Three key areas David de Gea is better than Thibaut Courtois

David de Gea

In the first part of our comparison between the Manchester United & Chelsea goalkeepers, HITC Sport looks at where the Spaniard comes out on top.

Fourteen games into the Premier League season, two goalkeepers have emerged as front-runners for the title of the division's best shot stopper.

Tottenham's Hugo Lloris appears to be a strong candidate for third place - but no one, including the Frenchman, can currently compare to Manchester United's David de Gea or Chelsea's Thibaut Courtois.

Naturally, however, a debate has overtaken the internet as to which 'keeper is better.

Now, while that particular argument cannot tangibly be settled, it is worth looking at how the Blues and United stars compare statistically.

Each stopper excels in given areas and, in the first part of our investigation, Opta stats show where Spaniard De Gea trumps the Belgian Courtois.

  SavesSaved Inside BoxAccurate Sweeper KeepersAppearances
David de Gea 36 23 5 14
Thibaut Courtois 31 12 4 14

Indeed, as the data proves, De Gea has made five more saves so far this season, although that also has something to do with Man United's leaky defence...

The 24-year-old has nevertheless produced several match-winning stops, some of which have come from surprisingly difficult positions. De Gea also excels saving shots from inside the box, with 23 of his 36 coming from those positions. Courtois, by contrast, has only stopped 12 from inside the area.

Finally, the Spaniard has also made more accurate sweeper keepers (rushing off his line) than Courtois, although only by one count.

None of these statistics are definitive, of course, though, and the difference between the two borders on marginal to non-existent...

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