If Gareth Southgate is truly picking his England team based on form then, according to our data scientists, Nick Pope should start in goal at the World Cup this summer.
The battle for the Three Lions No.1 shirt is hotly contested so that’s the issue we opted to tackle in this week’s Three Minute Myths.
We asked fans ahead of the friendly against Italy who they thought should be in goal for England in Russia. They were split between Jack Butland and Jordan Pickford while neither Joe Hart nor Pope got a single mention.
But the Three Lions fans on Wembley Way may have been wide of the mark in their support for either Pickford or Butland. The statistics introduced by our data analysts in this week’s episode reveal Pope to be in the form of his life.
Of course, the former milkman doesn’t carry the reputation of the other three goalkeepers to have made the squad this month, but Southgate has made a commitment to picking his side based on performances on the pitch rather than their shirt sales off it.
And it is for that reason alone the goalkeeper’s spot should not be a topic of debate come June.