It seems ironic that, in a season during which Manchester City’s defence has come in for stinging criticism, it is their last line of defence who could end up proving to be the best in his profession for one particular aspect.
Going into the final round of Premier League fixtures, Ederson is tied with Burnley’s Nick Pope on 15 clean sheets in the race for the division’s Golden Glove prize, with both goalkeepers seeking either a share of the honour or its outright success.
The Clarets’ number one has had plenty of garlands from TV pundits lately – Ian Wright hailed his performance in the 1-1 draw at Liverpool as “absolutely unbelievable“, while Matt Murray has backed him to challenge Jordan Pickford for the status as England’s first-choice goalkeeper.
Perversely, Ederson could claim the Golden Glove having had 80% or less of his clean sheet tally from last season – he recorded 20 shutouts in the 2018/19 Premier League but that was still one short of his international colleague Alisson at Liverpool.
The 26-year-old may well fancy his chances of finishing this season with 16 league shutouts, though, given that Manchester City finish their domestic campaign with a home fixture against bottom club Norwich.
There are plenty of statistics which point towards Ederson having an untroubled afternoon – Pep Guardiola’s have conceded just once in their last six home games, having put together five successive Etihad shutouts in that time.
Who will win the 2019/20 Premier League Golden Glove?
The Brazilian’s cause is also helped by coming up against the Premier League’s weakest attack, with Norwich scoring a pitiful 26 goals in the division all season – Manchester City have scored three more in their nine post-lockdown league games.
Furthermore, while Guardiola’s team have scored 29 times in their last nine league matches, the Canaries have plundered a paltry one in that time and have lost every single match they have played since football restarted last month (as per TransferMarkt).
Pope could have to deal with the threat of Neal Maupay for Brighton, who has scored 10 goals this season, including one in the Seagulls’ recent draw at Southampton. Right now, Norwich do not seem to boast anyone who looks likely to unduly trouble Ederson based on their recent form, so the Brazilian goalkeeper looks a good bet for at least a share of the Golden Glove, if not the outright winner.
Kevin De Bruyne is closing in on a Premier League record for assists in one season, which he may well claim given the recent paucity of Sunday’s opponents. He may not be the only one walking off the pitch at the Etihad with an individual honour to his name, though.
Man City fans, do you think Ederson has been better or worse this season compared to last? Join in the discussion by commenting below!
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