Why choosing a budget goalkeeper in 2019/20 could be difficult

Selecting a budget goalkeeper for Fantasy Premier League in 2019/20 could prove a difficult challenge.

Cheap reliable shot-stoppers were hard to come by in 2018/19 and a number of price hikes to that category this time around have made finding one even harder now.

Previous members of the £4.5m club such as Lukasz Fabianski, Ben Foster, Vicente Guaita and Rui Patrício have all risen to £5.0m, leaving the pool at the lower end of the scale quite short of options.

The problem is further shown when we consider the defensive rotation pairings we picked out upon fixture release (when no prices were available to us). Only two of them are comprised exclusively of two £4.5m goalkeepers.

Team 1Team 2
BurnleyAston Villa
Crystal PalaceNorwich City
Leicester CityBrighton and Hove Albion
Manchester UnitedManchester City
Newcastle UnitedSheffield United
Tottenham HotspurArsenal
West Ham UnitedWolverhampton Wanderers

As you can see, only the Bournemouth/Southampton and Burnley/Aston Villa can be undertaken using a pair of £4.5m goalkeepers in 2019/20.

Newcastle/Sheffield United has been ruled out by Martin Dubravka staying at £5.0m, while West Ham/Wolves can no longer be covered by goalkeepers as both Fabianski and Patrício were pulled out of the £4.5m category.

Crystal Palace/Norwich could still happen if Wayne Hennessey (£4.5m) reclaims his place at Selhurst Park but it does seem, at least for now, that Guaita is the main man there.

Furthermore, at this current point in time, the goalkeeper situations at Aston Villa, Burnley, Bournemouth, Southampton and Sheffield United are all far from clear.

Meanwhile, the following £4.5m options are all firm second-choice at their respective clubs:

  • Danny Ward (Leicester)
  • Eldin Jakupovic (Leicester)
  • Simon Mignolet (Liverpool)
  • Karl Darlow (Newcastle)
  • Paulo Gazzaniga (Spurs)
  • Pontus Dahlberg (Watford)
  • John Ruddy (Wolves)

Potential set-and-forgets

Mat Ryan has decent fixtures during the early period of 2019/20

By our calculations, that makes Mat Ryan and Tim Krul the only £4.5m options who, before pre-season kicks off, are nailed-on starting goalkeepers for their respective Premier League teams.

Brighton’s shot-stopper might not actually be a bad choice to start the new campaign.

The Seagulls rank third for defence on the Season Tickerover the first six Gameweeks, which feature favourable home matches against West Ham, Southampton and Burnley.

Their away trips during this period take Brighton to Watford, Manchester City and Newcastle.

Only Everton and Bournemouth rank better than that over the first six Gameweeks, but Jordan Pickford (£5.5m) is some way out of the budget range now and it is not currently clear who the starting goalkeeper for the Cherries is, as we’ll explain in more detail later.

Tim Krul will face a barrage of shots in Norwich’s opening six matches.

Norwich are the other end of the Season Ticker over the first six Gameweeks.

They sit rock bottom for that period as they face Liverpool (away), Chelsea (home) and Manchester City (home) during that period.

Outside of those fixtures, they also host Newcastle and travel to West Ham and Burnley.

Obviously, Norwich’s clean sheet potential during this run is incredibly low, considering Liverpool’s ruthless nature at Anfield, and the fact that the meetings with Chelsea and Manchester City are at Carrow Road – where the Canaries conceded more goals than on their travels last season.

However, Krul does have the potential to really rack up the saves over the early part of the campaign.

During the 2018/19 season, the Norwich man finished fourth for total saves in the Championship (136).

With the shots faced column expected to skyrocket for the Canaries this time around, the saves should follow suit.

We also recently unearthed some interesting data on where Norwich conceded shots from in the Championship, with a higher number coming from outside the box beneficial to Krul’s save potential.

Furthermore, Daniel Farke likes his side to play possession football, which starts with the goalkeeper. That’s why Krul finished top of the Championship for completed short-range passes (631) among shot-stoppers in 2018/19.

