Jordan Pickford to start for England against the Netherlands
Last Updated: 22/03/18 9:28pm
England boss Gareth Southgate has confirmed Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford will start against the Netherlands.
England travel to face the Dutch in Amsterdam on Friday before they return to London to host Italy at Wembley on Tuesday night.
Southgate - who also confirmed Jordan Henderson will captain the side - included four goalkeepers in his squad for the two friendlies and has handed Pickford the No 1 spot for the opening match, with Joe Hart, Jack Butland and Nick Pope providing back-up.
"Jordan Pickford will play in goal tomorrow night," Southgate said. "He is a very agile goalkeeper, quick around his goals, he is capable of making big saves, his distribution is excellent - a really outstanding distributor of the ball with his feet which is how we want to play.
"It is a great opportunity for him. He played really well against Germany in November and it's a good chance for us to see him in another international game."
Southgate admits he has not yet decided who will start in goal for England at the World Cup in Russia.
"I know who it would be if we played tomorrow but I think we've still got plenty of football to be played," he said.
"It is a very tight call at the moment because there is four guys in the squad who have justifiable claims for different reasons.
"I would imagine that Tom Heaton will be sitting at home hoping he gets back into Burnley's team as well, who would want to play a part in that squad as well.
"We are not in a situation where we have a goalkeeper who is established in the team and playing at his club regularly and all things are aligned as you might hope at this point.
"But that is where we are, I have confidence in all of the guys that they can go in and do the job. At the moment we don't have a clear number one."
"If Jordan Pickford does well tomorrow he'll give himself a huge boost and gives us food for thought on what we're doing moving forward."
Liverpool midfielder Henderson will captain England in Amsterdam, with his club team-mate Virgil van Dijk skippering the Dutch.
"I've just found that he's been named Holland captain and I'm delighted for him," said Henderson. "He is a great person and I've got to know him well over the short time he's been at Liverpool. He's a fantastic player."