We analyse the EPL Fantasy Goalkeepers you should be targeting for this coming Premier League season.
Make sure you don’t miss Part I of our Midfield Analysis, Part II of our Midfield Analysis or our EPL Fantasy Defenders analysis to see the premium midfielders and defenders you should be scouting for this upcoming season.
Goalkeepers are often overlooked in EPL fantasy, simply because unlike any other position, their points are perceived to come from one thing – clean sheets. Defenders have the chance to supplement a poor defensive performance with a goal or an assist, their teammates between the sticks aren’t afforded such an opportunity however, and so identifying match-ups is essential at the back.
Formations also play no part in your selection with just 1 position available on the field. Whilst that is a relief in itself, it means that you will have to make the decision as to whether you purchase one out-and-out superstar like Joe Hart or Petr Cech, or you save a little bit of your budget, buy a riskier option like Ben Foster and pair him with another starting keeper who has favorable match-ups when Foster faces elite sides.
Whichever strategy you go with, analyzing relevant fixtures is crucial and as such, we’re placing a higher value on them than we are price in our Goalkeeper analysis.
We usually divide players according to those within an ‘elite’ price bracket and those who present value at the lower end of the budget scale, however with goalkeepers providing a somewhat unique selection conundrum, we’re changing it up a little and evaluating the 11 goalkeepers we feel are viable to begin the season with, relevant selection considerations or the back-ups that complement recommended selections.
Our ‘partner with’ section will list keepers whose fixtures correlate well with your incumbent to ensure that your side always has a viable starter. We’ll list those player in order so that the first player listed is the player we’d most ideally pair with the player being reviewed.
The following advice if made with the Official Premier League Fantasy game in mind. Whilst it can be used to a certain extent within other competitions, feel free to ask us in the comment section below or in our forums whether particular players have increased or decreased value when selected in one of the other fantasy competitions we’ve analysed for the upcoming season!
Predicted Starting Keepers for 2013/2014
Arsenal – Szczesny
Aston Villa – Guzan
Cardiff – Marshall
Chelsea – Cech
Crystal Palace – Speroni
Everton – Howard
Fulham – Stekelenburg
Hull – McGregor
Liverpool – Mignolet
Manchester City – Hart
Manchester United – De Gea
Newcastle – Krul
Norwich – Ruddy
Southampton – Boruc
Stoke – Begovic
Sunderland – Mannone
Swansea – Vorm
Tottenham – Lloris
West Bromwich – Foster
West Ham – Jaaskelainen
Joe Hart (MCI – ￡6.5 million)
The Manchester City and England keeper was the highest scoring in his position last season, however seems poised for a drop in production this season with his side poised to impose a more attacking mantra. Incoming manager Pellegrini has admitted as much and with City’s transfer coups being entirely comprised of strikers and midfielders, he looks to be speaking the truth.
With injury plaguing Matija Nastasic and City yet to replace his class down back, don’t be surprised if the Citizens fail to keep many clean sheets to start the season. At the same time though, their defense is porous enough to have Hart justify his production in saves made.
Matches against Newcastle, Cardiff, Hull and Stoke in the opening month improve his stock.
Partner with: Krul, Vorm
Petr Cech (CHE – ￡6.5 million)
Chelsea’s double Gameweek to open the season places a premium on any of Jose Mourinho’s men, however the general consensus appears to be, and should be, that investing in the Chelsea keeper is a low risk/low reward prospect. With so much uncertainty surrounding the Lukaku/Torres saga and question marks over Mata’s fitness, there are worse options than Cech, but we’d prefer to use our 3 allocated Chelsea players elsewhere.
Partner with: Howard, Krul, Ruddy, Boruc
Simon Mignolet (LIV – ￡5.5 million)
By far the most popular choice this season with 27.3% of managers already having selected the Liverpool stopper. Coming in a a full ￡1,000,000 cheaper than his Chelsea and City counterparts, it isn’t really much of a surprise, however Liverpool’s schedule is deceptively less simple than many think. We may be playing devil’s advocate, however we’re expecting Liverpool to concede 5 times in the opening month and will be be doing well to maintain 2 clean sheets at best.
Partner with: Jaaskelainen, Mannone, Howard
Jussi Jaskellinen (WHU – ￡5.5 million)
The West Ham keeper made more saves last season than any other keeper. Combine that with his incredibly favorable schedule and we’ve got a potential bargain. An opening weekend fixture against the promoted Cardiff represents a decent chance at a clean sheet before a trip to Newcastle shapes up as an ideal fixture. Exactly 50% of Newcastle’s shots from last season came from outside the box, making easy-pickings for a keeper of Jussi’s talents. Without a single fixture in the opening 6 presenting an overly daunting task, should West Ham develop some form of defensive resolve, you won’t need cover.
Partner with: Krul
Ben Foster (WBA – ￡5 million)
Another player significantly under-priced but enters contention due to their schedule. In the 2012/2013 season, 3 of West Bromwich’s opening 4 opponents hit the target under 4.5 times per game on average, putting them in the bottom half of the league. Combine that with West Brom’s improved defense through the signing of Uruguayan international Lugano and Foster, owned by just 5.5% of managers, is a potential steal. Many will be tempted to pair Foster with Southampton’s Boruc (v. Sunderland), however for ￡4.5 million, we’d rather – somewhat ironically – invest in Sunderland’s Mannone who plays Boruc’s Southampton.
