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Talking Tactics

Stats stars: Dubravka among league's best goalkeepers

28 May 2020
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Most saves? Most goals prevented? Adrian Clarke looks at the No 1s who have made the most telling contributions so far in 2019/20

Adrian Clarke looks at the standout individual statistics by position in the 2019/20 Premier League season so far.

Goalkeepers

This season’s busiest goalkeeper has been Martin Dubravka 

Making 117 saves in 29 appearances the Slovak has consistently delivered telling contributions for Newcastle United. 

According to Opta's Goals Prevented metric, which looks at the quality of on-target shots a goalkeeper has faced, the 31-year-old has denied an extra 8.7 goals from finding the back of the Magpies' net.

Watch some of Dubravka's best saves

That figure is the second highest among all top-flight goalkeepers, outlining his reputation as one of the Premier League's best shotstoppers.  

Without Dubravka’s collection of game-changing saves 13th-placed Newcastle would surely be lying closer to the relegation zone. 

The degree of difficulty has also been high on the stops he has made.  

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

Most saves in 2019/20
Most saves Most saves from shots in box
Martin Dubravka (NEW) 117 Martin Dubravka (NEW) 80
Bernd Leno (ARS) 104 Mat Ryan (BHA) 71
Aaron Ramsdale (BOU) 103 Ben Foster (WAT) 63

Nick Pope, who has kept a league-high 11 clean sheets in 2019/20, has shown he is the season's best at dealing with crosses.  

No one else comes close to matching the England international’s tally of 34 successful catches during the current campaign. 

As he plays for a Burnley side who have a tendency to use a narrow back four, this is not a huge surprise.

Most catches in 2019/20
Player Total catches
Nick Pope (BUR) 34
Tim Krul (NOR) 24
Alex McCarthy (SOU) 18
Ben Foster (WAT) 18

The Clarets allow teams to put a lot of crosses into their penalty area in the hope either their strong central-defensive partnership or their confident No 1 will deal with them.

Pope is also quick off his line in general play.  

The decisive 28-year-old leads the way with an unmatched 15 "accurate sweeper goalkeeper clearances" 

Sean Dyche’s decision to make him Burnley's first-choice goalkeeper has paid off.  

Alisson difficult to beat 

The goalkeeper with the highest save percentage in the Premier League is Liverpool’s Alisson, who has returned 10 clean sheets in 20 appearances in 2019/20 

Playing for the leaders the Brazilian has not been especially busy, but he has proved highly dependable when called upon.

The 27-year-old is the only 'keeper yet to concede a goal from a shot taken outside the penalty area and has a league-high 80.4 per cent save ratio.  

Jurgen Klopp's last line of defence is someone who can be relied upon in critical moments.

Goalkeeper save percentage 2019/20
Player Save percentage
Alisson (LIV) 80.4
Hugo Lloris (TOT) 78.1
Vicente Guaita (CRY) 75.7
Dean Henderson (SHU) 75.6

Vicente Guaita has emerged as a pivotal figure for Crystal Palace 

The 33-year-old has kept an impressive nine clean sheets for Roy Hodgson’s men.  

Guaita has been decisive inside his own penalty area, making more punches than any other goalkeeper, with 21.

But it is the Spaniard's game-changing saves that most stand out.  

Opta's Expected Goals on Target (xGoT) rankings tell us that Guaita has conceded 9.6 fewer goals than he should have done for Palace across 2019/20.  

Leading goalkeepers for xGoT prevented 
2019/20 Goals conceded* xGOT faced xGOT prevented
Vicente Guaita (CRY) 26 35.6 9.6
Martin Dubravka (NEW) 40 48.7 8.7
Dean Henderson (SHU) 22 30.2 8.2

*excluding own goals

Guaita's razor-sharp reflexes and heroic displays have been worth several extra points for Palace this season.   

With the third-best save ratio in the Premier League too, he should now be widely regarded as one of the finest goalkeepers in the competition.  

Also in this series 

Part 2: Stats stars: Pereira edges Wan-Bissaka as top tackler
Part 3: Stats stars: Rodri and Gundogan control the centre
Part 4: Stats stars: De Bruyne the most creative player
Part 5: Stats stars: Why Salah offers much more than goals

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