Sam Johnstone ‘will start against Andorra ahead of in-form Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale… with Jordan Pickford to be rested against the minnows’
- Sam Johnstone made his England bow in the pre-Euro 2020 win over Romania
- The West Brom goalkeeper kept his second Three Lions clean sheet last month
- Kieran Trippier will be captain and become the national team’s 126th skipper
- Gareth Southgate will also give Jadon Sancho a confidence-boosting start
Sam Johnstone is reportedly expected to start for England in their World Cup qualifier against Andorra.
The West Brom goalkeeper, who has impressed for the Baggies since joining them in 2018, would earn his third cap if selected.
Jordan Pickford looks set to be rested ahead of the match against Hungary, while Aaron Ramsdale’s strong form for Arsenal since arriving from Sheffield United is unlikely to see him make his Three Lions debut against the tournament minnows, according to The Athletic.
Sam Johnstone is set to earn just his third England cap as the Three Lions face Andorra
The West Brom goalkeeper is expected to start ahead of Arsenal shot-stopper Aaron Ramsdale
Johnstone made his national team bow against Romania in June this year in a 1-0 pre-Euro 2020 friendly win, before keeping a second clean sheet under Gareth Southgate in a 4-0 victory over Andorra at Wembley last month.
Pickford’s boss at Everton, Rafael Benitez, urged Southgate to only use his No 1 in one match during the international break following the 27-year-old’s recovery from a shoulder injury that kept him out of the 3-0 Premier League loss to Aston Villa and the Carabao Cup exit to Championship side Queens Park Rangers.
The Spaniard said: ‘He is fit to play for us and he is fit to play for England. I don’t want to be disrespectful, but some of the [international] games are nothing games and so I think it is easy to manage. Of the two games that they have, I would say for one of them they can manage [not having him in the team].’
Southgate has already confirmed that Kieran Trippier will captain the side on Saturday, while Jadon Sancho will also be given a start after struggling since his £73million summer move from Borussia Dortmund to Manchester United.
On Sancho, Southgate said: ‘We will need players who are good in one-against-one situations and able to take their opponents out of the game. We will also need players who can get in between the lines and manipulate things.
‘Jadon has all of those attributes. Part of the challenge for him [at United] is adapting to a massive change — in style, league, expectation.
It is likely that Jordan Pickford will be rested with one eye on Tuesday’s match against Hungary
Kieran Trippier will captain his country for the first time and become the side’s 126th skipper
‘In the league, the intensity of every game is so different. At Dortmund, they are a big club and they have lots of games they win comfortably.
‘But early on [at United] he has had games against teams like Wolves in the bottom third at the time. Their intensity will have surprised him.’
On being given the armband, Trippier said: ‘To captain your country is one of my best feelings, one of the proudest moments of my career.
Gareth Southgate will also start Jadon Sancho after the winger’s struggles so far this season
‘Hopefully I can follow that up with a win but I’m speechless, really, to captain my country and lead the boys out. You know it is something I’ll never ever forget.
‘I can only thank Gareth for what he’s done for me and the trust that he has in me personally to name me captain. It’s a surreal moment.’
A win at the Estadi Nacional d’Andorra would take England up to 19 points from seven qualifying games, edging them ever closer to Qatar.
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