Early Winners and Losers - Keepers

By: Matt Sims 7th September 2018


Admittedly, it's early days in the 2018/19 Premier League season, but there have already been several events which have affected the long-term points potential of certain keepers.



Winners:

Petr Cech (Arsenal)

It's strange to label a goalkeeper who has racked up minus four points thus far - making him the third worst points scoring goalie - as a "winner", but that's what we've done with Petr Cech.

The Czech keeper has conceded eight goals in four matches and has been guilty of some unconvincing kicking, yet new Gunners manager Unai Emery continues to pick him and has even installed him as captain.

Arsenal were always going to struggle in their opening games against Manchester City and Chelsea, but also failed to keep clean sheets against West Ham and Cardiff - conceding twice against the latter, in fact.

However, Cech has still pulled out some decent stops during these games and will probably stay in the team until such a time that a mistake costs his side a goal.

Matches against Newcastle, Everton, Watford and Fulham over the next month should provide Cech with the opportunity of getting back into the back.

Jonas Lossl (Huddersfield)

Jonas Lossl was a key factor in Huddersfield's early season form last year which ultimately helped them survive for a second season in the top flight.

Although more experienced back-up arrived in Ben Hamer, it was still a shock that Lossl was dropped for the opening three games of the season.

However, it was third time lucky for Lossl as Hamer was forced off with injury after 13 minutes of this match - a home game with Cardiff - and therefore played the required 75 minutes to obtain a clean sheet when the fixture finished goalless.

The Terriers then picked up an encouraging 1-1 draw at Everton and Lossl now seems likely to retain his place.

However, Huddersfield are still likely relegation candidates, so we would still recommend managers owning Lossl to take these three points and trade in for better options - which may include a second-string goalie from a top-six side to at least ensure zero points.

Alisson (Liverpool):

Despite making a huge gaffe to concede Liverpool's only goal of the season so far, Alisson has been a revelation for Liverpool in the short time since his arrival.

Prior to the game at Leicester, Liverpool had kept three consecutive clean sheets, with a new-found solidity at the back stemming from a new keeper who is comfortable on the ball and Joe Gomez installed in central defence.

Although Liverpool often steal the headlines through their attacking triumvirate of Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mo Salah, an improvement within the back-line may provide the vital edge to secure some silverware this season.

Losers:

Bernd Leno (Arsenal)

It was widely thought that £24m signing Bernd Leno would assume the number one position by usurping the aforementioned Cech, but instead finds himself sitting on the bench.

However, the German is likely to be given chances to impress in the EFL Cup and in the Europa League, so competent performances in these competitions will raise his chances of a call-up to Arsenal's first-choice Premier League team.

With Unai Emery keen to play the ball out of the back, this suits Leno far better than Cech, so it may just be a matter of time before he is given the nod...

Joe Hart (Burnley)

Having fallen out the England reckoning and there being far better goalkeeping options at Manchester City, Joe Hart made the move across Lancashire to Burnley over the summer.

However, if Hart ever thought he had a chance of being the long-term number one at Turf Moor, he's sorely mistaken.

Burnley were a revelation in defence last season, with an impressive 11 clean sheets - largely down to new goalkeeping find Nick Pope.

With Pope sidelined with a dislocated shoulder as well as Tom Heaton and Anders Lindegaard also being injured, Hart was called in to cover - but has conceded nine goals in four games so far.

Even before Pope's return, Hart may still be ousted by Heaton. Either way, the prospect of a regular starting berth in a month or two is distinctly unlikely.

Jordan Pickford (Everton)

Not so long ago, you could put your mortgage on Everton finishing seventh behind the so-called "top six", but this is no longer the case.

More importantly in terms of fantasy football, their defensive back-line is definitely no longer among the most sturdy in the league, with Marco Silva favouring a refreshing brand of football in a bid to outscore the opposition.

Even last season, Jordan Pickford played every single match but amassed no points, yet Fantasy League managers were probably attracted by his individual performances for England in the World Cup instead of considering the defenders in front of him at Everton.

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