Hart and Sturridge out of friendly
Joe Hart, pictured, and Daniel Sturridge have pulled out of the England squad
Birmingham goalkeeper Jack Butland inched closer to making a remarkable England debut when Joe Hart pulled out of the squad for Wednesday's friendly with Italy.
Hart and Chelsea striker Daniel Sturridge have both been ruled out of the encounter in Berne with back and toe injuries respectively.
However, manager Roy Hodgson has taken the unusual decision not to call-up any replacements, meaning Butland and Norwich's John Ruddy are the only two keepers left in his squad.
Neither man has ever won a senior cap, so at least one will make their debut against the Euro 2012 runners-up.
For Ruddy, it would be a fitting end to a summer that started with him being forced to pull out of the tournament after breaking a finger on his first day of training. The Norwich keeper certainly looks favourite to start.
However, when Ruddy pulled out, Butland was called up, even though the 19-year-old's only previous experience at senior level was in League Two for Cheltenham last season.
Although Butland did not make an appearance in Poland and Ukraine, he made a big impression on the England coaching staff. He was also allowed to play for Great Britain during their Olympic campaign.
Butland again did well in front of massive crowds at Old Trafford, Wembley and the Millennium Stadium.
It was initially suggested Butland would only meet up this week to further his experience and would be released back to Birmingham ahead of their Capital One Cup clash with Barnet at St Andrews on Tuesday.
Instead, Butland will now travel to Switzerland knowing he could end up adding a full international cap to his four Olympic appearances without playing a game higher than the fourth tier of the English game.
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Sian, the insurers.
Besides the National side was, and still should be the life blood, and the be all, end all of football here as it is in other countries. And further, for it might have escaped yours and others notice OTHER countries are also playin friendlies. If not in the season there, then out of season which the likes of the moaners will be spouting 'They need a rest, had a hard season etc. Can't win, so the first and only critier should be, Igf the club put hurdles in the way, the players should tell the club 'Tough, I'm going '''' Like Ronaldo, the African nation players and Spanish / Germans etc. etc. No wonder we lag behind with this dull senile mentality. If good enough for Rome ....
Cheers Ross, didn't know about the insurers, and yes I agree with you about the national side being important, and I also agree with what you're saying about people who moan that the matches shouldn't be held in the close season. Personally I think during the season when the players are already in action is the exact time that internationals should take place, although this is only my opinion. However should Friendly matches be held as equally important, this was the point I was trying to make, to me personally players should not be made to risk injury three days before the domestic season starts.
Anyway either way we're both intitled to our opinions, and I respect your right to yours and no doubt we will have a few more differences of opinion during this coming season take care.