Partner with: Begovic, Mannone, Boruc, Krul, Ruddy
Tim Krul (NEW – ￡5 million)
Despite a persisting injury and a lack of preseason training, Tim Krul is one of our favored keepers to start the season. Following his opening-weekending trip to Manchester City, Newcastle play West Ham, Hull and Fulham at home and Aston Villa away. With Hull having the worst attacking record of the promoted clubs and their remaining opposition averaging a combined 12.1 shots on target per game (Tottenham, Liverpool and Manchester City average 18.5 combined), Krul seems in for a decent run to start the year. Couple that with the fact he’s one of the finest keepers in the world in our opinion and only selected by 1.2% of managers and he’s a serious consideration.
At ￡5 million, Krul is relatively expensive for a back-up, but if you have spare room in your budget, his schedule supports a lot of the big-name keepers more than anyone else.
Partner with: Jaaskelainen, Foster, Mannone
Tim Howard (EVE – ￡5.5 million)
Tim Howard may be one of the oldest and angriest keepers in the Premier League, but that doesn’t stop the Everton keeper from making our list. The Toffees have a decent set of fixtures to open the campaign, however Norwich on the opening weekend could be a surprisingly tough outing for Martinez’s men. Everton spent more time in the attacking third than almost any team in the EPL under Moyes, but this season under Martinez, Howard is unlikely to be protected by Everton’s slow tempo. Add to that the new manager’s preference for a 3-4-3 and whilst it seems a simplistic conclusion, the American’s goal should be under-threat more often.
In saying that, matches against West Bromwich, Cardiff and Newcastle (if their injury woes persist) offset clashes with Norwich, Chelsea and West Ham (who will welcome back Andy Carroll for this fixture) enough to present Howard as a viable option.
Partner with: Jaaskelainen, Foster, Boruc
Wojciech Szczesny (ARS – ￡6.5 million)
Arsenal’s outing against Manchester City in Finland on Saturday proved that they’re not in as dire situation as we may have thought. Despite conceding one goal, the Gunners were more resolute in defense than many had expected, especially considering the wealth of possession gifted to City. Arsenal’s start to the season is another one which is deceptively difficult with a trip to Craven Cottage, a clash with Tottenham and visits to Sunderland and Swansea all presenting real goal-threats.
It is also unlikely that Arsenal will concede just 37 goals again this season – a league-best effort in 2012/2013. Whilst nothing has disrupted their back-four, we’d steer clear of Szczesny in favor of other, cheaper options. In saying that, his draw is complimented perfectly by Tim Krul if you’re set on buying the Arsenal man.
Partner with: Krul, Jaaskelainen, Foster
Hugo Lloris (TOT – ￡6 million)
After waiting for his promised starting job at Tottenham to come to fruition, Lloris made the most of his opportunity and will start this season between the sticks. The absence of Vertonghen is a big one for Spurs but with significant cover on the bench and AVB a fan of playing Dembele and Paulinho (two enormous men) in the defensive hole, the Frenchman should have plenty of protection.
Crystal Palace and Cardiff are their only walk-overs in the opening 5 weeks whilst Norwich and Swansea should provide a relatively significant amount of difficulty. Clashes with Arsenal and Chelsea round out what many are wrongly believing to be a favorable start to 2013/2014. At his price, we’d look elsewhere.
Partner with: Howard, Jaaskelainen
David de Gea (MUT – ￡6 million)
The Manchester United number 1 had issues upon his arrival at Old Trafford, even being benched at points during the season, however seems to have his starting spot firmly consolidated under David Moyes. Despite this, United’s defense has looked average this summer (as has most of their team in pre-season), and we’d be reluctant to invest ￡6 million even if the Red Devils didn’t have a horrible draw to begin 2013/2014.
Partner with: Ruddy, Mannone, Krul, Howard
Vito Mannone (SUN – ￡4.5 million)
The imposing Vito Mannone may never have secured that starting spot at Arsenal, but he is a class keeper nevertheless. Anticipated to start for Sunderland this season, the Italian should be able to exploit what is a favorable start to the campaign. Priced at just ￡4.5 million, many are overlooking him as a complimentary option, however in hosting Fulham and traveling to Southampton, Palace and West Bromwich in the opening 5 weeks, there are a considerable number of chances for clean sheets.
If you’re trying to find a little bit of spare cash to finish your side, Mannone’s schedule fits perfectly with a lot of the other cheap options in the league. You can get away with spending just ￡6.5 million at the goalkeeper position if you partner him with Boruc for example. If you do, you’ll have a schedule involving Fulham, Southampton, Palace, West Ham, West Bromwich and Palace again to open the season.
Partner with: Boruc, McGregor, Jaaskelainen
Also, don’t forget to check out the various EPL Fantasy Competitions available to you to compete for this coming season. Whatever you’re looking for, we’ve got it covered.
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