The numbers behind Kepa’s Carabao Cup battle with Edouard Mendy suggest clear choice for Tuchel



Thomas Tuchel has a number of big decisions to make this weekend.

With Chelsea scheduled to face Liverpool in this year’s Carabao Cup final, the Blues‘ coach will have to decide whether Reece James is fit enough to start, as well as making a choice between Romelu Lukaku and Kai Havertz.

In addition, he’s refused to reveal who will play as his goalkeeper on Sunday between Kepa Arrizabalaga and Edouard Mendy: “I will not tell you,” he said. “We will take the decision late.”

Ahead of his high-profile selection, let’s take a look at how the two players compare for shot-stopping in the Premier League since 2018.

According to post-shot Expected Goals – which focuses on shots that hit the target and takes into account the quality and trajectory of the shot – Mendy should have conceded roughly 104.4 league goals over the period in question, but he’s actually shipped just 98 – excluding own goals – for Chelsea and Rennes.

The numbers are determined based on the average goalkeeper, meaning that Mendy has saved shots to an above-average standard by outperforming his numbers by roughly 6.4 goals.

Kepa, by contrast, has been expected to concede 124.8 goals, and he’s actually shipped 134. Those numbers suggest that Kepa has saved shots to a below average standard, having underperformed by 9.2 goals.

Mendy has saved 76.8% of the 363 shots on target that he faced, while his Spanish teammates has saved just 59.1% of the 252 shots on target that he’s been presented with stopping.

Over the period, Mendy has simply prevented goals from being conceded to a higher level than Kepa. The latter has certainly improved under Tuchel’s leadership, but the former is the man to deploy this weekend according to the numbers behind their displays in recent years.





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