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England keeper Pickford out for a month with thigh injury

Jordan Pickford was outstanding in Everton’s draw with Liverpool, making eight saves, but the England goalkeeper now faces four weeks out.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 03: Jordan Pickford of Everton in action during the Premier League match between Everton FC and Liverpool FC at Goodison Park on September 03, 2022 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
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Gareth Southgate is set to be without Jordan Pickford for England’s final fixtures before the World Cup. Stats Perform understands that Everton are optimistic the goalkeeper, who has been struggling with a thigh injury, will miss no longer than four weeks. A club statement published on Wednesday, following reports of Pickford’s injury, confirmed he would not return until after the international break, which starts on 19 September.

Pickford to miss Nations League games

It is a blow for Frank Lampard’s team, who are still without a win in the Premier League this season, despite having shown promise in recent outings, including the 0-0 derby draw with Merseyside rivals Liverpool on Saturday. Pickford was outstanding in that match, making eight saves, including an excellent fingertip stop to deny Mohamed Salah a stoppage-time winner at Goodison Park. It is also bad news for Southgate, whose side face Italy on 23 September and Germany three days later in the Nations League.

England are without a win in the Nations League this year and lost 4-0 to Hungary in their last outing back in June. They do not have another match before kicking off their World Cup campaign against Iran on 21 November. Pickford’s injury will, however, present a chance for Nick Pope, Aaron Ramsdale and Dean Henderson to prove their worth to Southgate ahead of the tournament in Qatar.

Everton, meanwhile, will be without their goalkeeper for Sunday’s trip to Arsenal and a home match against West Ham on 18 September. Pickford might recover to face Southampton on 1 October, though a meeting with Manchester United a week later is perhaps more likely to mark a return to action.

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After his efforts against Liverpool, Pickford – who was crucial to Everton staying up last season – is the best-performing goalkeeper in the Premier League this season for goals prevented, which uses Opta’s expected goals on target conceded (xGOT) model to calculate how well a shot-stopper has performed. Pickford’s 2.6 goals prevented tops the league, though before the Merseyside derby that figure stood at 1.11 (the fifth-best in the competition), showing just how well the 28-year-old performed against Liverpool.

Begovic to step in

Asmir Begovic, who was reportedly of interest to Manchester United late in the transfer window, will likely fill in for Everton in Pickford’s absence.