Both of those statistics should help boost Krul’s bonus potential whenever Norwich do keep clean sheets, which over the first eight Gameweeks seem more likely against Newcastle (home), West Ham (away), Burnley (away), Crystal Palace (away) and Aston Villa (home).

Goalkeeper rotations


This is arguably the more problematic defensive rotation pairing of the two at this stage, although it could be cleared up by Gameweek 1.

Asmir Begovic (£4.5m) appeared to be the undisputed number one at the Vitality Stadium last season, starting every match in the first 22 Gameweeks.

However, he was inexplicably replaced by Artur Boruc (£4.5m) in Gameweek 23. The Polish international was the goalkeeper of choice for all but two of the matches between then and Gameweek 36, with Begovic coming back in for Gameweeks 32 and 33 only.

Despite playing half as many minutes as the Bosnian (1,080 to 2,160), Boruc kept four clean sheets to his five.

He also recorded significantly better minutes per save figures too (25.7 to 35.4).

Mark Travers threatens to confuse the Bournemouth goalkeeper situation even more

However, both Begovic and Boruc are threatened by youngster Mark Travers (£4.5m) who came from out of nowhere to start both of Bournemouth’s last two games of 2018/19.

There was contrasting fortune between both of those appearances.

Travers kept a clean sheet, made five saves and earned one bonus for an eight-point haul against Spurs in Gameweek 37 before conceding five times at Crystal Palace on the final day of the campaign.

The 20-year-old missed Ireland’s Euro 2020 qualifiers due to a fractured thumb but he is expected to be fit by the time pre-season begins for the Cherries.

He has also been linked with loan moves to Norwich and Leeds United but he has gone on record in the local press as wanting to stick around for the new campaign.

“I want to play for this club and hopefully I can do that. But at the end of the day it’s down to the manager and backroom staff with who they want to play. I just want to try to have good pre-season and get in the manager’s thoughts.” – Mark Travers

Manager Eddie Howe clearly rates Travers very highly given the comments he made about him after his debut against Spurs.

However, the crucial line from these quotes is, of course, the stress on the fact that a decision will have to be made over the summer over which goalkeeper will be number one come Gameweek 1.

“It was a great display from (Travers), he’s someone we really do believe in. He’s got great temperament and attitude to the game. He played like it was a training session and that’s a huge compliment. He showed real confidence with his feet. He kicked the ball well, made some saves and impressed with his all-round game management. It’s a nice problem to have and a decision I’ll have to make in the summer, in terms of what to do with all the goalkeepers we have. Mark hasn’t been out on loan this season. Aaron Ramsdale, who we rate highly as well, has been out on loan and done really well. It’s great to have two young, promising goalkeepers in our ranks, and of course we’ve got the two experienced goalkeepers at a top level as well. It’s slightly unusual that Mark hasn’t been out on loan to experience League One or League Two. That was the risk we took, but going on his training and the way he has conducted himself all season, as well as the club that we are – trying to give young players opportunities to develop – we decided to do what we did.” – Eddie Howe

Deciphering the Southampton goalkeeper situation is somewhat easier.

Alex McCarthy (£4.5m) started all but one match between Gameweeks 1 and 26, a Gameweek 21 trip to Chelsea.

Angus Gunn (£4.5m) made his first league start of the campaign then and kept a clean sheet, made six saves all for an 11-point FPL haul.

He then started all but one from Gameweek 27 until the end of the campaign.

Fraser Forster (£4.5m) came in for his first start since Boxing Day 2017 in Gameweek 37, where Southampton were decidedly poor and lost 3-0 at West Ham.

Angus Gunns is reported to be the favourite at Southampton currently but there’s a long way to go before Gameweek 1

The Southampton Daily Echo are reporting that Gunn is the first choice for Ralph Hasenhüttl for the 2019/20 with McCarthy and Forster expected to fight it out for second-choice.

