Everton goalkeeper Pickford to miss England qualifiers - GulfToday

Everton goalkeeper Pickford to miss England qualifiers

Jordan Pickford

Everton’s Jordan Pickford reacts after sustaining an injury during an EPL match against Liverpool. File

Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford has been ruled out of England’s three upcoming World Cup qualifiers through injury.

England’s established number one was forced off just before half-time of Saturday’s surprise 2-1 Premier League defeat to Burnley.

Pickford underwent a scan on Monday and Everton have now confirmed he will miss this month’s international triple-header “after sustaining an injury to his oblique abdominal muscle”.

Everton confirmed Pickford “will remain under the care of the club’s medical staff at USM Finch Farm during the forthcoming international break” rather than facing San Marino, Albania and Poland.

The 27-year-old, who was absent for a period last month due to a rib injury, will also miss the Toffees’ FA Cup quarter-final with runaway Premier League leaders Manchester City on Saturday.

England boss Gareth Southgate will name his squad later in the week with Burnley’s Nick Pope and Manchester United stopper Dean Henderson pushing to claim a starting role.

Pickford was a key part of the side that went onto reach the World Cup semi-finals in 2018, but a number of high-profile errors in the two seasons since have seen Southgate pressured into giving Pope or Henderson the chance to claim the number one spot ahead of this summer’s European Championship.

Meanwhile, veteran Porto defender Pepe and in-form Eintracht Frankfurt striker Andre Silva earned recalls on Tuesday for Portugal ahead of the start of 2022 World Cup qualifying later this month.

Pepe, 38, missed the end of the Nations League campaign due to injury but is back in the 25-man squad after helping Porto knock Juventus out of the Champions League last week.

Silva has scored 19 times in 23 games in the Bundesliga this season, level with Erling Braut Haaland and trailing only Robert Lewandowski (32).

The former AC Milan forward has made just four appearances for Portugal over the past two years, and bolsters a strong attack that includes Cristiano Ronaldo, Joao Felix and Diogo Jota.

Ronaldo is on 102 international goals, second on the all-time list behind Iran’s Ali Daei (109).

Portugal kick off their World Cup qualifying campaign against Azerbaijan in a match moved to Italy for health reasons. The European champions then head to Serbia three days later before going to Luxembourg on March 30.

Separately, Bayern Munich are unlikely to release stars Robert Lewandowski and David Alaba for forthcoming World Cup qualifiers in the UK due to the British variant of the Covid-19 virus.

“We are not taking any risks. We want to have the players back in training and match rhythm straight away. That’s what the decision will depend on,” Bayern coach Hansi Flick said Tuesday.

“If a player has to go into quarantine, then the club is allowed not to release them.”


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