Football League's top five 13/14: Goalkeepers - Leicester, QPR, Reading feature

Kasper Schmeichel for Leicester City

Leicester City's Danish stopper finishes number one - there are top five places for Reading and Queens Park Rangers' England internationals - with two former Manchester United goalkeepers featuring.

The Football League writers here at HITC have put together a list of the division's top five players in each position, considering an usual 4-4-2 formation.

The only rules of selection were the players had to have made over 25-appearances this season and their most frequented position, as judged by whoscored, would be the only one accountable, i.e. Reading winger Gareth McCleary has made 21 starts wide-right and 3 wide-left, therefore, he is only eligible for a wide-right spot. 

As the countdown to the end of the season approaches, we will run through all 11 positions on the pitch, including management, before naming a Football League XI, Young Football League XI, Young Football League top five and finally, the top five players in the Championship

The first position we have assessed, going from back to front, is the goalkeeper position...

5) Rob Green - Queens Park Rangers

At the start of the season, Harry Redknapp benched Brazil's number one Julio Cesar in favour for Rob Green and it was was then the former England international began to rebuild his reputation following a string of impressive performances. He has barely let up all season, although, it's fair to say he has been helped largely by QPR's impressive defence. 

Nevertheless, he has been in great form this season, conceding just 36 goals in his 41 appearances for the Hoops. A staggering record given the nature of the division.

4) Tom Heaton - Burnley

First of all, let me just say what a year it has been for the former Bristol City man. Last season, it's fair to say that Heaton would have been nowhere near the division's top five, especially after conceding the most goals in the Championship

Nevertheless, whatever Burnley's coaching secret is, it has worked a treat on the former Manchester United trainee. He has gone from conceding the most goals in the Championship to conceding the least, in all one-year. A fantastic achievement for the player who is now reaching the potential once promised of him.

3) Tomasz Kuszczak - Brighton 

The ever-present Kuszczak has been at the forefront of Brighton's push for promotion, once again, following on from last season. The Seagulls suffered a sluggish start to the season, largely due to the transition of a new manager, However, in the home-stretch of the season, the south coast club have put themselves in with shout of the play-offs. 

A large amount of the credit can be given to the consistent Brighton goalkeeper who, according to whoscored, has recorded the most man of the match performances of any Championship goalkeeper.

2) Alex McCarthy - Reading

The 24-year-old has been sensational this season, however, unlike many of his competitors for this accolade he can't rely on his goals against tally to do him any favours. Nevertheless, there is a reason he sits second in our list and this can easily be backed up by the facts.

The relegated Premier League side have conceded 50 goals this season, which leaves eight clubs in the division that have conceded less goals. Although, the stats also state that no other club in the division, apart from Yeovil, concede more shots per game - a shocking statistic for a team sat inside the play-offs. 

Therefore, it's fair to say that when the season ends, if Reading are promoted, they will have McCarthy to thank a little more than the rest. 

1) Kasper Schmeichel - Leicester City

The Danish international has, without question, had the best season of his career to date. The 27-year-old has been one of the Football League's highest rated talents ever since he was in League One with Leeds United, however, this season has seen him hit new heights.

His form has been integral in Leicester City's incredible promotion campaign, which is likely to see the Foxes promoted as champions. Not only that, it has also opened the door to speculation from some of the Premier League's biggest clubs, as well as the international scene, which he can now be considered Denmark's first-choice goalkeeper. 

Another brilliant campaign for the player that was, last season, named the Championship goalkeeper of the year.

Special Mentions:

Nottingham Forest youngster Karl Darlow has enjoyed a fantastic breakthrough season, however, his form more recently has played a huge part in him missing out on our list. Whether it's a case of tiredness, or whatever, it's a shame that he couldn't quite polish off a near perfect season. 

It's also a similar story with Derby County 'keeper Lee Grant, however, in a role reversal, it's his early form that has kept him out the race for the top five. In recent weeks the former Wednesday goalkeeper has played a huge part in Derby County's success and going into the play-offs, I doubt any striker will enjoy the thought of coming up against him. 

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