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International recap: Stones to start, and Naismith denied goal

Everton had two players involved in international action on Friday, and there was also a boost for a certain defender...

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With Scotland and the Republic of Ireland both in action on Friday night, Everton had several players involved in international action.

James McCarthy started in the Irish's comfortable 4-0 victory in Gibraltar. Goals from Cyrus Christie and Shane Long either side of a Robbie Keane brace were enough to beat the minnows and take them above Scotland in their qualification group. If they can hold on to this position, it should get Martin O'Neill's a play off for Euro 2016.

Substituted in the 70th minute for Stephen Quinn, the 24-year-old had little to do against one of the smallest nations involved in the Euro 2016 qualifiers. One thing he may have been disappointed by was failing to get on to the score sheet, being yet to score for his country in his now 29 appearances for them.

Aiden McGeady came off the bench in the 77th minute for Wes Hoolahan, but was also unable to create or score a goal. Seamus Coleman was uninvolved, perhaps being saved for the tougher match against Georgia on Monday.

Meanwhile, Steven Naismith also started for Scotland in their 0-1 defeat to Georgia. A massive blow for the Tartan Army, it means that qualification for the Euros is now out of their hands.

The Goodison Park favourite was particularly unlucky, having a goal disallowed for a foul against the goalkeeper. He was subbed for James Forrest in the 59th minute, unable to help Gordon Strachan's team back in to the game.

In better news (unless you're worried about injuries), England manager Roy Hodgson has revealed that John Stones will start against San Marino.

With a win almost a foregone conclusion, he is giving starts to the centre-back along with Jamie Vardy and Jonjo Shelvey to add international experience to his squad.

"All three players have started the season very well," the manager told the BBC, "If they weren't going to get a start in a game where we are expected to win, then I don't know when the next opportunity would have come around.

"It is important for me to give them this opportunity to play for England from the start, rather than coming on as a substitute when the game is over. Hopefully, when we qualify on Saturday or Tuesday, then there will be opportunities for them in October. "As much as I would like the record of 10 wins, it is more important the team develops."

It is unknown if Phil Jagielka will start alongside the youngster, but it would make sense if he did. Other options Chris Smalling and Gary Cahill both usually play on Stones' favoured right side of the centre-back pairing, and the Royal Blues captain will also bring a sense of familiarity for the 21-year-old.