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Barkley and Baines Get England Call Up

Paul Thomas

Despite being half-fit, Everton midfielder Ross Barkley has been called up by Roy Hodgson for England's friendly against Denmark on March 5th. Joining him on the trip will be Leighton Baines while Phil Jagielka will miss the trip due to another injury, this time to his hamstring.

For Barkley this will be an opportunity to earn his 4th England cap. The youngster has turned his fantastic season at Everton into several appearances for the national team, and he is certainly in contention for a spot on England's squad in Brazil.

Baines will be looking to get the start from Hodgson, but the appearance of Ashley Cole on the squad list could mean that Baines will be sitting on the bench.

It might be best for both players to sit this one out though. Barkley hasn't looked fully fit since returning from his broken toe, and while Baines is a workhorse, getting a rest from a meaningless midweek friendly isn't a bad thing. Evertonians will not be upset if both players stay on the bench for this one.

One name that surprised Evertonians from its absence is Gareth Barry. The midfielder has enjoyed a fantastic season for Everton and seemed to be an obvious fringe candidate for Hodgson to take a look at. Either Hodgson has no plans for Barry in Brazil, or he feels like he won't learn anything new by bringing him into camp. Either way it is a mistake, but once again it will benefit Everton.