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Blues Set For World Cup Qualifiers

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John Stones helped England Under-21s to a 1-0 victory over Moldova in new coach Gareth Southgate’s first match in charge on Thursday evening.

The defender played the full 90 minutes at the Madejski Stadium as a goal from West Bromwich Albion striker Saido Berahino gave the Young Lions the perfect start to their qualifying campaign for the 2015 European Championships.

Gerard Deulofeu was an unused substitute as Spain Under-21s thumped Austria 6-2 in Graz, also in qualifying for the same tournament.

Looking ahead to Friday’s World Cup qualifiers, 11 members of Everton’s first-team squad could be in action for their respective nations.

Phil Jagielka has been named in the England starting XI for the home clash with Moldova at Wembley, while Leighton Baines and Ross Barkley could get the opportunity to feature from the substitutes’ bench.

New signing Romelu Lukaku and Kevin Mirallas are in contention to face their Everton colleague Steven Naismith as Belgian lock horns with Scotland in Glasgow in Group A.

In the same group, Nikica Jelavic could help Croatia keep on the heels of Belgium when they play neighbours Serbia.

Deadline day recruit James McCarthy and full-back Seamus Coleman have both been confirmed as starters in the Republic of Ireland’s home match against Sweden in Group C.

Elsewhere, Tim Howard has flown across the Atlantic to unite with the USA squad for their matches against Costa Rica, meaning he could come face-to-face with the recalled Bryan Oviedo.

Check evertonfc.com later on Friday evening for a full round-up of the above international fixtures.

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