Given the late-season run-out for Forster, when McCarthy was injured, concern from those looking in from the outside is certainly understandable.

Hopefully, pre-season matches can clear up any lingering doubts over the Southampton goalkeeping situation.

However, we should also point out the drawbacks of backing Bournemouth and Southampton in their home games.

The Saints kept just three clean sheets in front of their own supporters last season, only Manchester United registering fewer (two).

Furthermore, their first four at St. Mary’s in 2019/20 see them host Liverpool, Manchester United, Bournemouth and Chelsea.

The Cherries are the better of the two in this rotation.

They kept six clean sheets at the Vitality Stadium in 2018/19 and start the new campaign at home to Sheffield United.

Burnley/Aston Villa

The uncertainty over the goalkeeper situation at Burnley is just as bad as at Bournemouth.

Sean Dyche currently has Tom Heaton (£4.5m), Nick Pope (£4.5m) and Joe Hart (£4.5m) and has a real balancing act on his hands during the summer.

Pope signed a new contract in May to extend his stay at Turf Moor, while it was also reported that Heaton rejected a new contract amid supposed transfer interest from the likes of Aston Villa and Bournemouth (ironically).

What that means for Dyche’s team selection remains to be seen.

Hart started the first 19 games in a row, although he could be on the brink of a Turf Moor exit this summer. During that period, Burnley shipped a ridiculous number of shots.

No team faced more on target than them (116) and which helped Hart make more saves than any other goalkeeper (77) between Gameweeks 1 and 19.

However, nobody conceded more goals during this period either (41).

He managed to get just four clean sheets, Hennessey, Begovic and Patrício securing more shutouts, and indeed FPL points than him from the budget category.

Pope has now recovered from his shoulder injury of 2018/19

Heaton then returned to start every match from Gameweek 20 onwards, which seemed to drastically improve Burnley’s defensive prospects.

Indeed, the Clarets conceded 41 times with Hart between the sticks, but shipped just 27 goals once Heaton had returned, with relatively little change to the back-four in front of him.

However, such is the enigma of the budget goalkeeper in FPL to some extent, Hart still scored more points than Heaton despite conceding more goals.

The former Manchester City man amassed 69 points across his 19 appearances, while Heaton managed just 58 from his half of the campaign.

The two of them also kept the same number of clean sheets, meaning that the main difference between the goalkeepers was the saves, as well as Hart’s solitary penalty stop compared to Heaton’s none.

Despite that, it seems clear that Sean Dyche favours Heaton over Hart at least.

Where the uncertainty lies is deciding between him and Pope.

After sustaining a dislocated shoulder last summer, he failed to make a single Premier League appearance for Burnley in 2018/19.

Pope made two starts in the FA Cup in the month of January, so while he was fit for the second half of the campaign, it was still Heaton who was preferred.

However, it is worth saying that the latter was much further along in his recovery from the same injury last season.

The 2019/20 campaign should see both Heaton and Pope back to their best physical state – so Dyche will certainly face a difficult task choosing between them.

Aston Villa also have a goalkeeping trio to choose from ahead of the new season.

Ørjan Nyland (£4.5m) was the number one at Villa Park last season having just arrived from FC Ingolstadt.

However, he did not play a single match in 2019 after rupturing his Achilles in a December training session.

He is expected to be fully fit for 2019/20 and with two years left on his contract will be hoping to stake his claim for a return to the side.

That said, Nyland did not necessarily impress before his injury. When his season-ending knock was confirmed, Villa had conceded 38 goals in 25 matches, 1.52 per game.

To cover Nyland’s injury, Dean Smith signed Lovre Kalinić but he himself sustained a knock after just seven starts.

Jed Steer is probably ahead in the race to be Aston Villa’s number one this season but is not yet on the game

That’s why Jed Steer was recalled from loan at Charlton and impressed enough to hold off competition from Kalinić once he returned to full fitness.

The uncertainty over the goalkeeper position here stems from the fact that Steer has not yet competed with Nyland – pre-season will have to tell us more.

