Stoke manager Paul Lambert has backed 'impressive' goalkeeper Jack Butland to earn a starting place for England at the World Cup this summer, despite the Potters' poor form.
The Mirror report that Butland is set to be named in Gareth Southgate's squad next week for upcoming friendlies against Holland and Italy later this month.
Despite making a costly error away at Leicester last month, Lambert says Butland has been 'brilliant' since the Scot took over the reigns at the bet365 Stadium.
“I wouldn’t have any fear of him playing. I can only speak from my side and from what I’ve seen and I know England have some good goalkeepers, but Jack has been brilliant since I’ve been here.
“He’s made one mistake really, against Leicester, but his performances have been exceptional. So I wouldn’t have any fear if someone said to me that Jack Butland would start at the World Cup.
“Gareth [Southgate] would be the best person to judge. But if you’re asking me would he be able to handle everything thrown at him? Then, yeah, I think so.”
Southgate has a difficult choice to make ahead of the World Cup with Russia, and could use this month's upcoming friendlies to have a closer look at several of the goalkeepers he has to pick from. Butland has previously urged his national coach to make his choice about who will be given the not
With Joe Hart's dip in form over recent months, it is the perfect opportunity for another goalkeeper to stake his claim. Everton's Jordan Pickford is in line to challenge Butland for the shirt, although they face competition from Burnley duo Tom Heaton and Nick Pope for a place on the plane.
Southampton goalkeepers Fraser Forster and Alex McCarthy have also been linked with England call-ups.
Butland will next be in action on Monday evening when Stoke host league leaders Manchester City.