5 Improved Goalkeepers to Consider for Your FIFA 14 Ultimate Team
As we head towards the revelation of FIFA 14, it's time to consider a selection of improved goalkeepers who could add vital steel to your Ultimate Team lineup.
Following on from our look at five improved strikers who are likely to score plenty of goals, it's worth thinking about which goalkeepers will lend themselves to stopping any opposition doing the same.
The criteria is simple. Only goalkeepers who have improved over the 2012-13 season will be considered for selection. Those who excel in specific areas are given priority, as are those who should be given a points boost when the new game drops.
5. Brad Guzan, Aston Villa
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Brad Guzan should be commended for an array of excellent individual performances in a tough season for Aston Villa. The threat of relegation has loomed large, but as Paul Lambert's team finally looks safe, it's Guzan who mops up many of the plaudits.
His opportunistic rise is likely to be reflected well in FIFA 14. The American stopper capitalised on Shay Given's poor form and hasn't looked back since (via The Independent). He is now the established No.1 and represents the USA's Premier League goalkeeping contingency alongside Tim Howard and Brad Friedel.
The 28-year-old doesn't possess an impressive card in FIFA 13. Right now his overall rating of 75 represents the lowest gold standard on the game, with Guzan's key statistics imitating his stature at the beginning of the season.
Surely the American international has done enough to warrant an upgrade on Eletronic Arts' next title? A string of impressive saves and performances will certainly help.
FIFA 14 stats prediction: 79
4. Joel Robles, Wigan Athletic
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Joel Robles has shot into this list for a string of successful games with Wigan Athletic at the end of the season.
Although he has conceded 12 goals in a total of 10 games for the Latics, Joel should be judged on his personal showings. Roberto Martinez's side would have conceded as many goals with any of the world's top stoppers, especially when Wigan's defence capitulates in the manner it did during the recent 3-2 defeat to Swansea.
Although cheeky, Joel sneaks in above Guzan for a number of reasons. At 22 years old, his FIFA 13 card already flaunts great handling and positioning for someone of his youth. He also played a huge part in winning Wigan the FA Cup, with a tremendous save against Carlos Tevez making the highlight reels for years to come.
Finally, playing Joel in your Ultimate Team gives you options. The Spaniard can be linked with other countrymen and representatives of English football in an interesting manner. Whether or not he will be a Premier League or Championship goalkeeper remains to be seen.
FIFA 14 stats prediction: 74
3. Salvatore Sigiru, Paris Saint-Germain
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Salvatore Sirigu is a Ligue 1 champion.
Although Paris Saint-Germain possess the talents of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Ezequiel Lavezzi and Lucas Moura, the goalkeeper deserves as much praise as any of his colleagues for a fantastic season.
The 26-year-old has a stunning record this year. In 42 appearances, Sirigu has notched up 25 clean sheets. That means well over half of his showings result with the opposition failing to score.
Such statistics push Sirigu into third position on this list. Granted, he does have behemoths such as Thiago Silva and Alex ahead of him, but the keeper has largely been excellent when called into action (forgetting that red card against Evian).
Sirigu's original FIFA 13 card is rather strong. He was also awarded an in-form variation during the season which ranks up there with the best goalkeeper cards on the game. The Italian—who can be used to link together a number of interesting teams—should be aligned with the best upon from the off when the new game arrives.
FIFA 14 stats prediction: 85
2. Marc-Andre Ter Stegen, Borussia Monchengladbach
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Germany produces world-class goalkeepers. It's a fact.
At 21 years old, it's ridiculous how good Marc-Andre ter Stegen already is. It's also ridiculous how good he's going to be. The Borussia Monchengladbach keeper's successful season has been represented through a number of different cards throughout FIFA 13 Ultimate Team's running time.
Ter Stegen's original card came in at a respectable 80 overall. His first in-form improved vital stats and added to his price tag, although minimal coins need to be spent for someone of his quality. Not content with just the one upgrade, another excellent performance saw Ter Stegen receive his second later in the Bundesliga campaign.
Check out these statistics. His 87-rated reflexes are some of the best in the game, especially combined with his excellent diving ability. Safe to say, he comes in at second on our list for an exceptional showing of talent at such a young age.
FIFA 14 stats prediction: 83
1. Thibaut Courtois, Atletico Madrid (via Chelsea)
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Thibaut Courtois has people excited.
People who represent Chelsea, mainly. The Blues stopper, who has spent the 2012-13 season on loan at Atletico Madrid, continues to outline himself as a natural successor to Petr Cech. Atletico have pushed Real Madrid all the way for second place in La Liga this season and Courtois should be considered amongst their best players, alongside hitman Radamel Falcao.
In fact, Courtois has people too excited sometimes. While at Stamford Bridge, he allegedly had an affair with Kevin de Bruyne's girlfriend (via The Daily Mail). She was probably thanking him for a run of performances that saw his original FIFA 13 card receive an in-form version.
The latter variation features some ridiculous stats. If you're looking for a 21-year-old keeper with 90 handling, here he is. How about 85 reflexes? Yep, he's got them too.
Courtois takes top spot for being consistently impressive and having the most potential going into FIFA 14. Will he be in Chelsea colours by then? Remarkably, the same question was also asked about the winner of our five improved forwards list.
FIFA 14 stats prediction: 83
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