Alex Neil hopes Jack Butland is not the hero again as Norwich City head to Stoke City
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Alex Neil is desperate to avoid another Jack Butland wonder show as Norwich City prepare to lock horns with Stoke.
The Canaries head to the Britannia Stadium this evening having drawn the Carrow Road reverse 1-1 in August. Stoke keeper Butland produced a man-of-the-match display, despite playing with a broken finger, on the day to repel a second-half onslaught from City. And Neil hopes the shot-stopper is not the Potters' hero again tonight.
City's boss said: 'Based on first-hand experience, and what I've seen of him so far, Jack's certainly one of the best keepers in the Premier League at the moment. We're hoping he doesn't reproduce that kind of performance against us this time.'
Butland's world-class stops saw him deny close friend Nathan Redmond and then Graham Dorrans, twice, as Stoke held out for a point in Norfolk. He came in for huge praise after the game and has since continued his stunning form for Mark Hughes' side.
Of the regular first-team goalkeepers in the Premier League this season, England's Euro 2016 hopeful has the best saves-to-shots ratio (78.6pc).
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The 22-year-old also leads the top-flight chart for the most number of saves, 77 – six more than any of his compatriots.
'Jack got us a point at their place but we are a different side now,' said Hughes, who watched his men earn a share of the spoils in their early-season clash against the Canaries.
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Mame Diouf put the Potters in front before Butland was powerless, for once, to prevent Norwich finding the net through defender Russell Martin.