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@Everton

Leon Osman has received his first competitive international call up after being named in the England squad for the forthcoming World Cup qualifiers against San Marino and Montenegro.

Leighton Baines is also included in Roy Hodgson’s 26-man group, but Phil Jagielka misses out as he continues his recovery from ankle surgery.

Osman made his long-awaited international debut last November, playing the full 90 minutes in England’s 4-2 friendly defeat to Sweden in Stockholm before being an unused substitute in last month’s home meeting with Brazil. 

Baines has so far earned 14 England caps since debuting in March 2010 against Egypt.

The Three Lions play away at San Marino on Friday 22 March before travelling to Montenegro four days later on Tuesday 26 March.

England beat San Marino 5-0 in the corresponding fixture at Wembley last October and will be expected to record another comfortable victory in Serravalle.

A more difficult task awaits in Podgorica against Montenegro, who are currently two points clear at the top of Group H after winning three and drawing one of their opening four qualifiers.

However, should England emerge victorious from both matches, they would leapfrog Montenegro in the standings.

The group winners qualify automatically for the next summer’s tournament in Brazil, while the nation that finishes in second position will have to earn their place through the play-offs.

Look out on evertonfc.com for news of further international call ups.


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