Joe Hart vs. Petr Cech: Who Wins Stats Battle of the Premier League Goalkeepers?

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Joe Hart vs. Petr Cech: Who Wins Stats Battle of the Premier League Goalkeepers?
Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Joe Hart and Petr Cech represent two of the Premier League's best goalkeepers.

Both are undisputed No. 1s at their respective clubs. In a season that has seen Manchester City and Chelsea struggle for Premier League success, both have also been under the spotlight more regularly than usual.

Following on from Bleacher Report's statistical comparison between Pepe Reina and David De Gea,, many readers asked for Hart and Cech to receive the same treatment. The numbers have been crunched, mistakes jotted up and each save tallied to produce another set of interesting results.

First, let's go over the ground rules. All statistics have been taken from 2012-13 Premier League appearances made by the player in question. Aerial duels are marked as any leaping touch that sends the ball favourably away from goal. Personal errors are also defined as mistakes that directly lead to the opposition scoring.

It's worth noting that Joe Hart's penalty concede against Chelsea isn't marked down as an error. He saved Frank Lampard's resulting spot kick, therefore the foul didn't directly lead to a goal.

Shaun Botterill/Getty Images
Joe Hart saves Frank Lampard's penalty in Manchester City's recent 2-0 win over Chelsea.

 

Joe Hart

This has been Hart's toughest season to date. As an integral member of Manchester City and England's starting lineup, pressure and interest in Hart's performances has continued to crescendo. His phenomenal display throughout City's title-winning 2011-12 season also ensures many viewers observe Hart to consider the suggestion he is the best goalkeeper in the world (via The Telegraph).

Hart's seasonal stats can be used to fuel either side of the argument. He is the only featured individual who has played every single Premier League game this campaign. At the time of writing he has enjoyed 14 clean sheets—more than any other stopper.

On average, the Englishman has conceded 0.87 goals per match. This is stronger than any other goalkeeper we've looked at and marginally overcomes De Gea's average of 0.91. While Hart has successfully completed 100 percent of his aerial duels, the rest of his numbers aren't so appealing.

Despite playing more games than any of his rivals, Hart has made considerably less saves. The ruthlessness of Manchester City's defence can be held responsible for this, protecting the 25-year-old with greater efficiency than the backline of many other teams.

This means Hart has to prove himself when danger does arise. He averages 1.71 saves per match, approximately half that of De Gea and Cech. Interestingly, it has only taken 1.96 attempts on target to beat Hart this season—a fraction better than Reina's number and miles behind his Manchester United and Chelsea counterparts.

Hart has also performed badly in a couple of major matches. He conceded three against Manchester United without making a save, winning an aerial battle or claiming a cross. In the recent loss to Everton, he made just one save and conceded two goals. Hart also has four errors to his name, equal worst with Reina (out of the players we have looked at).

 

Appearance no. vs. Goals Conceded Saves Aerial % Won Crosses Claimed Errors
1. Southampton 2 0 X 0 0
2. Liverpool 2 1 X 1 0
3. QPR 1 3 100 0 1
4. Stoke City 1 1 X 2 0
5. Arsenal 1 3 X 1 0
6. Fulham 1 2 X 1 0
7. Sunderland 0 4 X 0 0
8. West Brom 1 3 X 1 0
9. Swansea 0 2 X 0 0
10. West Ham 0 0 X 2 0
11. Tottenham 1 1 X 1 1
12. Aston Villa 0 2 X 2 0
13. Chelsea 0 1 100 0 0
14. Wigan 0 1 X 1 0
15. Everton 1 3 X 1 0
16. Manchester United 3 0 X 0 0
17. Newcastle United 1 4 100 0 0
18. Reading 0 1 X 0 0
19. Sunderland 1 3 X 1 1
20. Norwich 3 1 X 2 0
21. Stoke 0 1 X 0 0
22. Arsenal 0 2 X 2 0
23. Fulham 0 0 X 0 0
24. QPR 0 1 X 0 0
25. Liverpool 2 2 X 0 0
26. Southampton 3 2 X 1 1
27. Chelsea 0 2 X 1 0
28. Aston Villa 0 0 100 0 0
29. Everton 2 1 X 1 0
30. Newcastle United 0 1 X 0 0
31. Manchester United 1 5 X 1 0
Total:    27  53  100  22  4

 

How does Petr Cech compare to England's No. 1? Read on to find out.

Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images
Petr Cech mops up in Chelsea's 4-1 Premier League win over Wigan.

 

Petr Cech

Chelsea's disappointing Premier League season is likely to be overshadowed by FA Cup and Europa League runs that could end in success. Despite a couple of irritating injuries, Petr Cech has appeared in 29 matches during a year that has seen Rafa Benitez replace Roberto Di Matteo at the Stamford Bridge helm.

What's immediately striking about Cech's stats? He has faced an awful lot of shots this season. Despite playing two games fewer than Hart, the Czech Republic veteran has saved nearly double the amount of attempts. Indeed, Cech's next save will be his one hundredth of the Premier League season.

Cech started the campaign in excellent form. He conceded two goals in the opening five matches, suggesting the European champions were going to be serious challengers for the domestic title. At the time of writing, Cech is three clean sheets behind Hart with a total of 11.

The loveable giant has conceded an average of 1.03 goals per game. Like Hart, he has also successfully completed 100 percent of his aerial encounters.

Any similarities end there. Cech has been forced to make 3.41 saves per match, doubling the amount of work covered by Hart. This is largely down to Chelsea's defensive inconsistency in a season that has seen the back four chop and change at regular intervals. It has taken an average of three shots on target to beat Cech this season; a number that rests just behind De Gea's 3.55.

Many teams obviously fancy their chances from crossing positions against Chelsea. Cech has successfully claimed 38 crosses in the league season, far more than any of the other goalkeepers analysed so far.


Appearance no. vs. Goals Conceded Saves Aerial % Won Crosses Claimed Errors
1. Wigan 0 5 X 4 0
2. Reading 2 2 100 2 1
3. Newcastle United 0 3 X 0 0
4. QPR 0 3 X 0 0
5. Stoke 0 3 X 0 0
6. Arsenal 1 3 X 1 0
7. Norwich 1 1 X 1 0
8. Tottenham 2 8 X 0 0
9. Manchester United 3 3 100 3 0
10. Swansea 1 1 X 1 0
11. Liverpool 1 2 X 2 0
12. West Brom 2 3 X 0 0
13. Manchester City 0 6 X 0 0
14. Fulham 0 5 X 1 0
15. West Ham 3 5 X 2 0
16. Sunderland 1 4 X 2 1
17. Aston Villa 0 1 X 0 0
18. Norwich 0 1 X 0 0
19. Everton 1 2 X 1 0
20. Stoke 0 5 X 2 0
21. Southampton 2 0 X 2 0
22. Arsenal 1 5 X 3 0
23. Newcastle United 3 8 X 2 0
24. Wigan 1 5 X 1 0
25. Manchester City 2 4 X 3 0
26. West Brom 0 4 X 1 0
27. West Ham 0 5 X 2 0
28. Southampton 2 2 X 1 0
29. Sunderland 1 0 X 1 0
Total:   30 99 100 38 2

 

Conclusion

While Joe Hart and Petr Cech have been part of underachieving teams so far this year, it's clear the latter has been overworked in comparison. Cech has two mistakes—half of Hart's total—and has been forced into action far more regularly.

Scott Heavey/Getty Images

Although Roberto Mancini's number one averages a clean sheet every other game, it's troublesome to suggest Hart is the sole reason for this success. Key players such as Vincent Kompany and Pablo Zabaleta offer the City stopper an impenetrable wall that is certainly more difficult to breach than the Chelsea defence.

There's no denying Hart has made some important saves this season. Even so, a number of personal errors and poor performances in big matches gives Cech the edge. Chelsea's resident Mr. Safe Hands could face competition from Thibaut Courtois in the near future, but right now, Cech continues to highlight exactly why he has enjoyed nearly nine years as Stamford Bridge number one.

 

Is Cech the best goalkeeper in Premier League? Should that title be reserved for Hart? How do they compare to Reina and De Gea? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below and be sure to follow me on Twitter.

 

All statistics in this article are courtesy of Whoscored.

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