Burnley's Nick Pope in pole position for England number one jersey after Jordan Pickford injury

Nick Pope will battle it out with Manchester United keeper Dean Henderson for a starting berth for England in their three World Cup qualifiers later this month.

Wednesday, 17th March 2021, 10:21 am
Updated Wednesday, 17th March 2021, 10:22 am
Nick Pope

Recognised number one Jordan Pickford is out of the games against San Marino, Albania and Poland after suffering an “injury to his oblique abdominal muscle” diving to try and save a shot from Johann Berg Gudmundsson in the Clarets 2-1 win at Goodison Park on Saturday evening.

That leaves Pope in pole position to add to his four caps, although Henderson – who has started the last three Premier League games for United with David De Gea having had a period of quarantine after returning to Spain for the birth of his first child – could come into ythe equation.

It has been suggested that West Brom’s Sam Johnstone could come into the squad – which was named at 2 p.m. yesterday after the time of going to press.

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Johnstone has enjoyed an impressive campaign for the Baggies and was a regular in Gareth Southgate’s Under 21 squad, although he didn’t earn a cap, as understudy to Jack Butland.

Sheffield United’s Aaron Ramsdale, who has been called up for the senior squad previously, will remain with the Under 21s for the group stages of the UEFA European Championships in Slovenia.

Pope has started games in the last two international get togethers – friendly games against Wales in October and Republic of Ireland in November, playing just one competitive game to date in a Euro 2020 qualifier in Kosovo in November 2019.

He made his England debut as a substitute against Costa Rica in June 2018.