Foster Ruddy
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Five goalies to stand in for injured Ben Foster on England duty

| 17.03.2015

England boss Roy Hodgson will not be able to call upon his old club goalkeeper at West Bromwich Albion, Ben Foster, for the Euro 2016 qualifier against Lithuania and friendly in Italy, because of a knee injury.

The Three Lions are 12/1 shots with Coral to win the tournament in France, and must select three stoppers in their squad for all competitive matches en route.

Foster is ruled out of action for a month, so that got our football experts thinking who could deputise for him on Hodgson’s roster? We put our heads together and came up with five alternatives:

Karl Darlow
This stopper shall be in the Premier League next term come what may, as Newcastle United now own his contract. Darlow, 24, has previously rejected overtures from Wales, who he could represent through his famous footballing grandfather Ken Leek, so Hodgson should be wary of this.

Keeping 11 clean sheets in his final Championship campaign with 14/1 top six chances Nottingham Forest so far, he was strong both stopping shots and at crosses in a recent 0-0 draw at Leeds United.

Lee Grant
Despite missing several matches with a broken foot, ex-England Under-21 international Grant, now 32, has still managed to seal 13 shut-outs for Derby County, one of the Championship title contenders at 5/1.

Robert Green
He may be 35, but QPR keeper Green has certainly been busy this term. Five clean sheets is not a great record, but nobody has made more saves (104).

Capped a dozen times for England already, giving Green a squad spot just as cover couldn’t Hurt. Joe Hart and Fraser Forster are the main goalies, but an older head could help Hodgson in training.

Tom Heaton
A Manchester United academy product, Heaton has endured something of a journeyman career after earning three Under-21 caps between 2008 and 2009.

With Burnley, evens to stay up this term, he has shut out six Premier League sides, including champions Manchester City. Heaton, 28, has also made as many saves (94) as Spurs stopper Hugo Lloris, putting him joint-fourth on that statistical list.

John Ruddy
England cap Ruddy, also 28, has not received a look-in the squad since Norwich City were relegated last May, and a recent embarrassing own goal will not help his claims, though he has been chosen by Hodgson before.

Ruddy has kept 11 clean sheets with the Canaries in the Championship to date and, unlike Premier League understudy stoppers Jack Butland and Alex McCarthy, is getting regular football at Carrow Road.



Jamie Clark

Athletics aficionado, die-hard snooker fan and Crystal Palace supporter Jamie has written for Coral since February 2014 after spells with Soccerlens and the Press Association as a digital journalist and copywriter. A former East Midlands sports correspondent and Bwin tipster, he is a graduate of both the University of York and University of Sheffield, with a Masters in web journalism from the latter.