Petr Cech v Bernd Leno: Which Arsenal keeper has the better stats?
Nick Murphy | 14 August 2018
Arsenal goalkeepers’ numbers crunched
Petr Cech’s place as Arsenal’s number one goalkeeper has come under increased threat following the Gunners’ 2-0 defeat to Manchester City on the opening day.
The veteran stopper made a number of high-profile errors in the match but is still 1/6 to start in goal against former club Chelsea on Saturday. Understudy and £22.5m man from Bayer Leverkusen Bernd Leno is 7/2 to take the gloves and begin the match at Stamford Bridge.
But how do the pair match up in terms of stats? The Coral News Team has crunched the duo’s numbers from the 2017-18 season to find out.
Emery has placed an emphasis on playing the ball out from the back. That only works if you have a goalkeeper confident with his feet. Just ask Pep Guardiola.
Cech’s stats when it comes to knocking the ball around don’t read well. The ex-Chelsea man attempted 488 passes last season to Leno’s 730. That works out at 14.35 per match compared against 24.33 for his fellow stopper.
Things get even more interesting when you break it down into successful passes. Cech managed 331 (9.74 per game) against 496 for Leno (24.33 per game). The new man appears far more adept with his feet. And at 26-years-old, he’s only going to get better.
Leno also attempted more forward passes last season with 24.27 per match which could prove crucial as Emery looks to get attacks flowing from the back.
Modern managers like to pick a goalkeeper based on how they do with their feet. But it’s shot-stopping that remains the bread and butter.
Cech made more saves (78 v 44) and saves per goal (1.66 v 1.19) than his understudy last season. He did, however, conceded 10 more goals and keep one fewer clean sheet. That can be tempered by the fact that Arsenal punched well below their weight in sixth, while Leverkusen punched above theirs in terms of budget by finishing fifth.
Both look fairly evenly matched on that basis. So can they be split in terms of errors made? The answer is yes. Cech made seven defensive errors last season – six of which led to a goal – while Leno made two, both of which led to a goal.
That suggests a regression for Cech, who made just two defensive errors during the 2016-17 season, and whose alarming lack of awareness and dip in form seemingly continued with a miscued back pass versus Manchester City on Sunday.
Commanding the area
It hasn’t made kind reading for Cech so far. But commanding his area is one facet of play where the 36-year-old does have the upper hand on his rival.
The four-time Premier League winner comes out on top in several categories including clearances, catches and punches. He dominated his teammate 19-11 in the latter category during the last campaign and 74-54 when it came to clearances.
That may not seem like a great deal. However, in a league where strength, physicality and positioning are often key, it’s possible to see why Cech gets the nod over Leno in the short term at least.
For more Chelsea v Arsenal odds click here.
All statistics taken from www.squawka.com.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing