David Ospina vs Wojciech Szczesny: Who should Arsenal start with in the FA Cup final?

Arsene Wenger must pick between them for the Wembley meeting with Aston Villa. Here, Simon Rice compares their statistics and you can take part in our poll

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The Independent Online

Arsene Wenger has a major call to make ahead of the FA Cup final - David Ospina or Wojciech Szczesny.

Szczesny was Arsenal's number one at the start of the season, but questionable form and a crafty cigarette in the St Mary's Stadium dressing rooms saw him dropped in favour of David Ospina.

However, Wenger has a policy of using his back-up goalkeeper in the cups which has meant that since the Fourth Round of the competition, Szczesny has started every FA Cup game.

Whilst the Pole has played his role in taking Arsenal to Saturday's showpiece, he was to blame for Garath McCleary's semi-final goal for Reading.

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Wojciech Szczesny watches the ball cross the line as Garath McCleary scores for Reading

 

That incident coupled with Ospina's impressive Premier League displays have meant it is difficult to call who Wenger will start with. He gave little away in today's press conference.

"I will not tell you anything today," Wenger said.

"Nobody knows at the moment. I just think it is important to focus as a whole squad on winning the trophy.

"Most of the time the heroes are the people who come on in an FA Cup final - they make the difference.

"That's why it is important as a reward for the whole team who have fought very hard the whole season to get there.

"Let's deal with it as a whole squad."

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Arsène Wenger

 

So which should Wenger pick on Saturday? We took a look at their stats for an insight.

Just looking at the Premier League, the pair played an almost identical number of matches with Szczesny featuring in 17 and Ospina in 18. Comparing their performances, Ospina fares much better.

During those games, Ospina made just 0.06 errors per game that led to goals. In contrast Szczesny made 0.18. Ospina had far more clean sheets - 0.44 per match to 0.18 for Szczesny. The Colombian stopper also made more saves per game - 1.94 to 1.65 and more saves per goal conceded - 3.18 to 1.4 for Szczesny.

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The only areas in which Szczesny performed better than the player signed last summer as his understudy were in distribution and preferring not to punch. Szczesny had a successful distribution level of 68 per cent compared to 60 per cent for Ospina. The former also made just 0.15 punches per match compared to 0.56 for Ospina.

With Ospina coming out better in nearly every department, can Wenger afford to start Szczesny?

Why don't you let us know. Take part in our poll below...

 

Let us know your thoughts. Use the comment section below.

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