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

Baines To Get England Start

by Daniel Alston @efc_danalston

Leighton Baines looks set to start England's vital World Cup qualifier on Friday evening.

The Blues left-back has been continuously battling with Ashley Cole for the left-back berth, with both men featuring alternately under Roy Hodgson.

But the Chelsea man was ruled out of the clash with Montenegro and Poland, withdrawing from the squad on Monday evening with a rib injury sustained in the Londoners' weekend win over Norwich.

England currently top Group H, but the outcomes of their two fixtures at Wembley - as well as those of second-placed Ukraine - will determine whether or not they will be on a plane to Brazil next summer.

Arsenal's Kieran Gibbs has been called up as cover, but Baines should add to his 19 senior caps alongside Phil Jagielka in the Three Lions defence.

Everton teammate Ross Barkley's impressive debut display last month and continuing Club form means the 19-year-old could also feature in the double-header.

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EvertonLive

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  • Saturday, 18:02

    REACTION: Roberto Martinez said his side paid the price for poor defending following the defeat at St Mary's: evertonfc.com/news/2014/12/2…

  • Saturday, 17:30

    REPORT: An own goal, plus strikes from Pelle and Yoshida resign the Blues to defeat at St Mary's: evertonfc.com/fixtures/2010-…

  • Saturday, 17:20

    Martinez: “We had a good result on Monday and wanted to follow that up. This is a setback and now we need to get ready for Stoke at home.”

  • Saturday, 17:19

    Martinez: “The way we defended balls and crosses into our box was disappointing. It was a day when nothing went in our favour.#EFC#EFC