Another day down, another day closer to the 2018 World Cup. Fans from all over the world will be getting ready to travel to Russia for this summer’s competition and it could be one of the greatest World Cup tournaments in recent times.
The world’s most gifted goalkeepers will be confident of claiming the Golden Glove award this summer. Awarded to the best shot stopper throughout the competition, Manuel Neuer was the recipient of the accolade in 2014 – and punters will fancy the Germany star to claim the award for the second tournament in a row.
As of June 6th, Neuer is the joint-favourite at 4/1 to secure the title. Germany have struggled in recent months but Joachim Low’s side tend to find their best form at major tournaments and it would be foolish to write Neuer off just yet.
Without further ado, let’s look at five of the leading Golden Glove contenders ahead of the competition.
Allison Becker (Brazil)
The Roma goalkeeper was simply sublime in 2017/18, helping his side advance to the semi-finals of the Champions League. Allison will be Brazil’s main shot stopper this summer and he is a viable pick at 4/1.
Brazil are expected to challenge for a sixth Jules Rimet Trophy this year and Allison’s form will be pivotal to their chances of success. He conceded 11 goals in 18 qualifying matches and he looks primed to enjoy a fruitful tournament.
Only Pepe Reina (18) kept more clean sheets than Allison (17) in Serie A last season. That statistic alone may tempt punters into backing the Brazilian to claim the Golden Glove in his first World Cup competition.
Manuel Neuer (Germany)
Neuer has been side-lined through injury for most of the campaign but the Bayern Munich man is back to full fitness. Prior to the DFB-Pokal final, Neuer had been ruled out for around six months and his lack of match practice is of some concern.
Winner of this award in 2014, the Germany star is one of the best in the business. A worthy favourite on his best form, Neuer can silence the doubters this summer as Low’s men bid to defend their World Cup crown.
Neuer is now on the wrong side of 30 years old but remains a competent shot stopper. He will be popular with bettors in the build-up to the tournament and it wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see him become the outright market principle.
David De Gea (Spain)
Arguably Manchester United’s only world class talent, De Gea is the best goalkeeper on the planet. The Spaniard racked up 18 clean sheets last season – two more than Manchester City shot stopper Ederson.
Spain were very disappointing at the 2014 World Cup and most fans are expecting a major improvement here. With Julen Lopetegui at the helm, the 2010 World Cup winners could be set for a real push for glory.
De Gea’s individual exploits may decide whether Spain fall short or prevail; he will be key to their aspirations. 9/2 is a decent price considering his talent but an early exit will scupper his chances of snagging individual honours.
Hugo Lloris (France)
Lloris is captain of the French national team and that could play into his hands if Les Bleus enjoy a successful campaign. As a shot stopper, Lloris isn’t the most reliable but his decision-making is top drawer.
A regular for Tottenham Hotspur throughout the campaign, Lloris heads into this summer’s competition in fine form. 7/1 is exceptional value given his importance to the team and he could be the one to back.
With a relatively straightforward group, Lloris shouldn’t have too much to do in the group stages. France are one of the favourites for World Cup glory this summer and Golden Glove contender Lloris could be the key to their chances.
Thibaut Courtois (Belgium)
Last but not least, we have Courtois. His future at Chelsea is up in the air at this moment in time but Courtois will be focused firmly on Belgium. He will need to be at his formidable best if Roberto Martinez’s men are to reach the latter stages.
8/1 is short in my opinion – all of the aforementioned goalkeepers are better placed to win the award. Courtois is a decent shot stopper but his form at club level has been patchy and a mistake or two will hinder his chances of individual recognition.
Belgium will come under pressure against England in the group stages and a solid showing in that encounter may boost his standing. However, it is difficult to put too much faith in the Chelsea man on current form.
*Odds subject to change - correct at time of writing*