Simon Mignolet has more cause than most Premier League goalkeepers to cherish the seven clean sheets Liverpool have kept in ten top-flight games so far in 2015.
A few costly errors and a subsequent lack of confidence made him the poster boy for the Anfield club’s dysfunctional attempts to emulate an outstanding 2013/14.
Demotion to the bench in favour of Brad Jones, an occasional custodian who can never have expected a run of four straight starts in his wildest nightmares, was the nadir.
Since his injury-enforced return to the fold, Mignolet’s improved form has seen the Belgian gloveman propelled up to second in a fiercely competitive race for the Premier League’s Golden Glove award for most clean sheets.
Southampton stopper Fraser Forster leads the way on 13, with West Brom’s Ben Foster one shutout behind Mignolet on 11 and Manchester United’s David de Gea tied alongside Swansea’s Lukas Fabianski on ten.
There’s little in it in the betting for the gong according to the bwin odds compilers, who have Forster 5/4 favourite from his Liverpool counterpart at 7/4.
Baggies glovemen Foster, who will be sidelined for four weeks with a knee injury, is third in the market at 5/1.
However, there looks to be wisdom in opposing Mignolet’s bid to rubber stamp his redemption with Golden Glove recognition in favour of the Saints man, judging by the two keepers’ respective remaining fixtures.
Liverpool must deal with Manchester United and Arsenal in their next two games while they must also travel to Chelsea before the end of the campaign.
Those foes represent the division’s first, third and fourth most lethal scorers when it comes to goals-per-game average.
Further down the line they must travel to Stoke, where Mignolet has given up six goals over his last two visits.
West Brom have a similarly shutout-averse fixture list with every member of the current top five still to come, while Foster is expected to sit out their simplest two encounters at home to QPR and Leicester.
By contrast, Forster has a relatively clean-sheet conducive calendar, with Tottenham and an ailing Manchester City their only particularly deadly remaining adversaries.
Home games against Burnley, Hull and Aston Villa and road trips to Leicester and Sunderland look plump with promise of further bagels for Southampton too.
The quintet represent the worst five sides in the Premier League for average goals per game, with not one registering a mean of more than 0.9 an outing.
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