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Mark Hughes: 'Jack Butland ready to replace Joe Hart'

Jack Butland has a "really good case" to become England's number-one keeper heading into the World Cup finals, according to Stoke City manager Mark Hughes.

Stoke City manager Mark Hughes has told England counterpart Gareth Southgate to stop being so loyal to Joe Hart and instead make Jack Butland his first-choice keeper.

The Three Lions boss made a big decision to stick with Hart for this month's latest batch of qualifiers, despite the West Ham United loanee's questionable form over the past 12 months.

Hughes insists that Butland - who missed the vast majority of last season through injury - has shown enough to finally replace England's long-serving number one, with the World Cup finals now just nine months away.

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

"If you're in the business of winning games you have to go with the guy that's in form. I can understand that Joe probably a strong influence in the dressing room and you have to take all those things into account, it's not just about form.

"So I'm probably being a little bit simplistic saying that but purely on form then Jack had a really good case in my view. Form fluctuates and comes and goes, the quality is always there in terms of both keepers. That doesn't go away but form can."

Hart kept his first clean sheet in 23 league outings on Monday night as West Ham beat Huddersfield Town 2-0 at the London Stadium.

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TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City24212170185265
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd24165349163353
3Chelsea24155445162950
4Liverpool24138354292547
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs24136547222545
6Arsenal24126645311442
7Leicester CityLeicester249783632434
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12Bournemouth2467112536-1125
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16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2458111733-1623
17Stoke CityStoke2465132550-2523
18Southampton24410102435-1122
19West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom24311101931-1220
20Swansea CitySwansea2455141535-2020
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Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!
Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City24212170185265
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd24165349163353
3Chelsea24155445162950
4Liverpool24138354292547
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs24136547222545
6Arsenal24126645311442
7Leicester CityLeicester249783632434
8Burnley249781921-234
9Everton2477102639-1328
10Watford2475123344-1126
11West Ham UnitedWest Ham2468103042-1226
12Bournemouth2467112536-1125
13Crystal Palace2467112237-1525
14Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2466121941-2224
15Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2465132234-1223
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2458111733-1623
17Stoke CityStoke2465132550-2523
18Southampton24410102435-1122
19West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom24311101931-1220
20Swansea CitySwansea2455141535-2020
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