England should not expect to win Euro 2024 but they have a chance to triumph if things go their way, according to David James, who also believes the Three Lions will be well-prepared for life after Gareth Southgate.

Southgate's England were penalty shoot-out losers to Italy in the final of the delayed Euro 2020, having also suffered World Cup semi-final elimination at the hands of Croatia in 2018.

The Three Lions, as per FIFA's rankings, are the third-best side in the world at present – behind only World Cup holders Argentina and fellow European side France – ahead of the likes of Belgium, Brazil and Netherlands.

With Germany's Euro 2024 on the horizon, starting on June 14, former England goalkeeper James says the Three Lions should not expect to win the tournament, though have no reason to not believe if things go to plan.

He told Stats Perform: "It's a difficult one - it's almost like trying to predict this game a week before the kick-off. I think realistic success for an England team is getting to semi-finals, or ideally finals.

"I was there like many at the Euro 2020 final against Italy, and it was heartbreaking. It's literally two penalties difference between us and Italy winning.

"I think that's still a success. Of course, people want that trophy and naturally you'd like England to win the trophy.

"Italy proved it, albeit for one tournament – they haven't been any good since then – but they were the best team [in the world]. They had the best tactics and in the end they ended up winning the tournament.

"So until the tournament starts, it's difficult… whether Spain, whether Germany, as everyone always talks about being successful in tournaments, whatever.

"I just think that England go in there not expecting to win it, but knowing that there is a chance if things go right, they can win it. I'm personally cheering them on all the way."

Though England will harbour hopes of going deep into the European Championship knockout stages once again, Southgate's future at the helm remains unclear.

His contract is due to expire in December this year, with reports linking Southgate to Manchester United's managerial position after the involvement of new shareholder Jim Ratcliffe, though England insist the focus is with the next task at hand.

James believes the Football Association (FA) is ready in preparation for whatever the future holds, suggesting England's success has not solely fallen on Southgate but rather the organisation's operation process as a whole.

He added: "I think it's interesting. When you look at Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp, they're two managers that are, we can talk about them as individuals, but their whole success is based on how that club is set up.

"Any replacement for Jurgen, and for Pep Guardiola as well at some point, the manager will have to fit into the club's idea of how they improve the club essentially – I think England is exactly the same.

"Gareth is at the helm at the moment as a manager, but I don't think it's just down to Gareth. I think it's down to a very, very strong network of people around him to the point that he can make a decision that he doesn't want to do it anymore or whatever, stay on.

"I think the only way that he gets asked to leave is if England do desperately bad in a tournament. Other than that, then it's his call.

"I think it's more about Gareth but whoever and whenever he's replaced, they will be going into a setup which is suited by the FA rather than the manager who's trying to set things up themselves."

As to whether Southgate's tenure would be seemed a success without silverware, James placed his backing in the England manager.

"There's a lot of people who would say that England needs to win something for him to have had a good tenure as a manager," he continued. "But I would argue that I think he's been fantastic.

"He took England to a final and a semi-final and I hope in the Euros that he can do the same. I'm confident England will do well."

Pep Guardiola is the best manager of all time, according to former Manchester City goalkeeper David James.

Guardiola claimed a historic treble with City last season, taking his tally to 11 league titles and three Champions League trophies across his time at Barcelona, Bayern Munich and the Citizens over a glittering managerial career.

Guardiola has led City to the Premier League title in five of the last six campaigns, and his team is deeply entrenched in yet another battle at the top of the division this season, too, sitting third but just a point behind leaders Arsenal, who they face on Sunday in a huge clash.

Alex Ferguson leads the way with 13 Premier League titles over 21 editions of the competition, but James believes the rate at which Guardiola is catching up with the Scot means the former Barca boss must be considered the best manager of all time.

"Tactically, and with regards to what he's won, I'm struggling to think of a manager who's overall done better [than Guardiola]," James told Stats Perform. "Alex Ferguson you could think of, but Alex Ferguson had [a long time]. It's just ridiculous how good this guy is.

