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The battle for the Premier League award for most clean sheets is the closest since the award began in 2004/05 with five keepers all in with a realistic chance of taking the prize.
With three games to go for all the keepers in contention, the contest is still wide open – but three shut-outs for Hart would probably be enough to secure a fourth success in five years and reaffirm his credentials as the Premier League’s top custodian.
It’s ironic Joe is still in contention with the Blues not at their watertight best defensively this campaign - Hart kept 18 clean sheets in 2010/11 and 2012/13 and 17 in 2011/12
...Hart on track..
He is currently on 12 shut-outs having kept two in the last three games to emerge as a serious challenger to take the prize.
Liverpool’s Simon Mignolet and Southampton’s Fraser Forster currently lead the way with 13 clean sheets but Forster, who was once easily ahead of the pack, will not play again for several months after picking up a serious knee injury in March. West Brom’s Ben Foster was on 11 before he, too was ruled out for the remainder of the campaign.
Mignolet should play in Liverpool’s final three games which are away to Chelsea and Stoke plus a home game against Crystal Palace.
Tied on 12 with Joe are Chelsea’s Thibaut Courtois and Swansea’s Lukasz Fabianski. Courtois could face Liverpool, West Brom and Sunderland – but Jose Mourinho may give Petr Cech game-time with the title already wrapped up.
Fabianski has the toughest-looking run-in with Arsenal and Palace away plus City at The Liberty Stadium. David de Gea could still tie top spot with 13 but he’d have to keep three successive shut-outs it achieve that number in the games that remain and hope those ahead all conceded goals in all their games.
Hart, if he plays all three of City’s final games, would face QPR, Swansea and Southampton – the latter would be his 300th appearance for the Blues so let’s hope there’s cause for double celebration that day, particularly if, at the other end of the pitch, Sergio Aguero secures the Golden Boot!
Good luck to both...