Hughes backs Butland's claims

12 September 2017 04:42:33 EST

Stoke City manager Mark Hughes is pleased with Jack Butland's form and believes he should be England's first-choice goalkeeper.

Joe Hart, who kept a clean sheet on Monday as West Ham United beat Huddersfield Town 2-0, started both World Cup qualifiers for Gareth Southgate's side earlier this month.

However, Hughes believes Southgate should have given Butland the chance to shine in at least one of the games, both of which were won against Malta and Slovakia.

Butland, who missed most of last season after having ankle surgery, was impressive on Saturday evening as the Potters drew 2-2 with Manchester United, and Hughes said of his shot-stopper: "I haven't talked to anybody at England about it.

"There are a number of goalkeepers they could have gone with, but in my view it was either Joe [Hart] or Jack and I thought Jack clearly presented a really strong case to be picked.

"You understand to a certain extent that Gareth would want to be loyal, but sometimes you have to deal with the here and now rather than what's gone on in the past.

"But if you are in the business of winning games, you have to go with the guy in form and purely on form Jack had a really good claim in my view."

Stoke visit Newcastle United on Saturday and can be backed at 14/5 to beat Rafa Benitez's side while they are 3/1 to keep a clean sheet in the encounter.

Meanwhile, England are 40/1 to win the 2018 World Cup outright.

View all Soccer betting