"I just think when you look at Pep, in a short period of time, he has effectively dominated anything he wants to go for. The Premier League, it is the best league in the world. His team has dominated.

"It wouldn't surprise me if they win the Champions League again. When you think the EFL Cup was his first [trophy], I think it was three years in a row, now it's the Premier League, and it's kind of like, well next is naturally the Champions League, isn't it?"

James believes it is Guardiola's ability to develop talented players into becoming world class that truly sets him apart from other managers and allows him to have so much success wherever he goes.

"For what anyone says about money being spent, I think other than Jack Grealish at one point, he's never bought the most expensive player," James added. "He gets the players and makes them better.

"You've got Phil Foden. The player I'm looking forward to over the rest of this season and next season is Oscar Bobb.

"There are players in the City side who are coming through or already there, and it's just a joy to watch."

For the majority of Guardiola's City career, Liverpool and their boss Jurgen Klopp have been his team's closest challengers.

That competition is soon to be coming to an end, however, with Klopp set to leave Liverpool at the end of the season after almost nine years in charge at Anfield.

James believes this will prove to be a huge loss for the Premier League, particularly when it comes to Klopp's personality, saying: "He has been so frank, so honest about anything that he's been asked.

"I just think it's so refreshing to have a manager who is managing one of the biggest clubs in the world in the most pressurised environments in sport, if you like, and he takes to it like it's a chit-chat around a cup of coffee over a table.

"While we've got him I think we have to enjoy him, and hope that at some point he comes back to the Premier League in some shape or form and just illuminates football for anyone who's following him."

Yet, James feels the nature of football means that if Liverpool's next manager succeeds on the pitch in a superior fashion to Klopp, the former Borussia Dortmund boss will become just another one of the top managers Liverpool have had.

"Will there be a gap? Yeah," James continued. "And the character will be difficult, if not near impossible to replace.

"However, the game will move on. And if the new manager of Liverpool hardly ever talks to anyone but gets results in Liverpool surpassing Jurgen's success on the trophy trail, then in the end Jurgen will just be one of the great managers that Liverpool had and it will all be about the new guy. We know how this game works."

Aston Villa are the favourites for Champions League football next year despite a disappointing turn in their form, says David James.

With Tottenham having lost heavily at Fulham on Saturday, Villa had the chance to move five points clear of Ange Postecoglou's team and consolidate their place in the top four when they faced West Ham on Sunday.

However, they ultimately had to settle for a point at London Stadium, thanks to Nicolo Zaniolo's equaliser, though West Ham had a late winner disallowed by VAR.

It left Villa, who have been unable to maintain the level of performances they showed at the end of 2023, still in control of their destiny, sitting three points above Tottenham, in fifth, albeit Spurs have a game in hand.

With five teams potentially set for a Champions League place this season, former Villa goalkeeper James fancies his old club’s chances of finishing ahead of Spurs and sixth-placed Manchester United.

James told Stats Perform: "I think Villa are the favourites, it's easy to say.

"Unai Emery has played for teams that are used to not winning all the time even if he's had success in cups and he's got a group of players who are confident, despite the results today, to get wins.

"I can't really see the top four changing. It'd be nice if there is a challenge, but Villa are my old team, so I actually want them to finish third."

Emery's side have been the surprise package this term, and despite some onlookers assuming they would fall away due to inexperience and their Europa Conference League duties still ongoing, they have remained firmly in top-four contention.

However, Villa have a difficult run-in, with Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool still to play, though Tottenham also have to face those four opponents as well.

Despite backing his old side, James conceded Villa have their flaws, and after being unbeaten at Villa Park until their loss to Newcastle United in January, they have now gone on to lose there on two more occasions, against United and Spurs.

James said: "We saw Tottenham batter Villa strangely after that long record that Villa broke at home, it felt like it was only going to be the away form that would let them down.

