Burnley’s remarkable start to the season continued this weekend, a late goal giving them a 1-0 win against Southampton at St Mary’s. Ten games is usually the point where the table begins to take shape, and the Clarets are rubbing shoulders with the likes of Arsenal and Liverpool in the Premier League table after eleven.
The key reason for their great start has been their defensive organisation - Burnley have conceded the fourth fewest goals in the league. When England international Tom Heaton was ruled out for four months in September, many thought Sean Dyche’s men would begin to struggle. However, that is far from the case and 25-year-old Nick Pope has fitted in seamlessly, keeping five clean sheets in his eight appearances.
The young Englishman’s exploits for his club have seen him enter the frame to make the England World Cup squad. Since being installed at 20/1 this weekend, he has been the third most backed player to make the plane to Russia after Harry Winks and Demarai Gray, the keeper accounting for 9% of bets.
The bookmaker’s odds suggest Pope is still behind Joe Hart (1/4), Jack Butland (1/4), Jordan Pickford (4/11), Fraser Forster (11/4), Tom Heaton (5/1) and Ben Foster (20/1) in the Three Lions pecking order.
Oddschecker spokesman, George Elek: 'When Pope swapped Charlton for Burnley last summer his long-term aim would have been merely to get first-team football in the Premier League, but a string of good performances means punters are backing him to fly to Russia next summer. With the likes of Joe Hart and Fraser Forster struggling for form at club level, Pope must have a chance of forcing himself into Gareth Southgate's reckoning.'