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England News: Pickford highlights Khazri threat

8 months ago

In the latest England news, Jordan Pickford has highlighted the threat posed by Tunisia forward Wahbi Khazri.

The pair previously played together at Sunderland and will have a reunion of sorts on Monday when the two nations meet in Volgograd in their opening Group G fixture.

While the Three Lions are expected to progress, Tunisia are somewhat of an unknown quantity and this is their first visit to the finals since 2006.

The injury to Youssef Msakni has put further pressure on Khazri to perform but he heads to Russia on the back of a strong season on loan at Rennes, having failed to make any real impact in two years on Wearside.

Pickford also left Sunderland last summer for Everton and if he gets the nod from Gareth Southgate, will be looking to star for an England side who are 5/4 to win Group G with Ladbrokes.

The 24-year-old insists he will not be taking anything for granted heading into Monday’s game.

Having done his research, the goalkeeper has warned his team-mates to be wary of the threat posed by Tunisia, especially Khazri.

“I played with Wahbi at Sunderland, so if I get the nod, I’ve got to be ready for his corners because he doesn’t mind whipping them under the crossbar,” Pickford told ESPN FC. “He is very good at set-pieces and finishing from outside the box, so I have to be ready.

“I watched the Portugal-Tunisia friendly before we came to Russia and Tunisia are a good side. They will be underrated, so we have to be ready, and the same for Panama. In both games, we’ll be expected to have a lot of the ball and when we create chances, we have to take them and be ready to defend against them as well.”