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Caoimhin Kelleher is outperforming Alisson in crucial stat this season

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Caoimhin Kelleher has excelled as stand-in for Alisson throughout a series of injuries this season, with Liverpool’s No. 2 even outperforming him in a key stat.

Though Alisson is undisputed No. 1 at Liverpool, his injury record is an ongoing concern that has arguably peaked this season.

Currently sidelined with a serious hamstring issue, no concrete return date has been set for the Brazilian at this stage, having already missed the last 10 games.

Kelleher is now two games off overtaking Alisson in terms of minutes played this season, and fortunately for Liverpool, there has been little drop-off shown.

In fact, in the Premier League, the deputy goalkeeper is outperforming the first choice when it comes to preventing expected goals.

Per FBref, Kelleher’s rate of post-shot expected goals minus goals allowed is +1.2, while Alisson‘s is marginally lower at +0.9.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, December 3, 2023: Liverpool's goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Fulham FC at Anfield. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Put simply, Kelleher has kept out 1.2 goals he supposedly should have conceded, with Alisson preventing 0.9 on average.

This is, of course, skewed by a smaller sample size for the backup, who has so far started seven times in the Premier League this season compared to 21.

But the data shows that Kelleher is facing statistically stronger chances at a rate of 0.31 expected goals per shot on target against 0.25 for Alisson.

Only eight goalkeepers have a higher rate of goals prevented in this season’s Premier League than Kelleher, with Alisson having topped the charts across Europe’s top five leagues last term but currently sitting 13th in the English top flight alone.

LONDON, ENGLAND - Saturday, December 9, 2023: Liverpool's goalkeeper Alisson Becker celebrates at the final whistle after the FA Premier League match between Crystal Palace FC and Liverpool FC at Selhurst Park. Liverpool won 2-1. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

That is not to say Alisson has dropped off – in fact, injuries aside, the 31-year-old has been one of Liverpool’s standout performers in 2023/24.

In all competitions, he is still preventing more goals on average (1.3) than Kelleher (1.1).

Perhaps the biggest conclusion is that, despite missing their No. 1 goalkeeper for a sizeable chunk of the campaign, the Reds have been able to rely upon a backup who has been genuinely outstanding.