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Arsenal (A) Sun 1 Mar 2015, 14:05, Barclays Premier League


Up to 11 Evertonians could be in senior international action over the next fortnight as several national sides begin preparations for the World Cup and others start looking ahead to the Euro 2016 qualifiers which commence next September.

England booked their place in Brazil last month and they commence the build-up to next summer’s tournament with a Wembley double-header against Chile and Germany.

Leighton Baines and Phil Jagielka are in Roy Hodgson’s squad, as is Ross Barkley who will hoping to impress as he bids for a place in the 23-man group that will travel to South America in June.

Belgium are another European outfit going to the World Cup. Romelu Lukaku and Kevin Mirallas are expected to be in coach Marc Wilmots’ squad for the finals, and they warm-up with games against Colombia and Japan in Brussels.

Costa Rica and USA qualified from the CONCACAF zone and both nations ramp-up preparations with friendly action. Bryan Oviedo will make the long flight to Sydney for a game with Australia, but far less travelling is involved for Tim Howard who is set to play against Austria in Vienna and Scotland in Glasgow.

Steven Naismith could face his Everton teammate at Hampden Park for Scotland. The Tartan Army also go head-to-head with Norway in Molde.

Nikica Jelavic will still be hoping to be part of next summer’s World Cup– but Croatia have to overcome Iceland in the play-offs.

The Blues striker is in new boss Niko Kovav's squad, with the first match taking place in Reykjavik and the return leg in Zagreb.

James McCarthy and Seamus Coleman will be watching next summer’s tournament from afar after the Republic of Ireland missed out on qualification. Martin O’Neill was last week appointed their new manager and the Blues duo will be aiming to impress in the friendlies at home to Latvia and away to Poland.

On the Under-21s scene, John Stones is in the England squad that plays Finland and San Marino and Shane Duffy is part of the Republic of Ireland setup to tackle the Faroe Islands and Montenegro.

In the same age group, Apostolos Vellios could play for Greece against Sweden and Poland, while Gerard Deulofeu will be hoping for some minutes for Spain in their matches with Bosnia-Herzegovina and Albania.

Elsewhere, Chris Long is in the England Under-19s squad for the match away in Hungary.

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