Cech mate to Arsenal
On Sunday, Arsenal’s Petr Cech faces his former side Chelsea for the third time this term after having fallen out of favour with them last season. Did Chelsea do the right thing to let him go or should they have kept him for another few years?
We have taken an extensive look at Cech’s stats this season and compared them to Chelsea’s current first and second choice goalkeepers in Thibaut Courtois and Asmir Begovic.
Cech spent 11 years at Chelsea winning four Premier League titles. However, at the end of the 2014/15 season he fell out of favour with the Blues and was replaced by Belgium number one Thibaut Courtois. That season Cech made just seven appearances for Chelsea before making his 10-million pound move away to Arsenal.
Now at 33-years of age Cech is having a sublime season with the Gunners and finds his team in contention of winning the EPL. In rather contrasting fortunes, despite a recent resurgence, Chelsea have had an overall abysmal season and find themselves still just four points above the relegation places.
Collectively Courtois and Begovic have made six clean sheets in 22 appearances. On the other hand, Cech has 10 clean sheets under his belt putting him joint first in the EPL with Joe Hart of Manchester City.
No doubt this is also down to how good Arsenal’s defence has been. However, this is not to say that Cech has not been busy. Arsenal’s number one choice keeper has made an impressive 72 saves in 22 appearances. Courtois and Begovic have made 21 and 34 saves respectively making for a total of 68.
Oulala’s stats show that the Chelsea custodians have an average of 29 minutes per save whereas Cech has an average of 28. The Czech number one has conceded 21 goals or 0.95 per game.
Chelsea first choice Courtois has conceded 16 goals in 11 games (1.45 per game). Whilst he was out injured, Begovic played 11 games conceding 18 goals (1.50 per game). Combined, they have conceded 34 goals, 13 more than Cech.
The only area where both Chelsea keepers come out on top collectively is in catches made (55 to 41).
In terms of punches made, Cech once again has the edge making 14 punches to Courtois’ and Begovic’s total of 10.
Cech’s first game against Chelsea came at the very start of the season in a dull 1-0 FA community Shield victory for Arsenal. His first Premier League encounter against the Blues came at Stamford Bridge. Cech received a warm welcome however the game ended 2-0 in favour of the home side. One win, one loss, 1-1 the score. Can Cech continue his fine form on Sunday and help his side to victory against his predecessors?