"It's reversed now that it's the home form that's letting them down and not the away form. They're still ahead of Tottenham points-wise."

Emery has rejuvenated Villa since he replaced Steven Gerrard at the helm, and James thinks the former Arsenal boss belongs in elite company.

James said: "I've heard some wonderful stories about him as well about his videos and stuff like that but if you can get the players to buy into what you're doing and by getting them the results they will try everything that you ask them to try then, you're on for a winner.

"I think Unai's got that at the moment. The problem is, and I think this is indicative of the Premier League at the moment and why Arsenal might be refreshing their challenging City and Liverpool.

"These two clubs here today have been ruling the Premier League for five, six years now. Emery's success would always be qualifying for the Champions League at the moment as opposed to challenging for the Premier League.

"So, yes, it's building blocks, but they're all going in the right direction. I just think that you've got a very capable manager with a capable group of players and they are signed to see the dividends of that."

Harry Kane's efforts for Bayern Munich will be worthy of the Ballon d'Or should the England captain break the Bundesliga goalscoring record, so says David James.

A week on from becoming the first player to score four hat-tricks in a debut Bundesliga season, Kane netted his 31st league goal of the campaign in Bayern's 5-2 win over Darmstadt on Saturday, seeing him surpass Uwe Seeler (from 1963-64) for the most goals in his first term in Germany's top tier.

Kane has now netted 37 goals in 35 appearances across all competitions for Bayern since his switch from Tottenham, outperforming his expected goals (xG) of 30.19.

Of players in Europe's big five leagues, only Kylian Mbappe has scored more goals (38) than Kane, whose tally of 47 goal contributions leads the way across the continent.

With eight league games remaining, Kane is well on course to better Robert Lewandowski's Bundesliga record of 41 goals, which was set during Bayern's all-conquering 2020-21 campaign, and James feels that is evidence enough of the former Spurs star's world-class ability.

"The fact that he could break the Bundesliga record for goals this year, I think, is a testament to how good Harry Kane is," he told Stats Perform.

"He could be the man who scored the most goals for Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga, which would be better than Lewandowski, who people think should have won a Ballon d'Or for the amount of goals he scored in the Bundesliga."

Kane's form this season has been one of the few positives for Bayern, as for the first time since Jurgen Klopp's Borussia Dortmund denied them the Bundesliga in 2012, they look set to finish second, 10 points behind Xabi Alonso's high-flying Bayer Leverkusen.

James, though, feels there is still more to come from Kane, who will go up against his old rivals Arsenal in the Champions League quarter-finals.

"I think he's doing a marvellous job," James added.

"I think he understands completely how to play football, and that might sound a bit funny, but he knows what to do to be better."

There was some concern for Kane, however, who sustained an ankle injury in Saturday's win over Darmstadt, though the 30-year-old will join up with the England squad this week.

Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola's honesty has been hugely refreshing for the Premier League, so says David James.

In what is set to be the final Premier League meeting between the great managerial rivals, Liverpool and Manchester City served up a thrilling 1-1 draw at Anfield on Sunday.

For the second time in the last three seasons, Liverpool and City have drawn both of their meetings in a Premier League campaign (2021-22 and 2023-24). Four of the last six meetings between the two in the top flight have ended level, as many as in the previous 17 combined (four).

Guardiola, meanwhile, is the manager to have beaten Klopp the most in the German's career, with 10 wins. But it is the same the other way around, with Klopp having overcome Guardiola's sides on 11 occasions.

With Klopp leaving Liverpool at the end of the season, the only way he and Guardiola can go head-to-head again in English football will be if the Reds and City were to meet in the FA Cup, should they progress beyond their respective quarter-final ties, and former England goalkeeper James believes the honesty that both men have provided during their stints in the top tier has been hugely impressive.

"There's one thing about these two and I think it's their honesty," he told Stats Perform.

"Right from the get go when Pep turned up [in 2016], the way that he talked about his football. I think you can see in how his teams are playing games.

