Joe Hart, Joleon Lescott and James Milner have been called up to the England squad for the World Cup Qualifying matches against Moldova and Ukraine.
Lescott and Milner both featured for England in their last match, the friendly victory over Italy in Berne, while Hart returns after the minor back strain which also kept him out of the Community Shield.
The Elite Development Squad kicked off their Barclays U21 Premier League campaign with a hard-earned 0-0 draw away to Chelsea.
With the seniors kicking off their title defence on Sunday against Southampton, the EDS were charged with the soft opening of 2012/13 on a balmy night at Brentford FC’s Griffin Park.
Atillio Lombardo admitted his side were a little late in their preparations for the season after experimenting with a number of trialists over the summer but they will take real heart from getting something out of one of their toughest away assignments.