Top 5: Premier League goalkeepers

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To celebrate 20 years of the Premier League, a whole host of awards are set to be handed out next month in a variety of categories - from best celebration to best match.

Goalkeepers have got their place in the limelight with a 'best saves' category, but have been snubbed in the 'greatest player' category, with not one stopper making it on to the controversial 10-man shortlist.

With so many great keepers gracing the English top flight over the past two decades, GMF decided to pick its own top five in honour of their efforts.

See if you agree with our selections.

5. David James – Liverpool, Aston Villa, West Ham United, Manchester City, Portsmouth

If it was all about experience, then nobody has more than David James, who still plies his trade in the Championship with Bristol City.

After starting his career at Anfield, the England international spent time with Aston Villa and West Ham United, before enjoying something of a resurgence in his career with Manchester City and Portsmouth.

In total, James enjoyed 18 seasons in the Premier League, making 572 appearances at the highest level and earning 53-caps for his country to date.

4. Pepe Reina - Liverpool

The Spanish stopper arrived at Anfield in the summer of 2005, replacing Jerzy Dudek as the club’s No.1 just a season after the club won the Champions League thanks to the Pole’s heroics in the final.

His impact was instant, winning back-to-back ‘Golden Glove’ awards for 20 and 19 clean sheets in consecutive seasons.

The 29-year-old reached 50 clean sheets for the club in just 92 games – a Livepool record – and has played 251 times for the club in the division.

3. Shay Given – Newcastle United, Manchester City, Aston Villa

Still making great saves at Aston Villa, the Republic of Ireland international made his name at St. James’ Park, although it was with Blackburn where he first signed as a professional but failed to make an appearance.

After establishing himself as first choice on arrival at the Toon in 1997, Given spent 12 years working miracles with the club, producing heroic performances but never winning silverware.

He left for Manchester City on February 1st, 2009, but after dislocating his shoulder towards the end of the following season, Joe Hart made the position his own and started as the new No.1 for the 2010/11 season.

After picking up an FA Cup winners medal at the City of Manchester stadium, he left for Aston Villa last summer, and has been first choice this season in a difficult campaign under Alex McLeish.

2. Brad Friedel – Liverpool, Blackburn Rovers, Aston Villa, Tottenham Hotspur

Arriving at the Premier League in 1997, Friedel struggled to make a major impact at Anfield during three years on Merseyside.

A move to Blackburn proved the perfect remedy, and the 40-year-old spent eight years at Ewood Park, making 287 league appearances and even scoring in a 3-2 defeat against Charlton Athletic.

A move to Aston Villa in 2008 again proved fruitful, helping Martin O’Neill’s young side challenge for European football and proving his consistency throughout during a spell in the Midlands.

With critics expecting the veteran to retire when his contract ran out with the club last summer, Harry Redknapp swooped to bring the American to Spurs on a free transfer, and he’s been key in the club’s battle for a Champions League place this season.

1. Peter Schmeichel – Manchester United, Aston Villa, Manchester City

The great Dane moved to Old Trafford in 1991, and would go on to become a legend at Old Trafford during eight exceptional years with the club.

Able to pop up with the odd goal when needed for Sir Alex Ferguson, Schmeichel was exceptional in one-on-one scenarios, with a unique style of making himself big to prevent strikers from getting past.

A string of world-class saves punctuate his time in the Premier League, winning five titles as well as three FA Cups and a Champions League for the Red Devils.

After leaving for Sporting Lisbon in ’99, he came back to England two years later and spent consecutive seasons at Aston Villa and Manchester City. Rather than diminish his reputation, he again proved he was one of the best during his spells with these clubs.

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