"After matches, win, lose or draw, he would tell people how he thought the performance went. I think that was refreshing because a lot of managers still avoid the hard questions when people talk about performances, whether it was good or bad.

"Pep honestly responded. I think with Jurgen, [it's] the honesty just in general. In terms of him announcing that he's going to step down as Liverpool manager. I think that the way he comes over, you just believe everything he says.

"That is not to suggest he isn't telling the truth, but that's what I love about it. I think what they've done is move the benchmark for other managers coming in.

"In regards to a rivalry, I think they love each other and hate each other at the same time. They're so good and they've kept this league so honest, it's been amazing."

Asked for his thoughts on how Liverpool go about replacing Klopp, who has been in post since 2015, James added: "Obviously with Jurgen having to be replaced for next season, it'll be interesting what type of manager Liverpool get.

"Because football-wise you can get a manager that has more influence on the pitch that Jurgen has but off the field it will be difficult to replace him."

Liverpool have been heavily linked with Xabi Alonso, though Bayern Munich are also in the hunt for the Bayer Leverkusen coach.

David James still thinks Liverpool or Manchester City will win the Premier League title, despite Sunday's draw between the pair leaving Arsenal at the summit.

Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola's final Premier League meeting ended in a frantic 1-1 draw at Anfield, with Arsenal, who beat Brentford 2-1 on Saturday, remaining clear of the Reds on goal difference at the top of the table.

Liverpool accumulated 2.7 expected goals (xG) to City's 1.56, but shared the spoils as Alexis Mac Allister's 50th-minute penalty cancelled out John Stones' inventive set-piece opener.

Though Mikel Arteta's Gunners sit narrowly ahead of Liverpool and a point clear of third-placed City with 10 league games remaining, James believes Sunday's draw does not favour Arsenal in the title race.

"I think this is the worst result for Arsenal, even though they ended the weekend top of the table," former City and Liverpool goalkeeper James told Stats Perform.

"If Arsenal slip up, both City and Liverpool are in exactly the right place to take advantage. Whereas, had one team won, then [Arsenal] would only essentially be looking at one team in a preferential position, even if they were in second place.

"I still see this as a Liverpool and Man City race. I think Arsenal, of course, are there numerically, but I think when it comes to the crunch, these two are the best teams in the country, and one of these will be crowned Premier League champions."

Liverpool had 19 shots on Sunday, their most in a Premier League clash against City, with 12 of those coming in the second half – a record high Guardiola's side have faced after half-time in a league match since May 2021 (12 against Brighton).

Though Liverpool may lament Luis Diaz missing a gilt-edged chance in the second period, as well as a contentious decision right at the end when Mac Allister was caught by Jeremy Doku inside City's area, James insists the Reds should take encouragement from their showing against last season's treble winners.

"[Liverpool] could have beaten the best team in the world with the better chances in the game," the 53-cap England international continued.

"That would give me confidence in the short term, of not getting the points, but that you can play the best team in the world and should beat them, that's a nice feeling."

James lauded "a fantastic game of football" but suggested an inexperienced and injury-hit Liverpool may have lacked a clinical edge, owing to their young side.

Indeed, with Conor Bradley (20), Harvey Elliott (20) and Jarell Quansah (21) all starting, it was the first time Liverpool had named three players aged 21 or under in a Premier League starting XI against City since March 2015, when Raheem Sterling, Emre Can and Lazar Markovic all featured.

James, who played 214 times for the Reds, added: "I don't want to say that nobody is allowed to miss chances…

"But the crucial moments in the game, I think in the first half in particular, Liverpool were getting into very good positions and were not making what I thought were the right decisions at the right time.

"[That was] either the correct pass or the shot, it was a touch that allowed City to get back into the box. Things like this, I think are understandable.

"Bradley, who has been fantastic since he came into the side, was culpable a couple of times, I think that might be just experience.

