Pickford content with his form

England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford has played down criticism of some of his recent club performances as he prepares to face the Czech Republic at Wembley.

The Everton gloveman has been under fire for a number of errors in recent outings for the Toffees, but a bullish Pickford believes his form has been decent, aside from a below-par display in the 3-2 loss at Newcastle United.

He told Radio 5 Live: "I know I made an error against Newcastle and a couple of errors before that.

"You know yourself if you are doing well and I think my form shouldn't be getting questioned. Apart from the Newcastle game I've been on a good run.

"In the Newcastle game, I made a mistake and bounced back with a good performance against Chelsea, so that shows my mentality and my character in myself, and I think that's been good for me.

"The manager has put faith in me to start and I've been training well all week as well, so that's good."

Pickford has been given the nod ahead of Tom Heaton and Jack Butland for the opening European Championship qualifier on Friday evening, with the Three Lions hoping to maintain the form which has seen them reach the World Cup semi-finals and do likewise in the Nations League.

Meanwhile, Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford will miss the action at Wembley and the following qualifier in Montenegro on Monday due to an ankle problem.

England can be backed at 3/10 to defeat the Czech Republic, while they are 8/13 to keep a clean sheet, with Gareth Southgate's side 7/1 to triumph at Euro 2020.

View all Soccer betting

Heaton heaps praise on Pickford

Goalkeeper Tom Heaton has heaped praise of England colleague Jordan Pickford, who is the current first choice for the national team under Gareth Southgate.

Heaton missed the World Cup finals last summer because of a serious shoulder injury, but he has been handed a recall for the upcoming European Championship qualifiers against the Czech Republic and Montenegro after regaining his starting spot with Burnley.

However, the 32-year-old is aware that Pickford is the man in possession, with Heaton eager to focus on his own form and not worry about trying to displace the Everton gloveman.

He told reporters: "I think he's been outstanding wearing the England shirt. I thought he was incredible in the summer in the World Cup.

"I think his performances were really top-drawer and it's never an easy thing to do, putting the England goalkeeper jersey on, and I think he did it superbly well.

"Jordan's performances have been outstanding for England and that's where it's at. I try not to look at anyone else, as ever the thinking is on myself and we'll see what happens.

"We're here, we compete for the place. Of course, everyone wants to play. Try and get your things right and see what the manager decides."

England face the Czechs at Wembley on Friday evening, with the two teams having drawn 2-2 the last time they met, back in August 2008 – also at Wembley.

The Three Lions are 2/7 to win the game on Friday and are 4/1 to do so by a 2-0 scoreline, with the hosts 4/7 to keep a clean sheet.

View all Soccer betting

Mendy calling for Foxes focus

Leicester City midfielder Nampalys Mendy has urged his team-mates to stay calm and focus fully on trying to get back on track against Everton at Goodison Park.

The Foxes lost 1-0 at home to Cardiff City last time out, having previously claimed superb victories over Manchester City and Chelsea in their previous two Premier League games.

And Mendy says it is not the time to get too carried away by the setback at the hands of the Bluebirds, but instead refocus on the task in hand against the Toffees.

He told the club's official website: "Now we have to stay focused because we have a big game against Everton.

"It's a chance to recover quickly and to stay calm, because we have a lot of games. We must stay calm, not panic and (be) confident for the next game."

Meanwhile, Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford has called on his side to be at their best against Leicester, with the Toffees having only won one of their last seven league games.

The England international told his club's official website: "I think we are playing well, we're gelling well – we just need to start getting that consistency.

"Leicester are a tough side. We won at their place, so they'll be trying to get a bit of revenge, but we've just got to bring our A-game, recover well and hopefully get three points."

Everton can be backed at 21/20 to secure a victory over the Foxes on New Year's Day, with a 1-1 draw available at 6/1, while the Toffees are 13/8 to keep a clean sheet for the first time in eight games.

View all Soccer betting

Spurs hit six past Toffees

Tottenham entered the busy festive period in great form, hitting six past Everton at Goodison Park.

Mauricio Pochettino's side won 6-2 on Merseyside, falling behind to a goal from Theo Walcott goal but recovering to lead 3-1 at half-time.

Three more in the second half secured an impressive victory as they keep up their chase of the top two in the Premier League, Son Heung-min and Harry Kane getting two goals apiece.

Spurs had early chances in the game but it was the Toffees who went in front, Gylfi Sigurdsson doing well to find Dominic Calvert-Lewin whose cross was converted by Walcott.

