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question nobody asked

WITH an Italian manager and a style of play that has been criticised for its defensive nature, it's no surprise that Manchester City are top of the table when it comes to the highest number of clean sheets in the Premier League.

However, joining them with an impressive 10 shut-outs from 21 league games are Sunderland, which is all the more surprising given the presence in their defence of one Titus Bramble (pictured) for 13 of them.

Both City and Sunderland have won seven of the 10 games in which they have kept a clean sheet. However, it's Arsenal and Stoke who seem to benefit most from not conceding, as they both have a 100pc record of five victories from those games in which their goal hasn't been breached.

At the other end of the scale, Tottenham appear to be taking the "they score one, we score two" approach to success. They have just three clean sheets in 20 games but are still in the Champions League places.

Manchester United, who didn't concede in half of their league games last season, have kept eight clean sheets from 19 games while, despite a creaking backline, Chelsea have a similar record of nine from 20 games.

Irish Independent