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The World Cup-bound four

14 June 2018

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The World Cup in Russia begins today, and while there aren't any Imps representatives on the field for the 2018 tournament, we have come up against a number of the squad in competitive fixtures.

From our Non-League days to cup competitions, we have come up against four of the current squad, and here they are...

1. Jordan Pickford

The Everton goalkeeper has come up against the Imps twice as a teenager while on loan from Sunderland.

Just a few weeks after his 18th birthday, Pickford travelled to Sincil Bank with Darlington in the Blue Square Premier. It wasn't a memorable first trip for England's number one, as a Danny Lloyd double inspired City to a 5-0 win.

The following season, Pickford continued his development on loan at Alfreton Town. In March 2013, he was on the end of a defeat by the Imps against, as goals from Craig Hobson and Vadaine Oliver secured a vital three pointson the road.

2. Gary Cahill

We have to go back almost a decade for this one. The Imps went on an FA Cup run in the 2009/10 season, and victories against AFC Telford United and Northwich set up a Third Round tie at the then Premier League side.

It was the end of the cup campaign for the Imps, as Wanderers ran out 4-0 winners thanks to goals from Cahill, Lee Chung-Yong, Mark Davies and an own goal secured their passage to the Fourth Round.

3. Jamie Vardy

Vardy came up against the Imps twice in the 2011/12 season. While he didn't score on his first trip to Sincil Bank in October 2011, his impressive performance supported Fleetwood Town to a 3-1 victory.

In the return fixture, which was live on Premier Sports, the Imps took a surprise 2-0 lead after 20 minutes thanks to goals from Jamie Taylor and Jefferson Louis.

Fleetwood came back, with a brace from Vardy to secure a 2-2 draw at Highbury Stadium.

England's number 11 returned to Sincil Bank as a Leicester City player prior to their title-winning 2015/16 season. 

4. Nick Pope

This one may take you by surprise - no it wasn't in our 1-0 FA Cup last 16 victory at Burnley!

Pope spent a month on loan at Aldershot during the 2013/14 season, and managed to keep a clean sheet in a 1-0 victory at Sincil Bank.

Special mentions

Trent Alexander-Arnold, then named Trent Alexander, travelled to Sincil Bank with Liverpool U18s in July 2015, and the Reds ran out 3-1 victors. 

Ashley Young travelled to Sincil Bank in 2004, as the Imps hosted Watford in a pre-season friendly following Paul Mayo's transfer to Vicarage Road.

Go well, lads! Bring it home... 

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