Everton thought they had a second just minutes later, Calvert-Lewin heading in but he was ruled to have fouled Davinson Sanchez in getting off the ground.

It was a costly decision as Spurs were level three minutes later, the visitors getting back on level terms after benefitting from a defensive mix-up between Zouma and Jordan Pickford, the ball falling for Son Heung-min who, from a difficult position, slammed it into the far corner of the net.

Spurs were ahead on 36 minutes, Son again involved, his shot was well parried by Pickford but only into the path of Dele Alli who fired home.

Then Kane, having gone close earlier in the game, scored his first and Spurs' third just before the break, Kieran Trippier's free kick hitting the woodwork but the England striker was on hand to side-foot the ball into the net.

So 3-1 to the visitors at the break and the Toffees desperately needed a good start to the second half to get back into the game.

However, it was Spurs who struck just after the restart, getting their fourth with a wonderful goal from Christian Eriksen, a Kane cross headed out only to fall to the Dane whose half-volley flew past Pickford.

Everton gave themselves some hope a couple of minutes later, Sigurdsson riding some challenges and getting a shot in which beat Hugo Lloris.

However, Spurs widened their lead once again with their fifth, Son getting on the end of a slick passing move and finishing well past Pickford.

They weren't finished, emphasising their superiority with a sixth, Kane getting away from Zouma and getting a shot in which beat England team-mate Pickford.

So Tottenham enter the Christmas period as the closest challengers to the top two of Liverpool and Manchester City, sitting third in the table, two points ahead of Chelsea and Arsenal.

Spurs now have three games in seven days, starting off at home to Bournemouth on Boxing Day then hosting Wolves before travelling to play Cardiff on New Year's Day.

Spurs are 1/3 to win at Wembley on Boxing Day with Bournemouth 15/2 and the draw is 4/1.

Spurs are 1/7 to finish in the top four while they are 16/1 to win the title.

View all Soccer betting

Silva confident goals will come

Marco Silva has defended his strikers at Everton but has not ruled out making a move for another forward in the January transfer window.

The Toffees have scored just two goals in their last four leagues games and are the lowest scorers of the top eight with 21 goals from their 15 games so far.

They are in sixth position in the table, albeit well adrift of Arsenal in fifth and ahead of a match at home to Watford, Silva's previous club, on Monday, the Everton boss is backing his strikers to come good.

He told a press conference: "If you want to just look at the last few games, look at the games we played. It is not easy for strikers to score at Stamford Bridge, and Liverpool have conceded just one goal at home [in the Premier League] this season.

"Yesterday [against Newcastle] we controlled the match and all the moments. We created many chances but just scored one goal. To look at the last four games is not fair because we had chances to score more than one goal. The chances we created in the first half were enough to win the match against Newcastle."

Silva added that all clubs in the Premier League were in the market for a striker who can score 20 goals a season though he stressed he was happy with the players at his disposal.

Everton are 8/11 to win at Goodison Park on Monday night with Watford 4/1 and the draw 5/2.

Silva also told the assembled media that Jordan Pickford had responded well against Newcastle after his error in the 96th minute led to Liverpool winning Sunday's Merseyside derby.

He also said that Morgan Schneiderlin could be fit enough to return against the Hornets on Monday.

Everton are 9/2 to finish in the top six in the Premier League while they are 80/1 to break into the top four.

View all Soccer betting

Keane comes to Pickford defence

Everton defender Michael Keane has defended his goalkeeper Jordan Pickford after his error handed Liverpool a late winner in the Merseyside derby on Sunday.

The hard-fought contest appeared to be heading towards a goalless draw when Virgil van Dijk's sliced effort in the last minute of injury time was not dealt with by Pickford, before Divock Origi tapped the ball home.

Keane has admitted the result was a tough one to take but has defended his keeper Pickford and feels the England shotstopper has been a key player for the Toffees this season.

"Everyone is devastated and silent in the dressing room, we are consoling Jordan," said Keane.

"He got unlucky. He has been brilliant for us. Everyone is devastated because of the work we put in. We had our chances and came close. We are devastated for ourselves and the fans."

Everton will look to bounce back in midweek action on Wednesday when they play hosts to Newcastle United in the Premier League.

The Magpies have won three of their last four games in the league as they prepare for the trip to Merseyside.

Everton are 3/5 to win, 29/10 to draw and 6/1 to lose to Newcastle.

