Edouard Mendy’s potential absence could pose a big problem for Chelsea as data shows the club’s goalkeeping alternatives rank bottom in the Premier League.
It’s safe to say some Chelsea fans might rue the frustrating international break.
Not only did it come at an unfavourable time, when it looked as though the Blues were shifting up a gear after a convincing 4-0 win over Crystal Palace, but also the fitness concerns that came with it.
Now two summer signings, Mendy and Ben Chilwell, have returned to the club with injuries.
While Frank Lampard will have plenty of options to replace the pair, Mendy’s injury is likely to hit the hardest.
Infogol’s graphic may help explain why.
⚽️Early season #PremierLeague xG2🧤
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As the graphic suggests, Lampard’s alternatives, Kepa Arrizabalaga and Willy Caballero, have been among the worst-performing goalkeepers in the Premier League in 2020/21.
The six goals Chelsea have conceded this season don’t look so bad compared with the likes of Liverpool and Manchester United, who have conceded 11 goals after their recent 7-2 and 6-1 losses respectively.
But while those teams paid for poor all-round defensive performances, Chelsea have been let down by their goalkeeping.
Chelsea have conceded the joint third-fewest shots on target (11) in the league this season, behind West Ham (eight) and Aston Villa (ten).
And, according to Statsbomb’s algorithm (via FBref), Chelsea should have had the second-best defence in the league from the quality of shots they conceded (3.4 PSxG) if it wasn’t for their poor goalkeeping, which conceded almost three goals more than expected (-2.6 PSxG+-).
Bear in mind, Arrizabalaga and Caballero were the only ones responsible since Mendy has yet to face a shot on target in the Premier League.
Although the sample may be too small to be conclusive, last season’s goalkeeping record was also far from convincing.