"He's playing in his biggest match ever, in front of the Kop, and there was a moment where you think just put your foot through it. You're playing against a fantastic team and there are a lot of influences on it."

Whether a point dropped for Liverpool or one gained for City, James believes both sides will look back on the showdown as decisive come the end of the campaign.

He concluded: "Ultimately though, it won't be until the end of the season. If the league is decided or lost by a point by either of these teams, they'll look at if they could have got that extra two points and won the title."

Former Chelsea and Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech set a new Premier League record of 170 clean sheets on this day in 2015.

Cech moved ahead of David James’ previous best of 169 in the all-time list after Arsenal’s 2-0 win against Bournemouth at the Emirates Stadium.

He said at the time: “It’s a great personal achievement and I felt really proud at the end of the game because if you look at the names in the clean-sheet numbers and you see all those fantastic goalkeepers who had been playing and are still playing in this league then obviously it is a great achievement to top the list.”

The former Czech Republic keeper went on to rack up 32 more clean sheets for the Gunners in the English top flight to extend his current record to 202.

Cech became the first goalkeeper to register 200 shutouts in Arsenal’s 3-0 home win against Watford in 2018 after saving Troy Deeney’s penalty.

Having racked up 162 Premier League clean sheets during his 11-year career with Chelsea, Cech went on to notch another 40 with Arsenal before retiring at the end of the 2018-19 season.

He brought down the curtain on a glittering career after Arsenal were thumped 4-1 in his final match by former club Chelsea in the Europa League final in Baku.

The former Rennes goalkeeper returned to Stamford Bridge as a technical director upon his retirement as former team-mate Frank Lampard took the helm as manager in west London.

Chelsea registered the then 38-year-old in their Premier League squad in 2020 as a precautionary move to help in any possible coronavirus-related availability crisis.

Cech, who made 124 appearances in total for the Czech Republic during a 14-year international career, signed for National Ice Hockey League Division Two side Guildford Phoenix in 2019.

The 41-year-old joined NIHL Division One side Oxford City Stars in the summer of 2023 after a spell with Chelmsford Chieftains and switched to Elite League side Belfast Giants on loan in November.

Two of England's best goalkeepers will face off as Arsenal host Everton on the last day of the Premier League season, and David James believes Jordan Pickford should remain number one for the Three Lions, for now.

Gunners shot-stopper Aaron Ramsdale is one of Pickford's chief challengers for the England jersey, though the two have had mixed fortunes as the league season comes to a close on Sunday.

Pickford has been in tremendous form for Everton as they steered clear of relegation, confirming their top-flight status for another year with a dramatic 3-2 comeback against Crystal Palace at Goodison Park on Thursday.

Ramsdale and Arsenal look to have missed out on a Champions League place after recent defeats to Tottenham and Newcastle United, with Mikel Arteta's side needing to beat Everton while hoping Norwich get the better of Spurs on the final day.

Speaking to Stats Perform, former Liverpool and England goalkeeper James said Ramsdale's form this season will not have gone unnoticed, but described Pickford as "exceptional" whenever he has appeared for the national team.

"I don't think Ramsdale's club form will be ignored," James said. "The way you get into England is by the good club form. However, Gareth Southgate is his England manager, not his club manager.

"It would be wonderful, I'm sure, for an international manager to look at his squad and everyone's playing at the best of their abilities at the top of the league, [but] that's never going to be the reality.

"I think what Jordan Pickford's done for England has been exceptional. Absolutely exceptional. It's not a case of not letting us down, he has been exceptional."

James says Ramsdale would have to seize any chance that comes his way with England.

"If he's to perform at the level that he's been performing for Arsenal for England, then Gareth has a question of 'actually now do I look at the overall picture?'," James said.

Only five goalkeepers have made more saves than Pickford's 117 in the Premier League this season, though he is 15th for save percentage (66.67), while Ramsdale is ninth (70.08).