View all Soccer betting

Sticky Toffees hold firm

Everton held Chelsea scoreless at Stamford Bridge, denying their hosts the chance of briefly returning to the top of the Premier League pile.

Blues boss Maurizio Sarri extended his unbeaten start to a record 12 Premier League games but his side were frustrated in a bad-tempered encounter with the Toffees.

England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford was impressive as he denied Marcos Alonso, Alvaro Morata and Eden Hazard clear goalscoring chances, while there were seven bookings dished out in what became a tempestuous contest following an off-the-ball incident between Bernard and Antonio Rudiger on the stroke of half-time.

Chelsea's Jorginho and Alonso were perhaps fortunate in escaping with yellow cards for challenges which caught the ankles of Gylfi Sigurdsson and Theo Walcott respectively.

The home side had to wait 41 minutes to register a shot on goal, Alonso denied by Pickford.

Morata went close after the interval, with the visiting stopper again alert amid a scramble, while Sigurdsson stung the palms of Chelsea's goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga at the other end.

Alonso hit the post late on as Chelsea looked to steal all three points, but the Merseysiders held firm for their point at a ground where they haven't won a league game in 24 years.

Chelsea are 13/8 to win their next game against Tottenham at Wembley on 24th November. Spurs are 8/5 while the draw is 12/5.

View all Soccer betting

Premier League Review: Everton Put On Their Sunday Best

Chelsea 0-0 Everton

Stamford Bridge was fairly silent from early on.

Everton were doing their job, and the West Londoners were being thwarted in their quest to return to the top of the Premier League table.

That was ultimately the case for long spells at Stamford Bridge as the Toffees showed spirit to ensure a stalemate.

Highlights of the game

Chelsea failed to satisfy us tips and ended their match against Everton with a goalless draw

Chelsea ended the game against Everton in Stamford Bridge with a frustration

Certainly, few us fans could argue the opening 45 minutes would feature in any of the Premier League 2018 highlights.

It was dull, it was cagey, it was a job well-done by the Toffees.

Indeed, the closest to a goal came from Everton (who had claimed four wins in their last five top-flight matches going into this) after just 12 minutes when Bernard’s shot whistled inches wide.

That is until five minutes from half-time when the hosts finally managed a shot on target – Jordan Pickford turning away a Marcos Alonso volley.

The first half ended embarrassingly: certainly, that was the best way to describe Antonio Rudiger whose reaction after a ‘coming together’ with Bernard was farcical.

It suggested he was trying to get his counterpart into trouble, and the play-acting really should be picked upon by television footage as the German made a fool of himself.

After such a low-key first half, there was nearly an explosive start to the second as Pickford showed fine reactions to palm away a touch from Alvaro Morata following an Eden Hazard delivery.

Kepa Arrizabalaga then pushed a long-range Gylfi Sigurdsson shot over the bar, and Willian placed the ball narrowly past the post after being played through on the hour, but still, the deadlock could not be broken.

We then had a flashback to the World Cup in the summer as Pickford and Hazard came up against each other.

First, the England shot-stopper kept out a drilled shot from Hazard and then produced an even better save to tip a goal-bound shot from the Belgian over the bar.

When Pickford was finally beaten in the 66th minute, Alonso saw a powerful left-foot strike come back off the post as Chelsea upped the ante.

After the woodwork came a disallowed goal.

Cesar Azpilicueta produced a fine ball, but Morata – with four goals in his last four league games (after scoring just twice in his previous 20 top-flight appearances) – had strayed marginally offside, much to his frustration.

Hazard again went close, and Everton’s increasing need to retreat was evident as veteran defender Phil Jagielka entered the fray for Sigurdsson.

The Iceland international had been struggling after a first-half challenge from the reckless Jorginho who could perhaps consider himself fortunate to only receive a yellow card.

Arrizabalaga was then called into action again to pounce on substitute Ademola Lookman as he tried to wriggle his way to goal and got past N’Golo Kante and Azpilicueta.

In the end, Everton deservedly and doggedly held on and it was lucky seven for visiting boss Marco Silva who had previously lost all six of his league games in London.

It wasn’t quite a complete end to their top-six travel sickness, but it was a fine point.

Key statistics

Until today, Everton had lost 11 of their last 13 top-flight games on a Sunday.

Chelsea are the only side in Europe’s top five leagues still unbeaten in all competitions.

Former Chelsea midfield duo Michael Essien and Michael Ballack were at Stamford Bridge watching the contest.

