PREMIER LEAGUE

Pickford's penalty-saving secret revealed on his water bottle

The Everton goalkeeper sticks a note onto his water bottle with information about the three likely rival players who he might face from the penalty spot.

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Pickford's penalty-saving secret revealed on his water bottle

Television cameras at Goodison discovered Jordan Pickford's strategy to second guess where rivals will place their penalties. The Everton goalkeeper has built himself a reputation for savoing spot-kicks and played a decisive role for his heroics against Colombia at the 2018 World Cup finals, and again last summer when he blocked two penalties in the shootout against Italy in the Euro 2020 final; in spite of his efforts, England ended up losing to Roberto Mancini's side.

Pickford studies rival penalty takers

Footage from the week's Premier League meeting with West Ham revealed Pickford's trick which give him an advantage whenever a penalty is awarded. It's all to do with the bottle of water which he carries to his goal in every game - on it, he sticks a note carrying information about the three players who are most likely to take a penalty for the opponents. In the image, we can see that the bottle has details about West Ham's usual penalty takers - Mark Noble, Michail Antonio and Declan Rice along with a graphic of where they tend to place their kicks and the number of times they have converted or missed. If a penalty is awarded against Everton, Pickford can check the information on his water bottle and give himself a better chance of being able to stop the ball from entering.

No penalties were awarded in yesterday's game and Everton ended losing 0-1, with Ogbonna scoring the decider from open play. That result leaves Rafa Benítez's team eighth in the table on 14 points, but just one point off the Champions League places.