Southgate confirms Butland will start for England

Date published: Saturday 7th October 2017 2:50

Jack Butland will start in goal for England in their final World Cup qualifier against Lithuania.

Manager Gareth Southgate announced his decision on Saturday, a day ahead of the game.

Butland replaces Joe Hart, England’s regular first-choice goalkeeper, for the last match of England’s campaign.

England have made sure of their place at the Russia 2018 finals, taking the pressure off the trip to Lithuania and giving Southgate the opportunity to make changes.

Southgate said of Stoke number one Butland: “He has been patient for his opportunity, his form has been good. It’s a good opportunity for Jack.”

Southgate believes England, who have conceded just three goals in nine qualifiers, are well served for goalkeeping options.

The likes of Jordan Pickford, Fraser Forster and Tom Heaton, who is currently injured, are expecting to be vying for places come next summer.

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

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