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World Cup 2018

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Home Sport Football

Jordan Pickford is England’s World Cup number one

Everton goalkeeper handed number one shirt ahead of tournament in Russia.

Jordan Pickford appears to have won the race to be England’s first-choice goalkeeper at the World Cup after being handed the number one jersey.

The confirmation of England’s 23-man squad was listed on the FIFA website and contained no last-minute changes to the names originally selected by manager Gareth Southgate last month.

Everton goalkeeper Pickford seemed to be in pole position as he was handed the gloves for Saturday’s warm-up match at home to Nigeria.

The 24-year-old has just three senior caps but has been backed by Southgate and now looks set to start for the Three Lions in Russia.

Jack Butland and Nick Pope are England’s other goalkeepers for the tournament after Joe Hart, who featured in nine of the 10 qualifiers, was left out.

Elsewhere, captain Harry Kane will sport the number 9 while Tottenham team-mate Dele Alli will wear 20 – in keeping with their Spurs squad numbers.

Kane (left) will captain Pickford and his England team-mates in Russia. (Nick Potts/PA)

Uncapped Liverpool full-back Trent Alexander-Arnold, who could make his debut in Thursday’s friendly against Costa Rica, has been given the number 22 shirt.

Although no longer a simple case of picking numbers 1-11 in a starting line-up, the fact Harry Maguire and Jesse Lingard have been given numbers six and seven respectively leads to a suggestion both look set to feature prominently in Russia.

Lingard has become a firm favourite of Southgate in recent matches. (Mike Egerton/EMPICS)

If Southgate sticks with the formation he has trialled in recent times, there looks set to be only one place in midfield for either Jordan Henderson – number eight – or number four Eric Dier.

The game against Costa Rica at Elland Road will be the last match before the squad fly out to Russia, providing Southgate with an opportunity to make any final tactical tweaks and take a look at some other players who did not feature in the 2-1 win over Nigeria.

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