David de Gea and Alisson Becker's league displays have been statistically compared

Tottenham Hotspur v Liverpool FC - Premier League

Some of the best goalkeepers in the world play in the Premier League.

For many years, David de Gea has been the undisputed king, producing heroic performances for Manchester United and bagging their Player of the Year award four times in the last five years.

However, a brief slip in form after the summer allowed some of his rivals to enter the conversation and there were some high-profile new arrivals.

Kepa Arrizabalaga and Bernd Leno, the former of which arrived for a world-record fee, both moved to English football after the World Cup, joining other great shot stoppers like Ederson and Petr Cech.

Yet most people would agree that Alisson Becker is the closest rival to United's number one and Liverpool certainly haven't missed Loris Karius this season.

Best goalkeepers in England

Having shelled out £67 million to prize him from AS Roma, the Reds have secured themselves one of the best goalkeepers in the world and he has really shored up the club's back-line.

Alongside the undeniable influence of Virgil van Dijk, Alisson has brought a security that has been vital to Liverpool's challenge for the Premier League title.

But what do the statistics say when it comes to settling Alisson vs De Gea?


Alisson vs De Gea

Well, fans have come a lot closer to answering that question after a recent study in the Telegraph, assessing how many 'expected goals' that have been kept out by every goalkeeper.

In other words, have they conceded more goals than they should have done or have they prevented goals they wouldn't be expected to? Bear with us.

It turns out that Alisson holds the advantage in this category, although Tottenham's Hugo Lloris and West Ham's Lukasz Fabianski actually come out on top across the whole league.

"Alisson has saved 4.8 goals that should have gone in, while De Gea's differential is 3.1, the fifth best in the league," it's explained.

"A look at these two keepers' save maps suggests it is better to aim low against Alisson, while strikers are more likely to beat De Gea when shooting higher into the net, possibly because the Spaniard is so effective at saving shots with his feet."

Take a look at the following graphs to see every shot on target both goalkeepers have faced, with larger circles representing 'bigger chances': 

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So, statistically speaking, Alisson has been the better goalkeeper this season and this type of analysis allows us to remove the quality of the defence from the equation.

The 'expected goals' situation allows to judge indiscriminately whether the goalkeepers 'should' have saved the shot and say what you like about the stat, but all the players are held to the same criteria.

Yet, although it allows us answer the De Gea vs Alisson debate, perhaps we should be sending our praise to Lloris and Fabianski.

Who would you rather have in your team - Alisson or De Gea? Have your say in the comments section below.

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