Occasional Scottish international goalkeeper David Marshall’s contribution has been nothing short of key to Cardiff City’s far from demoralising start to the campaign, earning points and helping them avoid demoralising hammerings with a welter of saves.
However, it would be unrealistic to expect his impressive performance levels to continue unabated throughout the campaign and with this in mind the Bluebirds look a nice price for relegation at 2/1.
Marshall has made ten more saves than any other keeper in the Premier League this term.
The former Norwich City stalwart has been easily the busiest stopper this term, repelling 10 more goal-bound efforts than next most put-upon goalie Kieren Westwood of Sunderland.
Just how often he’s been called upon to bail out his side is magnified by the fact that he’s played a game less than the nine next most prolific savers.
Cardiff have allowed more shots to rain down on their in-form custodian than any other side in the top flight.
It’s just as well Marshall has been at his very sharpest, with City’s foes loosing off 174 shots in their nine games.
Only Fulham come close to that total, with third most generous effort-allowers Hull contending with a mere 138 rounds of enemy fire.
The Scot was instrumental in repelling a Norwich attack which mustered 31 attempts on goal in the Welsh outfit’s last league outing.
While his brilliant form is to be celebrated, a side that have so much trouble denying their opposition shooting opportunities will be in major trouble should it dip.
If their win against Man City is excluded then the Bluebirds have notched just five league goals in 2013/14.
A lack of genuine goal-threat in Malky Mackay’s side demands that Cardiff at least maintain their current levels of defending if their heads are still to be above water at the end of the season.
Given that current level has been maintained, at least in part, by regular goalkeeping heroics it doesn’t seem sustainable.