A dominant goalkeeper adds a different layer to a team’s psyche. Apart from the obvious shot-stopping example, good management of defenders and accurate positioning can foil attacks before they even develop. [Photo: Courtesy]

The Premier League 2019/20 season will finally resume on June 17 after the coronavirus pandemic led to its shutdown in March.

Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City will host Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal and Aston Villa will take on Sheffield United.

Due to the technological advancement in football, elite team sports companies invest substantial resources to analyse players’ performance.

It’s no secret that goalkeepers are underappreciated for the vital role they play in football.

There have been decorated, world-class goalkeepers who have won title after title for their respective teams but failed to win sought-after individual honours commensurate to their achievements and talent.

This argument holds water for defenders too, but goalkeepers have it much harder due to the static nature of their job.

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On this occasion, GameYetu will look at current goalkeeper statistics in the English Premier League according to Opta’s Goals Prevented metric. The metric looks at the quality of on-target shots a goalkeeper has faced.

Martin Dubravka

This season’s busiest keeper is Dubravka from Newcastle United.

The shot-stopper has consistently delivered and made an impressive 117 saves in 29 appearances this season.

The Goals Prevented metric shows he has denied an extra 8.7 goals from finding the back of the Magpies’ net.

More than 68 per cent of the efforts Dubravka has repelled have been from shots inside the penalty box. 

As a child, Dubravka enjoyed playing ice hockey as well as football, and could have moved into the former sport were it not for a leg injury he sustained when he was five years old. [Photo: Courtesy]

Nick Pope

Burnley’s Pope has the most clean sheets (11) and stats reveal he is the season’s best at dealing with crosses. 

He has 34 successful catches and no one else comes close to matching that tally in the current campaign.

The England international also leads the way with an unmatched 15 “accurate sweeper goalkeeper clearances”. 

Pope joined Burnley on a three-year contract for an undisclosed fee in 2016. [Photo: Courtesy]

Alisson Becker

Liverpool’s Becker won the Premier League Golden Glove award for the highest number of clean sheets in the 2018/19 season.

The Brazilian recorded 21 shutouts, amassing one more than Manchester City’s Ederson after the final round of matches.

He has continued with his brilliant form this season and is the goalkeeper with the highest save percentage in the Premier League. The former Roma shot-stopper has 10 clean sheets in 20 appearances in 2019/20. 

The 27-year-old has not conceded a goal from a shot taken outside the penalty area and has a league-high 80.4 per cent save ratio. 

Becker was in 2019 named The Best FIFA Goalkeeper and was also the recipient of the inaugural Yashin Trophy. [Photo: Courtesy]

Vicente Guaita

Crystal Palace’s Guaita has been exceptional this season keeping an impressive nine clean sheets for Roy Hodgson’s men. He also has more punches than any other goalkeeper, with 21.

The Spaniard has conceded 9.6 fewer goals than he should have done for Palace across 2019/20.   

The 33-year-old should be considered as one of the best goalkeepers this season as he has the third-best save ratio in the league.

Guaita appeared in 176 La Liga matches during eight seasons with Valencia and Getafe, as well as a season on loan with Recreativo in the Segunda Division. [Photo: Courtesy]

Summary:

Newcastle’s Martin Dubravka

Most saves 117

Most saves inside the box -80

 

Burnley’s Nick Pope

Most clean sheets – 11

Most catches – 34

 

Liverpool’s Alisson Becker

Best save percentage – 80.4%

 

Crystal Palace’s Vicente Guaita

Most expected goals prevented (xGoT) – 9.6

 Expected Goals on Target (xGoT)

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