Four Everton standouts will be making the trip to Qatar in search of World Cup glory. The four players who Frank Lampard will be without for the next several weeks are Jordan Pickford (England), Conor Coady (England), Idrissa Gana Gueye (Senegal), and Amadou Onana (Belgium). We take a look at how these four players fit in with their respective sides and if a trophy is on their horizon.
Jordan Pickford - England
This selection shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. Pickford will once again be leading England’s efforts between the posts in search of their first World Cup Final victory since 1966.
England couldn’t quite get it done last time out in 2018, losing to Croatia in the semi-finals and ultimately falling to Belgium in the third place playoff. Pickford played every minute of the tournament, allowing eight goals in seven matches. The 28-year-old also played the same role in last year’s UEFA Euro Championship, taking his side to the final, in which Italy prevailed on penalties.
Pickford’s time in 2018 will be remembered for THAT save against Colombia in the Round of 16.
England is in Group B this tournament, which includes Iran, Wales, and the United States. England currently sit at -1400 odds to advance from their group and are +800 to win the entire tournament. We don’t see Nick Pope or Aaron Ramsdale overtaking Pickford’s number one spot any time soon especially on his form this season, so you can expect a repeat showing from Pickford this tournament.
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Conor Coady - England
Despite Coady being a breath of fresh air at the back for Everton this season, the 29-year-old may be on the back-burner at this year’s tournament. Harry Maguire and John Stones are ahead in the pecking order, but if it wasn’t for the two already-established England defenders, the on-loan from Wolves defender very well could be starting.
Coady was a part of England’s Euros run last season, but did not feature for the Three Lions. However, assistant coach Steve Holland had much praise for Coady, calling him his, “player of the Tournament.”
While Coady might just make a sub appearance or two, here’s hoping he will be doing everything he can from the touchline to bring England to glory.
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Idrissa Gana Gueye - Senegal
Gueye has certainly been present in an otherwise dismal Everton midfield (and team) so far this season. Gana has also been a regular for Senegal in the last several years and is only four caps away from breaking the century mark. The Everton midfielder is only three appearances off Senegalese record holder Henri Camara, and could feasibly overhaul him this tournament if the Lions of Teranga make a deep run.
Senegal’s last World Cup action came in 2018, in which they failed to get out of their group. They were tied on four points with second-place Japan, but fair play points ultimately didn’t play in their favor. Senegal’s biggest World Cup success came in 2002, when they made it all the way to the quarterfinals, losing to Turkey.
Can Senegal relive their past heroics and make a run this tournament? If so, Gueye will be sure to play a big part. Stay healthy, Idrissa!
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Amadou Onana - Belgium
Onana only just made his first two appearances for Belgium this past summer in the Nations League. With a relatively experienced midfield for Belgium, it may be unlikely for Onana to start any matches this upcoming World Cup. Still only 21, this might be more of an exposure type of tournament for the youngster. We should still expect him to see some action, especially as Belgium is touted to go far in the tournament.
Belgium is currently +1600 to win the World Cup and -700 to advance out of their group, which includes Croatia, Morocco, and Canada. With hopes of advancing out of the Group Stage, Belgium may have to rely on their bench to keep their key players fresh. Belgium has an older core of star players, so Onana could certainly be of some use.
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Best of luck to all the Blues representing their countries!