Arsenal stars Kim Little and Jennifer Beattie pull out of international duty

Arsenal's Kim Little (centre) in action during the Barclays FA WSL match at Meadow Park, London.

Arsenal's Kim Little (centre) in action during the Barclays FA WSL match at Meadow Park, London. - Credit: PA

Arsenal duo Kim Little and Jennifer Beattie have pulled out of the Scotland squad for the European Championship qualifying games with Albania and Finland.

Little returned to full training last week with the Gunners but missed Sunday’s north London derby clash with Tottenham Hotspur and wasn’t ready to play for Scotland in their two key games.

Beattie played the full ninety minutes for Arsenal in the 6-1 victory over Spurs but pulled out as a precaution due to the Gunners ongoing injury problems.

Zoe Ness, Rachel McLauchlan and Amy Muir have been called up as replacements as Aston Villa’s Chloe Arthur has also had to drop out.

Fellow Arsenal star Lisa Evans also misses out and will hope to return to action against London City Lionesses on Wednesday November 4 in the Continetal Cup.

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The Scots sit second in their group four points behind leaders Finland but have two games in hand over them and face a crunch match in Helsinki on October 27.

Scotland have already been in action this year, beating Northern Ireland, Iceland and Ukraine in the Pinatar Cup as they won the competition in Spain.

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On naming her squad former Arsenal manager Shelly Kerr said: “It feels really good as we’ve not had football to look forward to since the Pinatar Cup back in March.

“We’ve already been to a EURO Finals and we want to reach another,this is another step towards achieving that goal and it’s an exciting time.

“It’s been a difficult time but at the forefront of my mind has been that this is a global pandemic and football is secondary.

“You just need to find a different way of working and engaging with different people. It’s been really good recently for me being able to watch a lot of games recently, especially down south as the players have been involved in some big games that took place in Spain before lockdown.

“It’s exciting that we’ve got the prospect of these two matches. It was the right decision to postpone the September fixtures as the players would have been vulnerable in terms of where they were at physically, with not having played many games.

“We know Albania well and I think they’re getting better and better.

“They’ve got some good individual players. They’ll shoot from distance and try and play a bit too, if we give them time and space they’ll give us problems.

“Finland are very strong and well organised by my old coach Anna Signeul who I’ve got a lot of respect for.

“They’ll be a tough opponent to play against and they’ve proved to be a talented side so far in the group, scoring a late equaliser against Portugal these are the games you want to be involved in.”

Meanwhile Leonie Maier has also pulled out of the Germany squad, Maier had started the gmes against Chelsea in the Continetal Cup and Brighton & Hove Albion and was forced off against the Seagulls with a thigh problem.

That forced her to miss the north London derby and means that she will also be targeting a return after the international break against London City Lionesses.

This means there are nine Arsenal players on international duty in the form of Vivianne Miedema, Danielle van de Donk, Leah Williamson, Beth Mead, Viktoria Schnaderbeck, Manuela Zinsberger and Katie McCabe,Lia Wälti and Malin Gut.

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