Two of the finest goalkeepers in world football will be on opposing sides tonight when Belgium take on Italy in the pick of the Euro 2016 Matchday 1 fixtures.
Both shot-stoppers boast impressive nicknames. Thibaut Courtois is often referred to as ‘The Tarantula’ due to his uncanny ability to keep out shots with all parts of his body, making it seem like he has 8 legs and arms at times, while Gianluigi Buffon acquired the ‘Superman’ tag after revealing a T-shirt to Parma fans following a penalty save from Inter’s Ronaldo (the Brazilian version) back in the 1997-98 season.
Oulala have compared the two goalkeepers ahead of tonight’s showdown at the Stade De Lyon and it is quite clear that the old dog does not need to be taught any new tricks.
The Juventus veteran is outperforming the Chelsea stopper in a number of key categories that include saves per goal and total clean sheets. The stats indicate that Buffon is very relunctant to punch the ball which might be a wise move judging by a couple of shambolic attempts that have already resulted in goals at Euro 2016.
Courtois will need to improve his distribution powers if he is to mix it with the best keepers on the planet, an area that Buffon and the brilliant David de Gea excel in. The Belgium goalkeeper will not be helped by the fact that the Red Devils have lost key defenders to injury including captain Vincent Kompany, meaning that he will line-up behind a somewhat makeshift defence tonight.
Belgium versus Italy could really kick-start Euro 2016 but don’t be too surprised if ‘Superman’ saves the day for the Azzurri – again!