Pickford In England Squad For Prestige Friendlies

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Jordan Pickford could be poised to win his first full England cap after being included in the Three Lions squad for friendly matches against Germany and Brazil.

Everton goalkeeper Pickford was called up for last month's World Cup qualifying clashes with Slovenia and Lithuania, but did not feature in either game as Gareth Southgate's team secured their berth at next year's finals in Russia.

The 23-year-old was part of the England side which reached the Under-21 European Championship semi-finals in Poland during the summer, when they lost out to Germany following a penalty shootout.

A muscle injury forced Pickford to withdraw from England's squad for matches with Slovakia and Malta early in September.

He has nevertheless been a Premier League ever-present for Everton since completing his transfer from Sunderland to Goodison Park in June.

England start their World Cup preparations with a Wembley game against holders Germany on Friday 10 November.

Four days after the four-times world champions visit the national stadium, it is the turn of five-times World Cup-winners Brazil to take on Southgate's team in London – with Pickford expected to fight with regular number one Joe Hart and Stoke City's Jack Butland for the Three Lions' gloves.

Five of Everton's young stars, meanwhile, have been named in the England Under-21 party for a vital European Championship qualification match in Ukraine next week.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin, who scored on his Under-21 debut in the Young Lions' opening qualifying encounter in Holland back in September, retains his place in Aidy Boothroyd's squad, alongside fellow Under-20 World Cup winners Jonjoe Kenny and Ademola Lookman.

Midfielder Tom Davies scored the only goal of the game when England Under-21s' won in Andorra last month and, after being selected for the trip to Ukraine, will be hoping to earn his third cap at this level.

Another Under-20 world champion, Kieran Dowell, who netted a hat-trick in loan team Nottingham Forest's thrilling 3-2 victory at Hull City last weekend, completes the Evertonian presence in a 23-strong group picked to travel to Kiev for the match on Friday November 10.

In addition to their success against Andorra and a 1-1 draw with Holland, Boothroyd's team has beaten Scotland and Latvia to sit top of Group 4, with six matches remaining.

Ukraine, having played one game fewer than England, are three places and five points adrift of the Young Lions, with only the top team progressing automatically to the 2019 finals in Italy and San Marino.

Everton pair Morgan Feeney and Dennis Adeniran have been selected in the England Under-19 squad that will begin its European Championship defence with a trio of games in Bulgaria later this month.

Feeney's call-up continues a terrific week for the 18-year-old, who has travelled with the Toffees first-team to France for tonight's Europa League game against Lyon.

The centre-back was an influential figure in Everton Under-23s' Premier League 2 title success last term and has previously captained his country at Under-18 level.

Boss Paul Simpson has named Feeney in a 21-man squad, which also includes 18-year-old Adeniran who joined the Blues from Fulham on August's transfer deadline day.

Adeniran scored for Everton's Under-21 team in last week's Checkatrade Trophy encounter with League Two Lincoln City and played for England Under-17s at last year's European Championship in Azerbaijan, where they were beaten 1-0 by Spain in the quarter-finals.

London-born Adeniran appeared as a substitute in the Under-19s' friendly draw in Slovakia last month, with Feeney an unused substitute in that match.

England Under-19s overcame Portugal in the final to become European champions back in June.

They begin the qualifying process for next year's tournament with a game against Faroe Islands in the southern Bulgarian province of Stara Zagora on Wednesday 8 November, before taking on Iceland at the same location three days later.

Simpson's side round off their first batch of qualification matches with a clash against hosts Bulgaria on 14 November, with that contest again staged at Stara Zagora's Trace Arena.

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