Karius vs Mignolet; Our Keepers Go Glove to Glove.

Karius vs Mignolet; Our Keepers Go Glove to Glove.
February 7, 2017 Andrew Beasley

By Andrew Beasley (TTT Subscriber ‘Beez’).

This article will refer to my expected goals system (the full explanation of which can be found here). The data is correct up to and including the home match with Chelsea, though the cup games with Burton and Derby are excluded due to no data being available.

At the time of writing, Loris Karius and Simon Mignolet have each played sixteen times in all competitions for Liverpool this season, and have very similar records too; they each have three clean sheets in the league, and are only separated by one in the goals against column in total too (with the German leading the Belgian by 16 to 17, in case you wondered).

But that information alone doesn’t tell us too much about how they have performed. So I have investigated their performance a lot more closely to see what the numbers can tell us.

Making saves might seem a good place to start, and save percentage is an easy stat to compile. But save percentage has long been regarded as too simplistic, so instead I’ll start with expected goals – and unfortunately for the Reds, both keepers have been below par so far; Karius has conceded exactly one more goal than we would expect, and Mignolet 1.67 goals more. It’s doubly disappointing to note that in every match that Liverpool have kept a clean sheet, the opposition have tallied less than one expected goal.

Can we therefore say that the goalkeepers haven’t added much yet this season? Even allowing for matches where they have conceded, there aren’t any examples where they’ve prevented over one expected goal. Here are the four matches where the difference was over 0.5 in the ‘keeper’s favour:

The rest of this analysis is for Subscribers only.