England’s World Cup goalkeeper options: Back Ruddy over Foster
When it comes to goalkeepers, the Premier League has been far from a hotbed of English options for many a year.
After all, at the 2010 World Cup, England’s first choice, David James, played for Premier League bottom club Portsmouth, Rob Green only just survived the drop by one place at West Ham and Joe Hart was still honing his skills out on loan at Birmingham.
Meanwhile, Green was plying his trade in the Championship when called up as Hart’s understudy for Euro 2012.
Options from the top clubs are scarce again and so it is effectively five names competing for the two back-up places should anything happen to Hart between now and the conclusion of the tournament.
Undoubtedly England’s number one, Hart has been a key contributor to champions-in-waiting Manchester City, helping them have the second-best defensive record in the Premier League.
Hart’s form also seems to have improved over the course of the season, which suggests he may be in line to peak at the right time in Brazil.
Made the bench in England last friendly against Denmark after a six-game international break and is certainly back in the running after making himself available for selection again just over a year ago.
Has a track record for missing out on tournament squads though.
The stats say that Forster makes more saves per goal concession than any of his competition for England’s gloves, while he is the safest catcher.
Forster also brings Champions League experience from this season and has featured in Hodgson’s last seven squads. Furthermore, he has been handed a start, unlike most of his competition, in the friendly defeat to Chile, suggesting he is second choice.
Appears to be a Hodgson favourite, making all eight England squads this season and would have been in England’s Euro 2012 squad had he not broken a finger on the eve of the tournament.
Still only 21, Butland has endured a relatively quiet season through loan stints at Barnsley and Leeds.
Yet to make an England squad this season and third choice at Stoke City, his prospects look slim.
Stockdale hasn’t been called up for England since the days of Fabio Capello, but confirming himself as Fulham’s number one under Felix Magath does give him a squeak.
Although, conceding 18 goals in his last seven Fulham appearances is far from ideal, even if let down by the defence ahead of him at Craven Cottage.
Choices – Hart, Forster, Ruddy (who have all been named in the last seven England squads under Hodgson).
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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