Over the next three days here at news.bwin.com/en/, we’re taking a close look at a trio of truly intriguing battles for the number one jerseys at three of the Premier League’s top four clubs from last term, starting with Willy Caballero v Joe Hart for champions Manchester City.
England’s number one is priced up at 3/20 to make more league starts than his Argentine adversary in 2014/15, with Caballero the rank outsider in this matchbet at 14/5.
However, the former’s superior stats from last term are just one reason to believe he will start the campaign as one of the first names on his now two-time gaffer’s teamsheet.
City managed to top the pile last term despite conceding ten more goals than third-placed Chelsea and just two less than fifth-placed Everton.
Hart was dropped for seven Premier League games on the spin after a dreadful last-minute error handed Chelsea a late winner at Stamford Bridge in October, with untried Romanian giant Costel Pantilimon – who has since been dumped on Sunderland – taking his place.
Had Pellegrini taken Caballero with him when he left Malaga last summer, as many assumed he would, then the 32-year-old would surely have seen off Hart by Christmas.
As it was, the former Albiceleste youth stayed at La Rosaleda and ensured that his former employers were one of only three La Liga sides outside the top four that conceded fewer than 50 goals.
New Real Madrid stopper Keylor Navas let in just four fewer for Levante, and the new Citizen played a game more than Costa Rica’s World Cup hero.
Pellegrini started Caballero 36 times in La Liga in 2012/13. There’s little reason to believe he won’t do the same in the Premier League.