In terms of expected goals on target (xGOT), Pickford has actually let in 0.9 more than expected, while Ramsdale has prevented 0.6 in that respect, though this is quite a way down from where it was heading into the last international break in late March (3.3).

James expects Pickford to remain England's number one ahead of the World Cup later this year, barring a dip in form that could prompt a change of heart from Southgate.

"If he looks at the quality of the goalkeeper and how much they positively influence England's performances, he may see a time to change," James said. "But at the moment, Jordan Pickford has been exceptional and therefore he's England's number one."

Jack Grealish will prove a good signing for Manchester City, says David James, even if the former England goalkeeper remains unsure whether the playmaker has lived up to his record-breaking price tag.

Grealish became the most expensive British transfer of all time when he moved to the Premier League champions from Aston Villa for £100million last year.

While the 26-year-old has not been at the sparkling best he showed during his time at Villa, he has made 31 appearances across all competitions, starting 26 times.

Those appearances have yielded only four goals, with Pep Guardiola happy to utilise Grealish as a rotation option, with City still in with a chance of a domestic and European treble.

Though Grealish's price tag hangs over his head, ex-City man James believes helping deliver more silverware will make the transfer worthwhile.

"You can't ignore the money," James told Stats Perform. "But there wouldn't be a value or a price tag which would arguably justify either way whether it was a good or bad signing.

"Grealish has been heavily involved in Manchester City's games this season. [They are] top of the league, [in the] quarter-finals of the Champions League and semi-finals of the FA Cup.

"Jack Grealish has been involved in that. He's part of the team which has been very successful at the moment. It's a good signing."

Grealish directly contributed to 16 Premier League goals last season at Villa (six goals, 10 assists), but that figure stands at just four so far this term (two goals, two assists).

He crafted 81 chances in total last season in the top flight, at an average of 3.3 per 90 minutes. That has dropped to 43 so far this season (2.5 per 90).

But James believes the switch has shown new shades to Grealish's game, such as having to become more of a team player in a squad packed with stars.

"The thing that I like more about Jack is that there's a different side to his game than what he had [at] Aston Villa," he added.

"As influential as he was, it was almost like they needed Jack to make Aston Villa work. [City] don't need in the same sense. They don't need Jack at Manchester City for Man City to work.

"He has to be part of the bigger team, which I think he's done successfully. I think he's been a successful signing.

"If City are to win the league, [if] they are to win the Champions League [and if they are] to win the FA Cup, then a big part of that will be Jack Grealish being in the club."

Liverpool risk damaging their long-term transfer policy if they offer Mohamed Salah a bumper new contract.

That is according to former Reds goalkeeper David James, who also told Stats Perform that the frustration of missing out on the World Cup is having a detrimental effect on Salah.

Salah is into the final 16 months of his existing deal at Anfield and is reportedly holding out for fresh terms that could make him the highest-paid player in the Premier League.

The 29-year-old has 28 goals in all competitions this season, a tally bettered only by Real Madrid's Karim Benzema (37) and Bayern Munich's Robert Lewandowski (45) from Europe's top five leagues.

However, while Salah has once again proved his worth to Liverpool this campaign, James does not believe the club should bow to the Egypt forward's alleged wage demands.

"Quite simply, Liverpool won't offer him a contract that is wrong for them. As they say, no one is bigger than the club," James said.

"If he feels he could get more [money] elsewhere, and that's what he wants, then he'll have to go somewhere else.

"That would be the best business Liverpool can do with regards to sticking to whatever their policy is, rather than changing it to cater for an individual and upsetting the model."

 Amid the ongoing questions over his future, Salah's form has dropped in recent weeks, the former Chelsea attacker having scored in just one of his last seven club games.

That coincides with double heartbreak at international level for Salah, with Egypt losing to Senegal in the Africa Cup of Nations final and last month's World Cup play-off.

Indeed, since returning from AFCON duty in February, Salah has averaged fewer goals (0.66 compared to 0.81) and fewer assists (0.16 compared to 0.45) per 90 minutes.

