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Stoke City (H) Fri 26 Dec 2014, 15:00, Barclays Premier League

Boss Keeping Fingers Crossed

by Adam Clark @efc_adamclark

Everton boss Roberto Martinez admits he faces an anxious few days with 13 of his first-team players away on international duty.

Phil Jagielka, Leighton Baines and Steven Naismith will all be hoping to be involved in the meeting of England and Scotland at Wembley on Wednesday, while Marouane Fellaini and Kevin Mirallas are with the Belgian squad preparing to host France.

Tim Howard, Seamus Coleman and Nikica Jelavic are also due to turn out for their respective nations and Under-21 action awaits Ross Barkley, John Stones, Luke Garbutt, Shane Duffy and Apostolos Vellios.

Martinez is preparing those players who remain for Saturday's Premier League opener away at Norwich City.

And the Spaniard admits it is a far from ideal having so many big names unavailable.

"It is frustrating," he told evertontv. "You have got players away representing their countries and in a way it is always great to carry the name of Everton in international games. 

"But you are just keeping your fingers crossed that we can get through with no injuries. That is always a bit of an anxious time.

"I try to watch all the games. We follow all of them through reports and, for as many as we can, we try to get the live games.

"We keep a close eye on how the players are used and how well they can get through the games.

"For us it is important to get as much information from the matches as possible."

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