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Scotland World Cup: Cuthbert must shine, Mitchell absence a shock, Kerr eyes progress

Scotland Women’s coach Shelley Kerr has named a strong-looking squad for this summer’s World Cup in France.

Erin Cuthbert, Caroline Weir, Lee Alexander, Rachel Corsie, Jen Beattie and Kim Little are the standout names on the roster for the upcoming tournament.

Scotland begin their Group D campaign against England on June 9, before facing Japan five days later and Argentina on June 19.

Read on as we look at the key talking points from the squad announcement.

Exciting forward the key to Scotland’s chances

Cuthbert enjoyed an excellent season with Chelsea, helping the club to a Women’s Super League third-place finish and the semi-final of the Champions League.

The former Glasgow City player also played a key role in Scotland’s progression to this summer’s World Cup.

The Irvine-born striker weighed in with four goals during qualification, taking her tally to nine in 29 appearances for the national team.

Teammates Jenna Fife and Joelle Murray recently claimed the 20-year-old has the talent to be the best player in the world and she will certainly need to live up to that tag if Scotland are to shine in France.

Mitchell’s absence a surprise

Emma Mitchell’s omission from the squad is a huge surprise, despite her struggles with injury this season.

She returned to the Arsenal bench in recent weeks and scored a stunning left-foot strike to end Manchester City’s unbeaten campaign last Saturday.

Despite the emergence of Nicola Docherty in recent games, missing a second major tournament will be a major blow to the full-back.

Mitchell missed the 2017 European Championship through injury along with Kim Little, Lizzie Arnot and Jen Beattie. The fact that trio are all included will add to Mitchell’s frustration.

Kerr confident of progress

Scotland have been drawn in a difficult group, with both England and Japan strongly fancied to reach the latter stages of the tournament.

However. Kerr believes Scotland’s squad is a perfect mix of youth and experience and has backed them to make progress in France.

“You can’t just go to a World Cup and say you’re just there to enjoy it,” she said. “There’s absolutely no doubt our priority is getting out of the group stage – we know it’s going to be tough, but that’s the target we’ve set.

“So we need to set aspirational targets and this group of players have shown they can achieve that.”

SCOTLAND SQUAD

Goalkeepers: Lee Alexander (Glasgow City), Jenna Fife (Hibernian), Shannon Lynn (Vittsjo GIK)

Defenders: Chloe Arthur (Birmingham City), Jennifer Beattie (Manchester City), Rachel Corsie (Utah Royals), Nicola Docherty (Glasgow City), Sophie Howard (Reading), Hayley Lauder (Glasgow City), Joelle Murray (Hibernian), Kirsty Smith (Manchester Utd)

Midfielders: Lizzie Arnot (Manchester Utd), Leanne Crichton (Glasgow City), Kim Little (Arsenal), Jo Love (Glasgow City), Christie Murray (Liverpool), Caroline Weir (Manchester City)

Forwards: Fiona Brown (FC Rosengard), Lana Clelland (Fiorentina), Erin Cuthbert (Chelsea), Claire Emslie (Manchester City), Lisa Evans (Arsenal), Jane Ross (West Ham Utd)

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