Our position-by-position analysis of the Fantasy Premier League (FPL) options for 2021/22 continues, as we assess the leading options in the budget (sub-£5.0m) goalkeeper category.
In a season where there are six premium midfielders priced £10.0m or above, as well as three forwards, the £4.5m goalkeepers could be more important than ever.
And while the majority of this season’s budget options are back-ups at their respective clubs, there is a small group that can offer real value, which we’ll explore in this article.
Comprehensive Opta data on the players featured in these articles is available in our Premium Members Area.
Gameweeks 1 – 8
Robert Sánchez (£4.5m) could provide excellent value and stands out amongst the best budget goalkeeper options.
The Spaniard secured the no. 1 jersey early last season and went on to claim 10 clean sheets and eight bonus points in his 27 outings. In fact, from Gameweek 13 onwards, only Ederson (£6.0m) and Edouard Mendy (£6.0m) accumulated more clean sheets.
It’s also worth noting that Brighton and Hove Albion play only two of last season’s top nine teams in the first eight Gameweeks.
Providing Mathew Ryan (£4.5m) leaves the club this summer, Sánchez can be paired with Albion’s reserve stopper Jason Steele (£4.0m), which guarantees you a starting goalkeeper for just £8.5m.
Gameweek 1 – 8
Since joining Newcastle United in January 2018 from Sparta Prague, Martin Dubravka (£4.5m) has been one of the Magpies’ most consistent performers.
He earned 11 save points in his 13 appearances last term, in addition to three clean sheets and six bonus points.
And while Newcastle United’s defensive numbers remain a concern, the Slovak international’s 3.29 saves per 90 minutes, which ranked seventh amongst keepers who featured for over 100 minutes last term, is promising.
It is a mixed start to 2021/22 for Steve Bruce’s side, but there is at least some clean sheet potential against Southampton and newly promoted Watford in the early weeks.
Gameweek 1 – 8
For a team that is supposed to be defensively strong, Crystal Palace’s 2020/21 season was a disappointing one.
The Eagles conceded a massive 66 goals, their worst total since returning to the Premier League in 2013.
Despite this, Vicente Guaita (£4.5m) is a reliable keeper and could offer value, providing new manager Patrick Vieira can tighten them up.
However, his opening fixtures dampen his appeal, so at least initially, it’s probably best to look elsewhere.
ALEX MCCARTHY & FRASER FORSTER
Gameweek 1 – 8
Southampton’s goalkeepers didn’t exactly cover themselves in glory last season.
Both Alex McCarthy (£4.5m) and Fraser Forster (£4.5m) came in for criticism at different times, which meant plenty of rotation and plenty of headaches for FPL managers.
It is still unclear who is Saints’ no. 1, with manager Ralph Hasenhüttl predicting a “battle” for the jersey in pre-season:
“I think both still have one year left on their contracts and I expect both to stay, going into next season with a battle in pre-season for who is then allowed to start. If you are allowed to start it doesn’t mean you also end up in the season as a number one. I want to have this battle. I want to have two goalkeepers that are competing for this position. That should normally lead to a better performance from everybody.”
However, with a challenging fixture list which sees them take on both Manchester clubs and Chelsea in the opening weeks, it gives us plenty of time to assess the situation.
Gameweek 1 – 8
Watford return to the Premier League on the back of a series of strong defensive displays.
They conceded the fewest goals (30) in the Championship last term, which included 23 clean sheets.
Having started 2020/21 as back-up to Ben Foster (£4.0m), Daniel Bachmann (£4.5m) was installed as the no. 1 after Xisco Muñoz arrived as head coach midway through the campaign.
Like Brighton, Watford have some of the better fixtures from a defensive perspective at the start of the season, which could make Bachmann a popular Gameweek 1 pick.
Gameweek 1 – 8
Brentford arrive in the Premier League with the worst defensive record of all three promoted teams, having conceded 42 goals last season.
However, they didn’t concede a lot of quality chances. In fact, they had the lowest expected goals conceded (xGC) total in the entire division.
Brentford no. 1 David Raya (£4.5m) could therefore offer value, though the Bees’ ability to control matches will be severely tested in the top-tier.
Their first Premier League season will start with a London derby against Arsenal, before away games at Crystal Palace and Aston Villa.
Gameweek 1 – 8
Norwich City return to the top-flight with Tim Krul (£4.5m) as their current no. 1, having conceded only 36 goals in 46 Championship matches last season.
However, Angus Gunn (£4.0m) has recently returned to the Canaries, starting a third spell with his boyhood club in a permanent transfer from Southampton. That’s something to monitor in pre-season, though he is expected to at least start 2021/22 as a reserve.
The loss of Oliver Skipp (£4.5m) is a blow, and you do fear for Norwich with games against Liverpool, Manchester City, Leicester City and Arsenal to start.
Given their fixtures, it makes sense to avoid in the early weeks and reassess further down the line.
Elsewhere, the remaining sub-£5.0m goalkeeper options detailed below are currently back-ups rather than potential starters, and will probably be relying on unfortunate injuries to feature more.
|Arsenal||Rúnar Alex Rúnarsson (£4.0m)|
|Aston Villa||Jed Steer (£4.0m)|
|Brentford||Ellery Balcombe (£4.0m), Patrick Gunnarsson (£4.0m)|
|Burnley||Will Norris (£4.5m), Bailey Peacock-Farrell (£4.5m)|
|Crystal Palace||Jack Butland (£4.5m)|
|Everton||João Virgínia (£4.0m)|
|Leeds United||Kiko Casilla (£4.5m)|
|Leicester City||Danny Ward (£4.0m)|
|Liverpool||Adrián (£4.5m), Caoimhin Kelleher (£4.5m)|
|Manchester City||Zack Steffen (£4.5m)|
|Newcastle United||Karl Darlow (£4.5m)|
|Norwich City||Michael McGovern (£4.0m)|
|Tottenham Hotspur||Joe Hart (£4.5m)|
|West Ham United||Darren Randolph (£4.5m)|
|Wolverhampton Wanderers||John Ruddy (£4.5m), Andreas Söndergaard (£4.0m)|
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