evans will “count for a lot” in upcoming European Championship qualifiers, says Scotland head coach Shelley Kerr.

All three missed the 3-0 win against Albania and 1-0 loss to Finland last month through injury.

Scotland face Portugal in Lisbon on 27 November, before hosting Finland four days later.

“It’s one of the strongest squads that we’ve picked,” Kerr said.

“It’s brilliant to have some of the experienced players back that missed out the last time.

“The last double header we missed out on about 400 caps with the players we had missing, that’s not an excuse, but it does count for a lot.

“Kim, Jennifer and Lisa are big characters and they’ve been over the course as well. So having those three back in particular is massive for us.”

Little played 90 minutes as Arsenal drew 1-1 with Chelsea in the Women’s Super League at the weekend, while Evans was an unused substitute, and Beattie did not feature.

Aston Villa midfielder Chloe Arthur also returns to the 27-strong squad, and Rosengard’s Fiona Brown is back after a long-term injury sustained after the World Cup last year.

Rangers forward Zoe Ness retains her place having been called up as an injury replacement last month.

Aiming to qualify for a third major tournament in a row, Kerr’s side sit third in Group E on nine points from four games, behind both upcoming opponents, with Anna Signeul’s Finland top on 13 from five matches and Portugal three points behind.

The group winners and three best runners-up qualify directly for the rescheduled Euro 2021 finals in England in 2022, while the six further second-placed teams advance to play-offs.

“The whole euphoria around the men qualifying on Thursday gives the country a massive boost, and we now want to go and emulate that,” Kerr added.

“I know when Steve [Clarke] first came into the role he was blown away by what the women’s team had done.

“Now it’s our turn to look to the men’s team to see how they’ve qualified and maybe get some little secrets from him on how they’ve done it.”

Scotland squad

Goalkeepers: Lee Alexander (Glasgow City); Jenna Fife (Rangers); Shannon Lynn (Vittsjö GIK)

Defenders: Jen Beattie (Arsenal); Rachael Boyle (Hibernian); Rachel Corsie (Birmingham City); Nicola Docherty (Rangers); Hannah Godfrey (Tottenham Hotspur Women); Sophie Howard (Leicester City); Emma Mitchell (Reading FC); Kirsty Smith (Manchester United)

Midfielders: Chloe Arthur (Aston Villa); Leanne Crichton (Glasgow City); Lisa Evans (Arsenal); Lucy Graham (Everton); Sam Kerr (Glasgow City); Kim Little (Arsenal); Christie Murray (Birmingham City); Caroline Weir (Manchester City)

Forwards: Lizzie Arnot (Rangers); Fiona Brown (Rosengard); Erin Cuthbert (Chelsea); Claire Emslie (Everton); Kirsty Hanson (Manchester United); Zoe Ness (Rangers); Jane Ross (Manchester United); Martha Thomas (West Ham United)

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