For his first report of the season, we let the Sport-Locker.net scout loose on the Premier League’s current crop of shot stoppers. Here’s what he had to say…
For as long as fantasy football has existed managers have been faced with the same old conundrum; who to have between the sticks – do you go with the expensive household name or a goalkeeper from one of the lesser teams?
Some managers opt for an expensive stopper and then include the cheapest possible replacement on the bench to free up cash – for example, Courtois (£6m) and Gilks (£4m) as a combination. While this can be a useful method, I personally prefer to include two mid-priced ‘keepers to use in rotation, such as Krul (£4.5m) and Speroni (£5m). This way, if it looks like your goalie might be in for a peppering you can always swap him out for somebody who also plays regularly.
Tim Krul – £4.5m
With an average value of £5m over the last three seasons, £4.5m seems cheap for Newcastle’s curtain-haired ‘keeper.
Not much has changed in terms of the defence that protected him last term, aside from the sale of Debuchy and the introduction of Dutch teammate Janmaat on the right-hand side, and with 10 clean sheets last season he looks a decent bet between the posts.
Newcastle’s opening fixtures: Man City (h), Villa (a), Palace (h).
Rob Green – £4.5m
The recall of Julio Cesar will apply some pressure on Green but unless Redknapp pulls off a major signing of the goalkeeping variety (which could definitely still happen) he is surely in control of the No.1 spot.
The addition of Ferdinand and Caulker has drastically improved what was occasionally a leaky defence last season and Green should benefit with a few more shut outs.
QPR’s opening fixtures: Hull (h), Spurs (a), Sunderland (h).
Julian Speroni – £5m
His price has risen slightly since last time around and rightly so – he was the 4th best goalie in the division last season. Also voted Palace’s Player of the Season, Speroni ended the term having plundered a remarkable 144 points.
Tony Pulis makes a habit of organising his defences well and with the addition of Brede Hangeland on a free, big Julian will certainly be looking to improve on his record of 12 clean sheets last time around.
Palace’s opening fixtures: Arsenal (a), West Ham (h), Newcastle (a).
Asmir Begovic – £5m
The embodiment of a ‘solid citizen’, our man Asmir hit the headlines last year when scored against Southampton after just 13 seconds, becoming only the 5th Premier League goalie to do so.
While we shouldn’t really expect more wind-assisted goals from the tall Bosnian, one thing we can expect is solid performances and Begovic was responsible for nine shut outs in last year’s PL.
He has achieved more than 130 points in each of the last two seasons.
Stoke City’s opening fixtures: Villa (h), Hull (a), Man City (a).
Kasper Schmeichel – £4.5m
Kasper was named in the 2014 PFA Championship team of the season and his performances will be pivotal if Leicester City want to stay in the top flight.
With previous Premier League experience the lad should have no trouble making the step up, but with Leicester facing up against the big boys in their opening three games he might only be worth a spot on the bench until September.
Leicester City’s opening fixtures: Everton (h), Chelsea (a), Arsenal (h).
Goalkeepers to avoid…
Petr Cech – The big man faces ridiculously strong competition in the form of Thibault Courtois and when Chelsea’s opener versus Burnley kicks off, there’s a decent chance he’ll be sat down near the edge of the pitch wearing a club tracksuit.
Joe Hart – Pricey at £6m and finished last season with a lower return than the three other top four regulars. Should be City’s first choice at the beginning of the season but with Pelligrini bringing in old favourite Willy Cabellero things might not be so straightforward.
Vito Mannone – A fantasy football legend last season for those who selected him, the Italian amassed a cool 134 points helped Gus Poyet’s men avoid certain relegation. However with the giant Costel Pantilimon making his presence known at the Stadium of Light, he may well have a smaller part to play during this campaign.
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