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Lauren James has ruled out England's Euro 2025 qualifier against France

England have suffered a major injury blow ahead of their Euro 2025 double header against France, with Chelsea striker Lauren James withdrawn.

Sarina Wiegman's side begin a busy qualifying campaign at St James' Park on Friday night but will be without James due to a foot injury. The 22-year-old has been a key player for England over the past 12 months following last summer's World Cup campaign.

Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Jessica Naz, who has been training with the Lionesses as a reserve player, has been promoted to the senior team as a replacement. James will return to Chelsea for further treatment on the problem at the end of the WSL season.

It is the latest injury blow after defenders Niamh Charles and Lotte Wubben-Moy have withdrawn from the squad. Manchester United's Maya Le Tissier was called up as his replacement.

Jessica Naz

Jessica Naz is now part of England's senior team / Nathan Stirk/GettyImages

James' injury could give playing time to Chelsea team-mate Aggie Beever-Jones, who was called up for the first time before four qualifiers this summer.

The replay against France will take place on Tuesday night in Saint-Etienne. After that, England will face Sweden and the Republic of Ireland on July 12 and 16 in Norwich and Gothenburg respectively.

Wiegman's are currently in second place in the group, behind leaders France. A win on Friday night will see them leapfrog their rivals and claim top spot with three games to go.

Under the new Euro qualifying system, which is similar to that of the United Nations, England will need to finish first or second in their group to book a place at next summer's tournament in Switzerland. Third or fourth would mean two rounds of play-offs for you to intervene.


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