The Premier League Golden Glove betting looks a wide-open market, with the top four at the prices separated by just two clean sheets, but Arsenal’s Petr Cech has a secret weapon in his bid for glory.
Manchester City’s Joe Hart leads the way on 13, from Casper Schmeichel of Leicester and Cech (12), with Tottenham’s Hugo Lloris and David de Gea of Manchester United on 11.
To further complicate things, both Hart and Cech have been out of action with injuries prior to the international break, although both are expected back for the next round of league games.
Understandably each goalkeeper mentioned has strong claims on the award for most shut-outs.
The quintet have the five best clean-sheets-per-90-minutes-played ratios in the division – Hart leads the way on 0.47 from Cech on 0.43, De Gea on 0.42, Schmeichel on 0.39 and Lloris on 0.37.
Despite City’s slump in form, their England international has conceded one goal in the last four games in which he started, while nine of the Leicester stopper’s 12 clean sheets have come in the 13 games following their boxing day defeat to Liverpool.
Tottenham, meanwhile, have the Premier League’s most miserly defence, to the tune of three goals, with United second on that score and having shipped a mere seven times at Old Trafford all season.
So why is Cech 2/1 favourite in the Golden Glove betting from 7/2 Hart, Schmeichel (4/1), Lloris (5/1) and De Gea an intriguing-looking 9/1 shot? After all he conceded on each of his last three top-flight starts…
The answer lies in Arsenal’s remaining fixtures, a potential banquet of clean sheets.
While his rivals all have mostly taxing assignments remaining, the decorated former Chelsea custodian faces five of the Premier League’s seven lowest-scoring sides during the Gunners’ last eight fixtures in Watford, Crystal Palace, West Brom, Norwich and Aston Villa.
Among their other three remaining obligations is a trip to Sunderland, who have accumulated the fifth lowest home-goals total in the division.