He is also creating fewer chances (1.97 compared to 2.07), all of which James puts down to Egypt's recent woes.

"There's been frustration because he's trying to score goals, rather than trying harder for the team," James added. "What I'd seen this season up to AFCON was Mo helping out.

"It was perfect harmony. But all of a sudden it was almost like 'I'm going away for a month, let me try and get my goals now because I can't score them when I'm away."

"That sort of frustration is more detrimental to his performance. With the negative experiences of the AFCON and World Cup, you start asking 'Where's the desperation?'

"Is there a desperation to his performances to try to make up for those other losses?"

Salah's struggles in front of goal over the past month have coincided with Luis Diaz's instant impact since arriving from Porto in the January transfer window.

Diaz has three goals and one assist in 13 appearances, providing Jurgen Klopp with even more depth in the final third of the field, where they also have Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Diogo Jota.

But James says that should come as no surprise given the impressive work of Liverpool's scouting department in recent times.

"I have to say, I didn't know a lot about him until he was rumoured to be going to Tottenham, so I did my homework on him," James said of Diaz.

"I was amazed at what a player he was. I'd like to think any Premier League club who plays against Diaz will know exactly what they are coming up against.

"But we shouldn't be surprised. One of the most impressive things about Liverpool is that Diaz isn't an exception – there's also Diogo Jota, Thiago [Alcantara], and so on.

"Players come into the team and look as though they have been there for years. That's all part of the system and environment. When players get an opportunity they just fit in.

"That is credit to Liverpool, who have allowed Diaz to fit in and feel part of the team in a short period of time. It's like he's been there all season."

Manchester City and Liverpool goalkeepers Ederson and Alisson are two of the best shot-stoppers in world football, and David James concedes it is a struggle to pick an outright favourite.

Brazil duo Ederson and Alisson will meet on Sunday as Manchester City host Liverpool in a crucial game in the Premier League title race.

The goalkeepers have been the standout shot-stoppers in the Premier League in recent seasons. While Ederson has three league titles to his name, Alisson has helped Liverpool to a top-flight triumph and Champions League success.

This season, both goalkeepers have performed to similarly high levels. Alisson has made 60 saves in the league from 78 shots on target faced, leaving him with a save percentage of 76.9, while Ederson has made 50 stops, registering a save percentage of 72.3.

Based on Opta's expected goals on target conceded (xGOT) model, Alisson has performed slightly better when it comes to the number of goals he has prevented with the quality of his shot-stopping.

Alisson has prevented 2.9 goals in the top-flight, while Ederson has prevented 1.7.

With the margins between the pair so tight, former England number one James says it is difficult to pick which goalie he prefers.

"My favourite two goalkeepers in the Premier League, absolutely," the former City and Liverpool goalkeeper told Stats Perform.

"Even off the field, these two guys are fantastic people. I can admire them from the goalkeeping art, but when you've got wonderful people doing it, then it just adds another layer to it.

"They're very good friends as well, which makes it even more interesting, team-mates on the international scene, your mates off the field, and then you're competing in pretty much every tournament."


However, James does believe that Alisson, due to Liverpool's more open style of play, is tested more regularly.

"If I had a favourite, it's very difficult because their attributes are different," he continued.

"When you look at Ederson, the guy who can kick the ball 90 metres, hardly ever kicks the ball 40 metres, and everything is pretty much played in his own half now.

"It's more a demonstration of the dominance of City and because of that dominance he's not actually being called upon so much.

"Whereas if you look at Allison, who's got the freedom to get an assist if he wants, but has been called upon time and again, this even going into the game on the weekend, you're looking at it and thinking well 'case history would argue that Allison has made more saves in the last two months, possibly in one game than Ederson has had to do'.

"So Allison's kind of winning at the moment because he's doing more but I wouldn't want to pick one as my ultimate favourite."

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.