Ahead of the big game at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, a statistical insight into how Chelsea keeper Thibaut Courtois measures up to the man he replaced, Arsenal’s Petr Cech…
There have always been plenty of sub-plots around Chelsea versus Arsenal matches in recent years.
The Blues’ often superior record, the regular war of words between Jose Mourinho and Arsene Wenger, Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas incurring the wrath of Gunners fans – all factors making this long-running rivalry feel as much like a soap opera as a football match.
Petr Cech’s decision in 2015 to quit Stamford Bridge for the Emirates, after 11 trophy-laden years at Chelsea, added another layer of intrigue to the fixture.
This weekend will be Cech’s second game back at the Bridge since joining Arsenal and daily fantasy football game Oulala.com have been using Opta’s stats to see how his displays have compared with former Blues team-mate Thibaut Courtois since the two went their separate ways.
As Cech has made 11 more league appearances than Courtois since August 2015, clocking up more than 1,000 extra minutes of action, the analysis has been made on a per-minute, per-game and per-goal-conceded basis.
With 18 clean sheets in 46 appearances, Courtois has kept opponents out in 39% of his matches, while Cech has 23 shut-outs in 56 games, narrowly edging the Belgian by 1%.
Although Cech has conceded more goals than Courtois since he joined Arsenal (56 to 45), the 34-year-old in fact edges the Belgian on a per-minute basis, having conceded a goal every 92 minutes to Courtois’ 91.
The stats go on to show that Cech has also been far more active for his new side, making more saves per game (2.9 to 2.3) and more saves per goal conceded (2.9 to 2.4), though this may have as much to do with Chelsea’s dominance in games as anything else.