Interestingly, Steer signed a new contract at the back-end of June and it looks as if he is the most likely to claim the number one spot by Gameweek 1 – although he has not yet been added to the game and neither has Kalinić.

“It’s great to have extended my contract. When I got told last August I could go out on loan I thought that was my Villa career probably over. To be sitting here now and about to embark on the Premier League with Aston Villa is something I couldn’t have imagined. I’m over the moon.” – Jed Steer

We also should make ourselves aware that Jack Butland has been linked with a move to Villa Park. If he were to sign for Dean Smith’s side that could uncomplicate matters, but we will have to see.

Scraping the barrel

There does appear to be little to go on in the £4.0m department at this stage.

The only goalkeepers in this price bracket currently seem unlikely to break into the first teams at their respective clubs.

David Button is firmly behind Ryan in the Brighton pecking order.

Pickford has a strong hold on the number one jersey at Everton, effectively ruling out Maarten Stekelenburg as a viable option.

Freddy Woodman at Newcastle would have to get past Karl Darlow (£4.5m) and Dubravka to earn regular starts.

At Norwich, Krul is the undisputed number one, ensuring Michael McGovern (£4.0m) won’t start much.

Finally, Will Norris (£4.0m) is currently behind Patrício and John Ruddy (£4.5m) in the Wolves pecking order.

Of course, with all of these options, they could come into play if injuries were to occur to their respective goalkeeping colleagues.

Become a Member and access our data

Memberships for the 2019/20 campaign are now available for the price of £17.50.

Join now to get the following:

  • Plot your transfer strategies using the fully interactive Season Ticker.
  • Get projections for every Premier League player provided by the Rate My Team statistical model.
  • Use Rate My Team throughout the season to guide your selections and transfers.
  • Get access to over 150+ exclusive members articles over the season.
  • Analyse our OPTA-powered statistic tables specifically tailored for Fantasy Football Managers.
  • Use our exclusive tool to build custom stats tables from over 100 OPTA player and team stats.
  • Enjoy our brand NEW Flat-Track Bully feature which introduces an opposition filter to your tables.
  • View heatmaps and expected goals data for every player.
  • Use our powerful comparison tool to analyse players head-to-head.



768 Comments Post a Comment
  1. MadDog86
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 1 Year
    21 days, 8 hours ago

    I’m a big fan of El-Ghazi great stats in the championship and reasonably priced at 5.5 with great fixtures. Tempted ... and so it begins.

    1. Giggs Boson.
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      21 days, 8 hours ago

      Practically plays as a striker on the left. Looks quick and hard-working.

    2. Blue&White85
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      20 days, 8 hours ago

      Not going for him myself but I think he might be the best Villa midfield option. McGinn gets too many bookings and doesn’t score many whilst Grealish is slightly more expensive.

  2. No Kane No Gain
    • 2 Years
    21 days, 8 hours ago

    What price do we think Wesley will come in at? I like the look of him and Villa's fixtures

    1. NUFCAndrew
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      21 days, 8 hours ago


      1. No Kane No Gain
        • 2 Years
        21 days, 8 hours ago

        yeah i'm thinking this. I'd be tempted

  3. Firmino
    • 3 Years
    21 days, 8 hours ago

    2nd draft, thoughts on this?

    Robbo VvD Digne
    Salah KdB Bilva Siggy Zaha
    Wilson King

    Button; 4.0, 4.0, 4.5

  4. No Kane No Gain
    • 2 Years
    21 days, 8 hours ago

    A) Gunn, Richarlison, 4.5 forward


    B) Pickford, Dendoncker, Arnautovic

    1. liverpool01
        21 days, 8 hours ago


      • Triffic
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 7 Years
        21 days, 6 hours ago

        I at too early for these type of decisions, I guarantee all 6 probably won’t be in your team come start of the season anyway

    2. NUFCAndrew
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      21 days, 8 hours ago

      Is it true that Heaton rejected a new deal at Burnley? Could be amazing value if Pope is #1

      1. No Kane No Gain
        • 2 Years
        21 days, 8 hours ago

        Apparently, yes

      2. Giggs Boson.
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 7 Years
        21 days, 8 hours ago

        Hart muddies the water slightly.

