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Butland hoping for 'dream' England debut against Italy

The Birmingham City goalkeeper is in contention to make his Three Lions debut against the Azzurri in Berne on Wednesday night after Joe Hart sustained a back injury

Birmingham City goalkeeper Jack Butland is hoping to fulfill a lifelong ambition on Wednesday night, by making his senior England debut against Italy in Berne.

The 19-year-old shot-stopper, who was included in both Roy Hodgson's squad for Euro 2012 and Stuart Pearce's Team GB squad for the Olympics, could replace Joe Hart who is suffering from a back problem.

Norwich keeper John Ruddy, who Butland replaced in Ukraine and Poland, is also in the squad.

Butland told reporters: "That's what dreams are made of, isn't it?

"Hopefully it will come. Unfortunately it is due to an injury to Joe, but if I get the chance it will be a dream come true and it's something I can't stop thinking about.

"I would love the chance to be able to play on that stage on Wednesday night."

Butland made his England Under-21 debut in September last year, before spending the majority of the season on loan at League Two club Cheltenham Town.

He kept seven clean sheets in his first 12 appearances at Whaddon Road before being a surprise inclusion in Hodgson's 23-man squad for the European Championship.

"I'm not going to try and put too much pressure on myself and expect anything," Butland added.
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22/1 England are 22/1 with bet365 to beat Italy 3-1 on Wednesday

"Not a lot of goalkeepers get the chance at such a young age, so i'm very privileged to be in this position and i'm going to try and take everything in my stride. If it doesn't happen on Wednesday, I'll be working even harder to try and make it happen on a different occasion.

"It's something i'm very excited for and I've been working towards, but I also understand that i've got a long way to go. But this is where I want to be and at the top is where I want to play."

Butland has the chance to become the youngest goalkeeper for 124 years to represent his country at senior level and he added that he was aware of the statistic.

"I couldn't help but look that up, I looked on Google the other day and tried to see," he revealed.

"If i get that chance thats's fantastic. But i'm still young, I'm still working very hard and if it does come, I'll be over the moon."

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