Albion No.1 Mathew Ryan is walking tall for the clash between the smallest goalkeepers in the Premier League.

The Australian goes into Sunday's match against Everton and their England prospect Jordan Pickford buoyed by helping his country take another step towards the World Cup finals in Russia next summer.

A tense 2-1 victory after-extra-time against war-torn Syria in Sydney yesterday morning completed a 3-2 win on aggregate for the Aussies in their qualifying play-off.

Ryan and company now face another play-off next month against the team finishing fourth in the CONCACAF section for the right to join England in the finals.

Ryan's World Cup adventure sets the in-form custodian up nicely for Everton's visit to the Amex (1.30pm), when Pickford will occupy the opposite net.

Scotland manager Gordon Strachan this week blamed their World Cup exit on genetics.

He identified a height and strength disadvantage after the Scots conceded two goals from set plays against Slovenia.

The Argus: Ryan and Pickford (above right) are showing size does not necessarily matter at the loftiest level with some high-quality performances, compensating for a lack of inches with their agility.

Ryan, at just over six foot, is the shortest keeper in the Premier League, marginally smaller than Pickford.

The £5.2 million summer buy from Valencia has grown with every game since an indifferent start to the season.

He maintained his excellent run of form in the last two games at home to Newcastle and away to Arsenal, with Tim Krul on the bench at the expense of Niki Maenpaa following the Dutchman's switch from the Toon.

Ryan is seeking successive clean sheets at home against Everton after the Newcastle win. Fans played their part as Albion held onto the lead by provided by Tomer Hemed.

Ryan said: "That's one of the things that has taken me by storm. I don't know what the decibels are in that stadium, but when we have scored or at crucial moments the roof just lifts off from our supporters.

"It was another record (crowd). When you are winning games, keeping a clean sheet and having atmospheres like that are some of the sweetest moments you can have as a footballer."

Pickford's career, meanwhile, remains on a steep upward curve, despite Everton's poor start to the season.

He has graduated from competing with Albion's bright young hope, Christian Walton, in the England under-21s to senior recognition since a £30 million move from Sunderland in June.

The Everton game launches a sequence for Ryan against top English goalkeepers.

He faces current No.1 Joe Hart at West Ham on Friday week, then Southampton giant Fraser Forster (below) back at the Amex.

The Argus: Jack Butland, pushing Hart hard for the England gloves, visits next month with Stoke.

The televised games against Southampton on October 29 (1.30pm) and Stoke on Monday November 20 (8pm) offer opportunities to supporters struggling to get tickets.

Seats are still available for the Southampton match to fans with a purchase history.

Tickets are on general sale for the fixture against Stoke, who are unlikely to sell out their full allocation.

Premier League No.1's Height Table

Fraser Forster (Southampton) 6ft 6ins

Thibaut Courtois (Chelsea) 6ft 5ins

Asmir Begovic (Bournemouth) 6ft 5ins

Wayne Hennessey (Crystal Palace) 6ft 5ins

Petr Cech (Arsenal) 6ft 4ins

Jack Butland (Stoke) 6ft 4ins

Joe Hart (West Ham) 6ft 4ins

Jonas Lossl (Huddersfield) 6ft 4ins

David de Gea (Manchester United) 6ft 3ins

Simon Mignolet (Liverpool) 6ft 3ins

Heurelho Gomes (Watford) 6ft 3ins

Ben Foster (West Brom) 6ft 3ins

Ederson (Man City) 6ft 2ins

Hugo Lloris (Spurs) 6ft 2ins

Rob Elliot (Newcastle) 6ft 2ins

Lukasz Fabianski (Swansea) 6ft 2ins

Kasper Schmeichel (Leicester) 6ft 1ins

Tom Heaton (Burnley) 6ft 1ins

Jordan Pickford (Everton) 6ft+ 

Mathew Ryan (Albion) 6ft+