        1. Andy_Social
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 6 Years
          21 days, 8 hours ago

          Not really. He was a disaster last season. He's gotta be offski.

        2. Skull And Gnomes 9
          • 1 Year
          21 days, 8 hours ago

          Oh God! Head not Shoulders is still there.
          Forgot about that.

      3. Skull And Gnomes 9
        • 1 Year
        21 days, 8 hours ago

        That could be a little nugget.

    3. TheNovocastrian
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      21 days, 8 hours ago

      Any guesses on the price for Pulisic or whether he'll be a first choice for Chelsea this season?

      I think if he comes in at

      1. TheNovocastrian
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 2 Years
        21 days, 8 hours ago

        ...less than £9.0m and he's a straight replacement for Hazard then he might be a must buy.

      2. CloudSky
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 2 Years
        21 days, 8 hours ago

        8.0. Can't be valuing a third winger for Borussia for more than that.

      3. Tomerick
        • 5 Years
        21 days, 5 hours ago


    4. Giggs Boson.
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      21 days, 8 hours ago

      Fraser is in his last year of contract and has refused to sign a new deal for a "a while" now. So when Bournemouth lose Fraser (and they will), I think they're going to struggle to avoid relegation. I'm sceptical about Wilson and King if they lose the Scottish Messi.

    5. liverpool01
        21 days, 8 hours ago

        TAA, Robbo, Digne
        Mane, Sterling, Sigurdsson, Sterling
        Jota, King, Ings

        Guaita, Yoshida, Romeu, Rico

        Thoughts please, does my bench seem too weak?


        1. TheNovocastrian
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 2 Years
          21 days, 8 hours ago

          Your midfield might be a bit weak too if you have to play Sterling twice 😉

          1. liverpool01
              21 days, 8 hours ago

              lmao ahaha

          2. liverpool01
              21 days, 8 hours ago

              My bad wrote Sterling twice lol


          3. FlyingWithoutIngs
            • 1 Year
            21 days, 8 hours ago

            Anyone know how I can find out what my game id is? I’m on the website and usually it’s in my URL but can’t seem to find it.

            1. Rotation's Alter Ego
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • Has Moderation Rights
              • 7 Years
              21 days, 8 hours ago

              It's in the URL when on your history page

              1. FlyingWithoutIngs
                • 1 Year
                21 days, 8 hours ago

                Got it now cheers

            2. Klose but no Zidane
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 4 Years
              21 days, 8 hours ago

              Click on 'View Gameweek history', it's the number in that link.

              1. FlyingWithoutIngs
                • 1 Year
                21 days, 8 hours ago

                Found it thank you

          4. Captain Choice - Ag imirt &…
            • 10 Years
            21 days, 8 hours ago

            I have seen no teams with Zinchenko in it?
            Better chance of starting than Mendy.
            Plus on some City forums they rate him ahead of Mendy.
            A cheeky 5.5 for the first couple of games?
            I assume Mendy will take a good while to get back to fitness after his injury lay off?

            1. Dr. Rog
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 9 Years
              21 days, 8 hours ago

              or just play it safe with Walker

            2. TheNovocastrian
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 2 Years
              21 days, 8 hours ago

              In that case, how about...

              TAA, Chilwell, Digne, Zinchenko
              Salah, De Bruyne, Zaha
              Vardy, Jiminez, King

              (Ryan, Gibson, Dendoncker, Kante)

            3. Andy_Social
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 6 Years
              21 days, 8 hours ago

              You've not been paying attention. I've had him inked in for the las t 2 weeks. I'll take him out if he's a no-show in the Community Shield, but I'm prettysure it's his place to lose. Pep's lost faith in Mendy however fit he is now.

