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Published: 12:17 | 25/3/16

Butland: Hart as good as Neuer

Former teammate rates City goalkeeper

Jack Butland insists that Joe Hart is Manuel Neuer's goalkeeping equal.

Neuer is widely regarded as being the world's best but Butland believes that England's number one is just good as Bayern Munich's stopper.

The Stoke goalkeeper is set to start in England's friendly clash against Neuer's Germany on Saturday night, due to a calf injury that Hart picked up in last weekend's Manchester derby.

"He's right up there and he is one of the best in the world," Butland said of his former Birmingham City teammate.

"Whether it is watching on TV, training with him with England or back when he was at Birmingham, there are always things to learn."

Butland and Southampton's Fraser Forster are both challenging Hart to be England's first choice between the sticks.

"Joe got injured this week, so you never know," Butland said of his chances of taking over from Hart as the national side's number one.

"I don't prepare to sit on the bench - I prepare to play because you never know what is going to happen.

"I spoke to him and obviously wished him well. I was kind of hoping I was bridging the gap anyway, but now he is not here, it is a little bit different.

"But you never wish to see somebody injured. I saw the game live, but you get people texting you and it is not like that really.

"It's not nice to see a fellow player, and somebody I have known for a long time and get on well with, be injured."

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