Everton striker Simone back for Wembley visit as local NI stars do battle in cup final

Simone Magill

Q Radio Sport

Northern Ireland manager Kenny Shiels has made a couple of changes to his squad for this month’s FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 qualifiers against England and Austria.

Everton Women striker Simone Magill returns to the fold after being absent for the impressive victories against Luxembourg and Latvia in September due to injury.

And midfielder Joely Andrews is also back after impressing during Glentoran Women’s title run-in. She was not included in the panel last month.

Missing out this time are Cliftonville Ladies forward Caitlin McGuinness and Glentoran Women striker Danielle Maxwell.

Young Cliftonville Ladies defender Toni-Leigh Finnegan is not available due to injury, while still recovering from long term injuries are Rangers Women midfielder Megan Bell and Linfield Ladies pair Ashley Hutton and Abbie Magee.

England and Austria, the first and second seeds in European Qualifying Group D respectively, will be an altogether different proposition than last month’s opponents. 

The Northern Ireland senior women’s team are set to play at Wembley Stadium for the first time on Saturday 23 October. The game against England kicks off in London at 5.15pm.

And then it’s back home for a qualifier against Austria on Tuesday 26 October (7pm start).

England, currently ranked 8th in the world, began their FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 qualification campaign with emphatic wins over North Macedonia at home (8-0) and Luxembourg away (10-0) in September.

Austria, who are 21st in the latest FIFA Coca-Cola global rankings, defeated Latvia 8-1 away and North Macedonia 6-0 at home. 

Simone Magill

Several NI team-mates will go head-to-head in the Women's Irish Cup final on Friday night:

The game is being streamed live - starting on the Irish FA’s YouTube channel and Facebook page at 7.30pm.

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