          5. Dr. Rog
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 9 Years
            21 days, 8 hours ago

            Draft team

            Ryan (4)
            TAA VVD Walker Digne (4)
            Salah Sterling Siggy Brooks (Noble)
            Arnie King (4.5)

            1. Zilla
              • 1 Year
              21 days, 8 hours ago

              Nice one, don't rate Brooks though.

              1. FlyingWithoutIngs
                • 1 Year
                21 days, 7 hours ago

                What’s there not to rate the guy is a baller

              2. mad_beer ✅
                • 4 Years
                21 days, 7 hours ago

                No issue with Brooks. I have him as well.

          6. BuYaKasha
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 7 Years
            21 days, 6 hours ago

            My first go at a real GW1 team,
            How's she looking?

            Ryan, (Button)
            TAA, VVD, Laporte, (Ried, Kelly)
            Salah, KDB, Moura, Fraser, (Kante)
            Wilson, Arnie, DCL

            1. BattleOfDeBruyne
                21 days, 3 hours ago

                May I ask why you chose TAA over Robertson? I assumed Robertson was the obvious choice.

                Your defence is obviously really nice but I think you spent a little bit too much. Laporte for Man City is a little unnecessary and honestly I don't think the 2 Liverpool players is necessarily a good idea (they're not going to have too many more clean sheets compared to other teams). I would consider defenders from Everton, Chelsea and Tottenham as alternatives. I would probably go Walker over Laporte if I was going to select a Man City defender but I don't think it's really a good idea as Pep likes to rotate them anyway.

                Midfield is good, I too have Salah & KDB and thinking that the extra £1.5m for KDB over Bernado Silva is worth it (although may prove to be of better use elsewhere!). I think Fraser is overvalued and avoided him in my squad. You are missing Zaha, someone owned by 50% of FPL which I think exceeds the threshold of merely a "differential". He is going to play well and score good, and you will almost certainly fall behind because of that.

                Would be really worth your time upgrading DCL to King or even Giroud (assuming he remains Chelsea's only ST). Your strikers are very poor, furthermore, your midfield contains obvious choices such as Salah and KDB. You're not exactly going to perform very well without players like Zaha and taking chances on players like DCL.

            2. BattleOfDeBruyne
                21 days, 4 hours ago

                Team: Ryan, Van Dijk, Coleman, Kelly, Zaha, Salah, De Bruyne, Sigurdsson, King, Kane, Giroud. Bench: Krul, Dendoncker, Chester, Balbuena.

                1. joelber_7
                  • 8 Years
                  20 days, 6 hours ago

                  That’s some strange advice for someone who is taking a risk on Giroud and not having Digne.
                  I’m a Liverpool fan and TAA took his game to another level with multiple double digit hauls towards the end of the season. His assist potential outweighs Robbo, but only just.
                  Silva is much more reliable than DeBruyne and cheaper.
                  Zaha is a solid choice but not a “must have” until he proves he can be consistent in an average team.

              • Zilla
                • 1 Year
                20 days, 4 hours ago

                A) Bilva & Jimmy
                B) Sane & King/Another 6.5er

                1. Roten Teufel
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 4 Years
                  19 days, 22 hours ago

                  Congrats. I think you may be the first United supporter I've seen that actually wants him anywhere within 1000 miles of Manchester next season.

                  1. Roten Teufel
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 4 Years
                    19 days, 22 hours ago

                    BAH! RF!

              • sandman58
                  19 days, 23 hours ago

                  Just did my first draft there and being a United fan....i honestly think Alexis Sanchez is...and will absolute steal at 7.0million

                  1. MeatPieSausageRoll
                      19 days, 22 hours ago

                      Haha yes bro im utd till i die too

                      1. MeatPieSausageRoll
                          19 days, 22 hours ago

                          Come on you red devils

                      2. sandman58
                          19 days, 22 hours ago

                          Olé will play Sanchez alot.
                          He will be come good this season

                          1. MeatPieSausageRoll
                              19 days, 22 hours ago

                              You are utd legend