England News: Southgate drops first-choice keeper hint

9 months ago

In the latest England news, Everton stopper Jordan Pickford started in goal for the Three Lions’ 2-1 win over Nigeria on Saturday and boss Gareth Southgate has suggested he will be his first-choice keeper in Russia.

Stoke star Jack Butland and Burnley custodian Nick Pope are the other options the manager ahead of England’s World Cup opener against African nation Tunisia, but Southgate seems to have decided Pickford will be his first choice.

“There was a bit of a statement with the selection of Jordan,” said Southgate. “His decision making was good although he was rarely tested.”

Southgate’s side are 1/3 to beat Tunisia on June 18 with Betfair and 16/1 to win the World Cup outright.

England built up a 2-0 lead thanks to goals from Gary Cahill and captain Harry Kane before the Super Eagles mounted a response as Arsenal’s Alex Iwobi reduced the deficit in the second half.

Southgate was pleased with the performance overall and he felt England coped well when they were put under pressure after the restart.

He added: “I was really pleased with the first half. I thought we used the ball well and were a threat going forward.

“I liked the interchange of movement and the passing between our front four. We were then able to win the ball back with our pressing.

“In the second half we were slow to start and it took us a little while to adjust to them changing shape. What it created was a great atmosphere behind our goal for us to defend properly and manage the game which was important.”