Jordan Pickford handed England's No. 1 shirt at World Cup
Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford appears set to start for England at the World Cup after being handed the No. 1 shirt.
FIFA released the final squads of each of the World Cup's 32 teams on Monday, complete with shirt numbers, and Pickford was listed as No. 1 while Stoke City's Jack Butland is No. 13. Burnley's uncapped keeper Nick Pope is No. 23.
England manager Gareth Southgate had earlier indicated that Pickford could be his first-choice goalkeeper after saying his selection in Saturday's friendly against Nigeria was a "bit of a statement."
Southgate praised Pickford's distribution and calmness in the warm-up game with fellow World Cup qualifiers Nigeria at Wembley, which England won 2-1.
"I was really pleased with what Jordan did," the England manager told British media. "His decision-making on crosses, the punch he made, his distribution and calmness to slide passes into midfield... that was really important to the way we want to play.
"There was a bit of a statement with the selection of Jordan."
Veteran Joe Hart, who has 75 caps, is not going to Russia and Southgate's trio of keepers have only 10 caps between them.
Pickford, who has three caps, said on Saturday that Southgate had still not informed the squad who would be first-choice keeper in Russia.
"I've worked with the manager before at under-21 level, so maybe he will tell us in advance, but when that will be I don't know," he said. "Nothing's been confirmed. I've just got to keep putting in performances and keep working hard in training. Getting the nod [against Nigeria] was brilliant -- there's another cap ticked off and another solid performance."
England, drawn in Group G, begin their World Cup campaign against Tunisia on June 18, before facing Panama on June 24 and Belgium four days later.
Information from Reuters was used in this report.