Roy Hodgson will be buoyed by the fact that Crystal Palace thrashed Leeds United in a thrilling 4-1 win at Selhurst Park on Saturday afternoon.
However, if there is any real negatives to take away from such an emphatic performance, it’s the fact that the Eagles once again failed to keep a clean sheet after Patrick Bamford fired home what would turn out to be a mere consolation into the bottom corner past the helpless Palace goalkeeper Vicente Guaita.
Palace have made a solid start to the 2020/21 Premier League campaign, with four wins from a possible eight games, but if you had to pick holes in Hodgson’s side, they’ve conceded 13 goals in 8 games so far this season, with their last clean sheet coming in the 1-0 win over Southampton at home at the start of the season, which is pretty grim reading.
It’s hard to pin the blame solely on Guaita but he has hadn’t the best of starts in recent weeks, whilst his problems were compounded by another poor performance against Marcelo Bielsa’s side.
Per SofaScore, the Spaniard received an average rating of 6.5 for his efforts – he made two saves, but didn’t register a single punch or run out throughout the entire game, whilst he only managed to make one high claim.
The veteran has started every league game this season so far, but it will be interesting to see if that remains the case when the Eagles face Burnley after the international break. With the win fresh in his mind, new recruit Jack Butland is the ideal option to start instead of the 33-year-old in Hodgson’s side.
Once hailed as an “excellent” shot-stopper by former Newcastle United manager Steve McClaren after a standout display stopped the Magpies from securing victory at St James’ Park in 2015, the 27-year-old made 168 appearances for Stoke City, keeping 50 clean sheets in all competitions, via Transfermarkt. By comparison, Guaita has only managed to save 21 clean sheets in 67 games for the Eagles.
If the Palace boss is to give his first-choice goalkeeper a rest, that better way for Butland to earn his stripes than by squaring off against Hodgson’s mooted successor? He should be one of the first names on the team sheet after making a full recovery from coronavirus, that’s for sure. There arguably isn’t a better time to hand him his first-team debut than against a Burnley side who have largely failed to find the back of the net so far this season.