David de Gea v Petr Cech: The key battle when Manchester United face Arsenal
By James Wheeler
Last Updated: 16/11/16 5:43pm
Which goalkeeper will come out on top when Manchester United host Arsenal live on Sky Sports on Saturday? We analyse the key battle between David de Gea and Petr Cech.
The first Premier League game after the international break sees Jose Mourinho and Arsene Wenger go head to head at Old Trafford. With both sides boasting an array of attacking options, the performances of the men between the posts may prove to have a big say on who leaves the stadium with three points.
David de Gea has won Manchester United's Player of the Year award in each of the last three seasons. The 26-year-old Spain international has kept four Premier League clean sheets this season, a tally only bettered by Chelsea's Thibaut Courtois who has kept six. Since joining United in June 2011, only Joe Hart (77) has made more shut-outs than De Gea (65) in the Premier League.
After a proposed transfer to Real Madrid fell through last summer, De Gea dusted himself down, signed a new contract, and continued the excellent form that has made him one of the world's best goalkeepers.
Premier League clean sheets since 2011
|2nd||David De Gea||65|
Since being reinstated to the team in September 2015, he has kept more Premier League clean sheets than any other goalkeeper. His total of 19 is one higher than Petr Cech's. He has also managed to usurp Iker Casillas as Spain's No 1 and won an FA Cup winners' medal, too.
De Gea has a good record against Arsenal. He saved a Robin van Persie penalty with the score at 1-0 in his first appearance against the Gunners in August 2011. The save proved crucial as United went on to record an emphatic 8-2 victory.
Premier League clean sheets since September 2015
|1st||David De Gea||19|
De Gea has won five of his nine Premier League appearances against the Gunners in total, keeping two clean sheets in the process. His only defeat came 13 months ago when he conceded three goals in the first 19 minutes at the Emirates Stadium.
In the opposite goal is a player De Gea's manager Jose Mourinho knows very well. Cech was one of Mourinho's first signings at Chelsea in 2004 and was a member of the squad that won seven trophies under his management. When Roman Abramovich allowed Cech to join Arsenal in 2015, Mourinho said publicly that he wanted to keep the 34-year-old.
Cech has enjoyed regular success when facing United. He made his debut in English football in Chelsea's 1-0 win at Stamford Bridge in August 2004. Saturday will be his 30th appearance against the Red Devils and his 20th in the Premier League.
Premier League clean sheets against Man Utd
His total of six Premier League clean sheets is a joint record against United and on Saturday he is looking to become the first away goalkeeper to keep three clean sheets at Old Trafford.
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As well as keeping a Premier League record 182 clean sheets, Cech averages the fewest games per shut-out in Premier League history at 2.08.
Best clean sheet records in Premier League history
|Rank||Player||Clean sheets||Games per clean sheet|
|3rd||Edwin van der Sar||132||2.36|
|8th||David de Gea||65||2.71|
Cech has lost only one of his last eight appearances against United, but he has not always had success against Saturday's opponents. Most memorably, Cech's Chelsea side were beaten on penalties in the 2008 Champions League final in Moscow.