Jordan Pickford to start in goal against Netherlands

Pickford to start against Netherlands
© Offside
Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford is given the nod by Gareth Southgate to start the friendly with the Netherlands at the Amsterdam ArenA.

Gareth Southgate has announced that Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford will start for England in Friday evening's friendly with the Netherlands.

The 24-year-old is locked in a battle with Jack Butland and Nick Pope to take the number one jersey away from Joe Hart, who has endured a torrid couple of years.

With just a handful of games to go until the World Cup finals get underway, Southgate will give each keeper - and possibly the injured Tom Heaton - a chance to shine, beginning with Pickford's audition in Amsterdam.

"Jordan Pickford will play in goal tomorrow night," he said at his pre-match presser. "He is a very agile goalkeeper, quick around his goal, he is capable of making big saves, his distribution is excellent - a really outstanding distributor of the ball with his feet which is how we want to play.

"It is a great opportunity for him. He played really well against Germany in November and it's a good chance for us to see him in another international game.

"It is a very tight call at the moment because there is four guys in the squad who have justifiable claims for different reasons. I would imagine that Tom Heaton will be sitting at home hoping he gets back into Burnley's team as well, who would want to play a part in that squad as well.

"We are not in a situation where we have a goalkeeper who is established in the team and playing at his club regularly and all things are aligned as you might hope at this point. But that is where we are, I have confidence in all of the guys that they can go in and do the job. At the moment we don't have a clear number one."

Pickford was one of England's star men in the meeting with Germany four months ago when marking his debut with a clean sheet.

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Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford in action during his side's Europa League clash with Hajduk Split on August 17, 2017
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