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Talking Tactics

Golden Glove battle: How the contenders compare

Adrian Clarke 28 Mar 2021
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Adrian Clarke assesses the statistics of the goalkeepers with the most clean sheets

Adrian Clarke analyses the leading contenders for the 2020/21 Premier League Golden Glove.

Player Clean sheets Matches to play
Ederson 16 8
Emiliano Martinez 14 10
Edouard Mendy 14 9
Ederson (MCI) 16 clean sheets

Manchester City's improved defensive focus has helped Ederson claim 16 clean sheets in 29 starts this season.

Making 1.7 saves per 90 minutes, and only one on average from shots inside the penalty area, he is the least-busy Premier League goalkeeper, conceding 12 goals.

Nonetheless, Ederson has stepped up to make outstanding contributions at key moments. He is exceptionally quick off his line and one of the best at narrowing the angle for attackers in 1v1 situations.

Despite facing so few efforts, he has saved between four and five extra goals that Pep Guardiola's side would have expected to concede based on the quality of the chance, according to Opta's Expected Goals on Target metric (xGoT).

PL 2020/21 Goals con. xGoT con. Difference
Alphonse Areola 28 34.1 6.1
Nick Pope 28 33.9 5.9
Emiliano Martinez 27 31.8 4.8
Ederson  12 16.6 4.6
Hugo Lloris 21 24.1 3.1

By making few costly errors, Ederson's statistical record speaks for itself.

He is also the only Premier League goalkeeper to assist a goal this term, having set up Ilkay Gundogan's second in a 3-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur in February.

Ederson's assist v Spurs
Emiliano Martinez (AVL) 14 clean sheets

Aston Villa's No 1 has enjoyed a magnificent debut season with the club.

He has made 99 saves, more than his fellow Golden Glove contenders Ederson (49) and Edouard Mendy (44) combined.

His save ratios are also among the very best in the competition, with the Argentinian keeping out more than three quarters of shots.

Save comparison
Player Save ratio Saves inside box Big chance prevention
Martinez 76.6% 69.7% 44.0%
Mendy 73.3% 61.1% 31.0%
Ederson 71.0% 61.7% 38.0%

He leads the way with a 69.7 per cent success rate from shots inside the box among goalkeepers to have made at least 10 saves.

When compared to Mendy and Ederson, the 28-year-old has been more of a standout performer.

Martinez saves v Brighton

Edouard Mendy (CHE)
 14 clean sheets

Mendy has proven a solid and reliable presence in the start of his career at Stamford Bridge.

The Chelsea goalkeeper has kept mistakes to a minimum and maintained a steady supply of clean sheets, but there have been relatively few stunning saves.

He has only repelled 31 per cent of the big chances he has faced, the second-lowest percentage among the league's first-choice 'keepers.

Mendy Under Lampard Under Tuchel
Starts 15 9
Saves 28 16
Goals con. 11 2
Clean sheets 7 7

Mendy's overall save ratio is an impressive 73.3 per cent, a significant improvement on that of Kepa Arrizabalaga, who ended 2019/20 with a record of 53.5 per cent.

The Senegalese has benefited greatly from Thomas Tuchel's tactical tweaks, being forced into only 16 saves in nine outings since the German arrived.

Given there have been seven clean sheets in those nine matches, Mendy appears to have every chance of catching Ederson.

Also in this series

Part 1: Golden Boot: Kane and Salah lead pack with an eye on treble
Part 2: Golden Boot race: How the contenders compare
Part 3: Golden Glove: Ederson under pressure in pursuit of award
Part 5: Playmaker award: Kane targeting rare double
Part 6: Playmaker award: How the contenders compare

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