Chelsea are unbeaten in 13 league and cup games at Stamford Bridge, with their last defeat a 3-1 loss to Tottenham on Easter Day last season.

Maurizio Sarri is now the first manager/head coach to have avoided defeat in his first 12 Premier League games. Until this game, he had been level with Frank Clark (11 matches with Nottingham Forest in 1994).

This is only the second time in their history that the Londoners have been unbeaten in their opening 12 top-flight games. The previous occasion was in 2014-15 when they avoided defeat in their first 14 Premier League matches on their way to winning the title.

Everton have won one of their last 17 Premier League outings in London (drawn seven, lost nine), losing all four of their matches in the capital in 2018 before today.

Everton’s last top-flight win on a Sunday away from home was 2-1 at QPR in March 2015.

Top of Form

What’s next?

It’s the international break next and then Premier League 2018 betting odds will focus on what could be a belter.

Chelsea are the visitors to Wembley to take on London rivals Spurs.

They then welcome PAOK to Stamford Bridge in the Europa before a home derby against newly promoted strugglers Fulham.

Everton next host Cardiff (November 24) and then make the short journey across Stanley Park to face Liverpool in the Merseyside derby on December 2.



Stay updated with everything sports and betting.

Follow us on social Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

Bet NOW!

Martial stars in United win

Anthony Martial grasped the opportunity to lead Manchester United's attack, starring as they beat Everton 2-1.

Jose Mourinho dropped Romelu Lukaku to the bench, with Fred coming into the side and Martial was give the chance to lead the line upfront and certainly took his chance at Old Trafford.

He was involved in both goals for his side, being fouled in the area for a penalty in the first and then scoring the second with a great strike.

The Frenchman was involved in United's first chance when he found Juan Mata in the area but the Spaniard couldn't direct his header past Jordan Pickford.

Martial was again on the attack halfway through the first half, getting a shot in but it was comfortably saved by the England keeper.

However, United were ahead a couple of minutes later, awarded a penalty after Martial went down in the area after a challenge from Idrissa Gueye.

Paul Pogba took the penalty which was saved by Pickford but the keeper was unlucky with the rebound which fell back to Pogba who this time made no mistake, slotting the ball home.

Martial went on another dangerous run soon after, finding Fred whose shot was saved and Marcus Rashford fired home the rebound only for the goal to be disallowed for offside.

Everton had the first chance of the second half, Richarlison forcing a good save from David de Gea but United soon doubled their lead, Martial finding space on the left and delivering a magnificent shot into the top corner, giving Pickford no chance.

The Toffees had a great chance to reduce the deficit soon after but Bernard, having rounded the keeper, could only find the side-netting.

However, with around a quarter of an hour remaining Marco Silva's side did get a goal back, from the penalty spot, Gylfi Sigurdsson dispatching a perfect penalty after Chris Smalling fouled Richarlison in the area.

Despite that late scare United held on fairly comfortably for the win that takes them up to eighth in the Premier League table, five points behind Arsenal who sit fourth.

United are next in action next Saturday when they travel to the south coast to take on in-form Bournemouth who are above them in the table.

United are 1/1 to win with Eddie Howe's side 27/10 and the draw 12/5.

United are 3/1 to finish in the top four while Bournemouth are 8/13 to end the season in the top half of the Premier League.

View all Soccer betting

Silva hails ‘solid’ Pickford

Marco Silva picked out Jordan Pickford for special praise after Everton extended their winning run to three games by beating Crystal Palace 2-0 on Sunday.

The England international goalkeeper saved Luka Milivojevic's spot-kick with his foot on the hour mark when the Goodison Park clash was still goalless.

A tight encounter was still locked at 0-0 until substitutes Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Cenk Tosun scored in the last three minutes as Everton moved up to eighth in the Premier League table.

A delighted Silva said of Pickford: "He has this quality, this profile. He is solid in that moment and can keep calm to take the right decision. It was an important moment in the match.

"It is important for us and me as a coach that when the three substitutes come in, they help the team. This must show us everybody is ready to play and everybody is fighting for his position in the squad."

Everton play Manchester United on Sunday and can be backed at 9/2 to beat Jose Mourinho's team and at 9/2 to keep a clean sheet at Old Trafford.

Silva added: "Now we are in a good momentum and it is important we keep (that).

"But we know the Premier League is really hard and every game is a different challenge and you have to be ready for everything."

Palace are 15th and 5/1 to be relegated after managing to score only five goals in the first nine top-flight games of the campaign.