Save percentages: Post-Gameweek 20 update

I thought it was about time to check in on the goalkeeper save percentages, which I calculate because I rarely see it mentioned when the performance of Premier League shot stoppers is being discussed.

To keep it to a reasonable length, the following chart only shows goalkeepers who have played at least 180 minutes. However, that is low enough to include Vito Mannone (270 minutes), who now appears to be favoured over Costel Pantilimon in the Sunderland goal. I removed penalties from the calculation of save percentages because spot kicks have a far higher conversion rate than shots on target from open play.

Goalkeeper save percentage GW1-20 2015-16

The chart helps shows why Petr Cech and Jack Butland, both ever present this season, are key pillars in the Arsenal and Stoke City defences respectively. Arsenal sit eighth in the league for shots on target conceded but they sit second for clean sheets and Cech’s 79 per cent save rate must take some of the credit. Even more impressively, with Butland’s 80 per cent save rate, Stoke sit joint third for clean sheets despite being the fourth worst team at conceding shots on target.

Alex Neil’s decision to make Declan Rudd his starting goalkeeper a month ago appears to be paying dividends. With his league-leading 81 per cent save rate, the Norwich City goalie has kept two clean sheets in his six starts, compared to John Ruddy’s one clean sheet in 14 matches. Priced at just 3.9m, Rudd could be a good budget Fantasy Premier League option if he can keep this up.

Embed from Getty Images

From the save percentages, it looks like there could be room for improvement in the goalkeeping department at Bournemouth, Southampton, Aston Villa and Liverpool.

With only three games under his belt this season – including one against Manchester City – I think the sample size is too small to pass judgement on Mannone’s performance so far.


5 thoughts on “Save percentages: Post-Gameweek 20 update

  1. Love your work Diva.

    Regarding save percentages, it’s worth noting that it’s as much to do with the quality of chances a team concedes as the quality of the goalkeeper. Big chances will be saved at a much lower rate than say shots from outside the box or snap-shots from tight angles.

    Here’s a quick table I knocked up a few weeks ago which looked at the previous 10 weeks at the time (so I think it was GWs 8-17):

    Notice the team with the lowest percentage of their chances conceded being big chances – Stoke (the stats start from around the time Shawcross returned). I think this is the main thing that makes Butland the perfect keeper this year – he gets lots of shots to save, but those shots are generally easier to save because his defence is restricting the opposition to more difficult chances. Hence, lots of save points and lots of clean sheets.

    As such I wouldn’t expect a great deal of improvement from Bournemouth, Villa and Liverpool based on those stats – they concede too many big chances. It can’t be much fun being a Liverpool keeper because they don’t concede many shots on goal (fewer save points), but when they do they’re more likely to be clear-cut and harder to save.

    Liked by 1 person

    • A great point Hyperion, thank you. I include consideration of SiB along with SoT when I look at individual players so you are right that I shouldn’t be condemning the keepers from those four clubs before taking a closer look at those factors.

      These posts should only be considered as adding another layer of information for FPL managers to consider and they should consider all the layers of information they think relevant before making a decision on whether to buy, sell or bench a player etc.


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