October 7, 2017

Butland handed England start against Lithuania

Butland handed England start against Lithuania

Jack Butland

Stoke goalkeeper Jack Butland will replace Joe Hart for England’s final World Cup qualifier against Lithuania on Sunday. Jack Butland

Hart has been England’s first-choice goalkeeper under Gareth Southgate, but with England now qualified for the World Cup, Butland has been handed the shirt for the last match of the campaign.

England beat Slovenia 1-0 at Wembley on Thursday to wrap up qualification, giving Three Lions boss Southgate the opportunity to make changes in Lithuania, with Butland among the beneficiaries.

“He has been patient for his opportunity, his form has been good. It’s a good opportunity for Jack,” Southgate said on Saturday.

Southgate believes England, who have conceded just three goals in nine qualifiers, are well served for goalkeeping options ahead of next year’s World Cup in Russia.

Jordan Pickford, Fraser Forster and Tom Heaton, who is currently injured, will all be competing for places in Southgate’s squad.

“We’ve got great competition for places. Joe was excellent the other night. We’ve got other good goalkeepers,” Southgate said.