Sunderland AFC news: England call for Jordan Pickford, Borini out to upset 50,000 Newcastle fans, derby latest

Jordan Pickford in action for Sunderland AFC
Jordan Pickford in action for Sunderland AFC
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Jordan Pickford has been selected in the England Under-21 squad for for next Saturday's UEFA European Championship Qualifier against Switzerland in Thun.

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Pickford spent the first half of the season on loan at Championship side Preston North End before being recalled to Sunderland by manager Sam Allardyce.

Highly-rated Pickford - who is pushing No 1 Vito Mannone hard - made his first team debut away to Arsenal in the FA Cup and also played in the Premier League defeat at Tottenham Hotspur.

Duncan Watmore, Nathaniel Chalobah and Nathan Redmond have all been ruled out of the Under-21 squad through injury.

England defeated Switzerland 3-1 last time out in a spicy encounter at Brighton & Hove Albion, and they sit three points clear at the top of Group 9, halfway into their eight-game qualification campaign.

Southgate said: "The game in Brighton was a good game in terms of quality but it also had an edge to it. We had to come back from a goal behind, and in Bosnia we did well to draw after playing for a long period with 10 men.

"Over the past few years we have scored quite a lot of away goals, so we know we are a team that never stops, and this return fixture [in Switzerland] will have an edge I'm sure.

"Switzerland will want to get revenge for the result but it is a key game for us in terms of qualifying for the Finals, and a good preparation for the Toulon Tournament this summer."

Goalkeepers: Jordan Pickford (Sunderland), Christian Walton (Brighton & Hove Albion), Joe Wildsmith (Sheffield Wednesday).

Defenders: Calum Chambers (Arsenal), Ben Chilwell (Leicester City), Brendan Galloway (Everton), Kortney Hause (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Dominic Iorfa (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Jack Stephens (Coventry City; on loan from Southampton), Matt Targett (Southampton).

Midfielders: Lewis Baker (Vitesse Arnhem; on loan from Chelsea), Matt Grimes (Blackburn Rovers; on loan from Swansea City), Isaac Hayden (Hull City; on loan from Arsenal), Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Chelsea), John Swift (Brentford; on loan from Chelsea), James Ward-Prowse (Southampton).

Forwards: Rolando Aarons (Newcastle United), Chuba Akpom (Hull City; on loan from Arsenal), Demarai Gray (Leicester City), Jordon Ibe (Liverpool), Dominic Solanke (Vitesse Arnhem; on loan from Chelsea), James Wilson (Brighton & Hove Albion; on loan from Manchester Utd).

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Meanwhile, Sunderland striker Fabio Borini is looking to star in this weekend's Tyne-Wear derby - and upset 50,000 Newcastle fans in the process.

Borini told the Echo: "I prefer all the stadium against you than all the stadium in favour because if you do well against 50,000 people, the feeling is better.

"You can feel like you beat 50,000 people on your own. At home you know they’re on your side even if you don’t win.

"It's good to upset 50,0000 people."

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And finally, anticipation is building ahead of the biggest Tyne-Wear derby in a generation - and we've got it covered.

Sam Allardyce takes his Sunderland squad to face Rafa Benitez's Newcastle United at St James's Park on Sunday - with both sides battling against relegation to the Championship.

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