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Jewell hopes for an injury-free weekend

On duty for Holland

By Alan G
March 23 2007

After poncing on about how Latics star Leighton Baines deserves his England chance, Paul Jewell is now hoping his players return from the forthcoming international fixtures injury free.

Nine regular first teamers will be on international duty and there is the potential that one or more could return with a knock.

"I'm just hoping we get through the week injury-free, although one or two of them are going to be a bit tired” said Jewell.

"That is when we need everyone available, because we might need to call on them at some stage.

"The international break isn't ideal because at this stage of the season, there are a lot of clubs – including ourselves – fighting for our lives.

"You want your players available on a daily basis so you can prepare properly.

"But I accept international matches have to be played at some stage and there will be disruption."

Leighton Baines will be the first player in action on Saturday lunchtime when he becomes the first ever Wigan player to step out at the new Wembley Stadium.The 22-year-old left-back lines up for the U21s in a friendly against Italy.

Henri Camara is back in Dakar, Senegal for their African Nations 2008 qualifier against Tanzania, while Julius Aghahowa plays in the same competition for Nigeria in Abeokuta against Uganda.

Lee McCulloch features for Scotland at home to Georgia on Saturday and away to Italy next Wednesday.

Josip Skoko is playing in two friendlies for Australia, in China this weekend and Saudi Arabia two days later.

Denny Landzaat lines up for Holland in Rotterdam against Romania on Saturday and away to Slovenia next Wednesday.

Antonio Luis Valencia plays a friendly against the USA in Tampa and is in San Francisco next Wednesday against Mexico.

Kevin Kilbane plays for the Republic of Ireland against Wales and Slovakia and David Cotterill is also at Croke Park before facing San Marino at home four days later.

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