Newcastle United have been rocked with the news that Martin Dubravka will miss a period through injury, including this weekend’s match with Sheffield United.
The injury will rule him out of this weekend’s clash with the Blades, while Dubravka will also miss the Magpies’ FA Cup quarter-final tie with Man City in a few weeks’ time.
Manager, Steve Bruce, will be disappointed to lose Dubravka, who has kept nine clean sheets this season to help Newcastle away from the danger zone.
The Slovakian stopper has made the number one spot his own over the last two seasons. After competing with Karl Darlow for a while, Dubravka has now firmly cemented himself as the number one at St James’ Park.
It goes without saying, then, that losing their goalkeeper is a bitter blow for the Toon Army.
Why Martin Dubravka is such a big loss to Newcastle United
Aside from keeping clean sheets, the Newcastle number one is a tremendous shot stopper. And in a side that gives up a lot of opportunities, that is a vital attribute to have.
Indeed, according to stats from WhoScored.com, Dubravka has made at least 13 more saves (116) than any other goalkeeper in the Premier League this season.
That statistic alone proves how valuable he is to the Magpies. It is akin to the Blades losing Dean Henderson. While Simon Moore and Michael Verrips would step in and do a good job, Henderson would leave a gaping hole.
Influence and clean sheets
Having a good goalkeeper can often influence the rest of the team. A back four who knows the man behind them is one of the best often performs better. It breeds confidence throughout the team and sets a solid platform to build on.
Given this, it is no coincidence that two of the top three have top ranked goalkeepers. Liverpool stopper Alisson and Leicester number one Kasper Schmeichel have both kept ten clean sheets. That’s the same, of course, as Dean Henderson. Furthermore, those clean sheets translate to goals conceded, with the Foxes, Blades and Reds having conceded less than 30 times all season.
There is little doubt there, then, that Dubravka’s injury will provide Sheffield United with a timely boost.