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Who Are the Best Budget Goalkeepers in "FIFA 19 Ultimate Team"?

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Having played FIFA casually for a long time, Mr Awbery is an aspiring pro player and streamer, who has attended one LAN this year.

This article is the first in a series of articles in which I explore the five best budget options at each position within FIFA 19 Ultimate Team. I am beginning with goalkeepers and moving my way forwards through the traditional roles of defenders, midfielders then finishing with strikers. I hope to also provide a metric in which you can judge the effectiveness of a player yourself, and apply that knowledge to your decisions in the future.

For the cost of the player, I am working on a principle of 100,000 coins or less. This may not be suitable for some, and that’s understandable, however, with the way rewards are set up, I believe this is definitely an achievable amount of coins for a player.

I would also like to add that I have deliberately not included both Neuer and De Gea in this list, as they are considered the best in the sport for goalkeeping almost universally. This list was intended to give you some alternatives if the squad making requirements (such as building a team, not from the premier league or the Bundesliga) didn't align, or you simply wanted to try another goalkeeper.

Understanding Goalkeepers

I have identified four key stats which goalkeepers need to have to be the best in ultimate team. These stats are diving, reflexes, positioning, and handling. Whilst kicking and speed are important for an all-around goalkeeper, they have little to no impact on your goalkeeper's ability to make a save, and therefore I place them at lower importance to the other four.

There are two other major contributors to your keeper's ability to make saves, that are much more unknown and are harder to measure. These are the goalkeeper's height and body type.

Simply put, a taller keeper will reach shots further away from him easier than shorter keepers, given that they have the same stats, its a simple concept, but one that I believe is ignored by some of the player base. It makes logical sense that a goalkeeper who is 2-3” taller than another would gain an advantage, and I can definitely provide anecdotal evidence for that. Last year I attempted to use Lopes who plays for Lyon. He is 6ft tall and really struggled to reach shots driven across goal, whereas Donnarumma did not.

Body type is a controversial one. I believe goalkeepers with the stocky/normal body type, as opposed to lean or special seem more capable of saving shots than the others. This is only a theory and is extremely difficult to test, but this will also factor into my decisions. However, and this is purely anecdotal, I have found goalkeepers such as Courtois (who has his own special body type, which I believe is the lightest in the game) to be a disaster. The leaner body types (on eye test) seem to allow more shots to pass through them, which I correlate with them having less of a hit box due to their leaner stature.

Finally, for all players, I will be using the basic chemistry style. It is my belief, and that of many other high-level FIFA players, that basic is the single best chemistry style for all goalkeepers, as it is the only chemistry style to boost all four key statistics, as well as giving improvements to the secondary stats as well. There are other chemistry styles which could be useful, but basic is objectively the best chemistry style for goalkeepers.

Key

  • UCL Live: Uefa Champions League Live Card
  • CL: Champions League
  • IF: In Form
  • SIF: Second In Form
  • TIF: Third In Form
  • TOTGS: Team of the Group Stage
  • (x): Stat with Basic Chemistry style, 10 chemistry on player and 100 chemistry on the team.
88 TIF Donnarumma

88 TIF Donnarumma

88 TIF Donnarumma

Key stats:

  • Height: 6'5
  • Body Type: Normal
  • Diving: 93 (99)
  • Handling: 88 (98)
  • Reflexes: 92 (99)
  • Positioning: 87 (97)

First on the list is Donnarumma. He matches all the criteria which we set out earlier, being 6-feet 5-inches tall, having the normal body type, and only missing out on 3 stats when it comes to being maxed out.

As well as coming in under budget. I believe this card could be a real close contender with Neuer and De Gea but is, unfortunately, let down by his league and nationality not being favourable amongst top tier teams, but for a lower/middle budget team, he seems fantastic.

Serie A has an abundance of Goalkeepers who match our criteria (as you'll see in this list), but Donnaruma is, in my opinion, the most complete of them.

For chemistry purposes, I would suggest looking at Chiellini from Juventus for a Centre Back. Although fairly slow, he is a tank of a defender, and if you pair him up with a faster player (see my article on centre backs for more info) he can certainly perform well above expectation.

89 SIF Szczesny

89 SIF Szczesny

89 SIF Szczesny

Key stats:

  • Height: 6'5
  • Body Type: Lean
  • Diving: 89 (99)
  • Handling: 89 (99)
  • Reflexes: 90 (99)
  • Positioning: 88 (98)

Another entry from Serie A, Wojciech Szczesny maxes out all stats required but positioning, and also stands at 6'5. Unfortunately, he does have a lean body type, which means he does not quite tip Donnarumma. Still, for a budget team, or one which is specifically looking to Build either Serie A or utilize Juventus CB's, he should be your go-to!

For chemistry purposes, I would suggest looking at either Chiellini/Benatia from Juventus (you could possibly pair those centre backs with Alex Sandro or Joao Cancelo at LB/RB for a hybrid squad) or Koulibaly and Manolas as a pairing in front of them. This does lock you into a Serie A squad, but in terms of creating a budget team, Serie A is definitely undervalued in comparison to the Premier League/La Liga.

86 UCL Live Fahrmann

86 UCL Live Fahrmann

86 UCL Live Fahrmann

Key stats:

  • Height: 6'6
  • Body Type: Normal
  • Diving: 87 (97)
  • Handling: 86 (96)
  • Reflexes: 90 (99)
  • Positioning: 86 (96)

The Schalke shot-stopper Fahrmann was a staple of teams within FIFA 18, when the trait Saves with Feet was so prevalent. Although not as important this year, once again Fahrmann appears high up in terms of goalkeeping talent. Standing as our tallest goalkeeper on the list, as well as boasting the normal body type, he misses out on 8 total stats in terms of being maxed out. He is, however, our cheapest keeper, and is a fraction of the cost of Neuer (At the time of writing, he was exactly 31% of Neuer's cost).

As mentioned above, the saves-with-feet trait has been all but forgotten in terms of its necessity within a keeper, however, being one of the only top tier keepers other than De Gea to possess it, and with low driven shots making somewhat of a reappearance post-patch, Fahrmann could very well be a competitive contender for top goalkeeper l.

In terms of chemistry links, the Bundesliga does suffer from having fairly poor centre backs. However, the best of them, in my opinion, would be either Jerome Boateng from Bayern Munich or the less used Niklas Stark from Hertha Berlin. Both would allow you to diversify one side of your defense, whilst also having a cheap but effective goalkeeper/centre back partnership.

89 CL Handanovic

89 CL Handanovic

89 CL Handanovic

Key stats:

  • Height: 6'4
  • Body Type: Normal
  • Diving: 88 (98)
  • Handling: 87 (97)
  • Reflexes: 90 (99)
  • Positioning: 90 (99)

Our third keeper from the Serie A on this list, but the only keeper who I believe has a good budget link with a good budget centre back (Skrinrar, who is also from Inter Milan) meets all the criteria laid out in the initial article, only missing 3 stats from max.

He is the alternate to Donnarumma if you would like to build a hybrid and can include the aforementioned Skrinrar, and then another leagues Centre back, whilst maintaining full chemistry. Handanovic most closely resembles Neuer, who by many is regarded as the top 1/2 keepers in the whole game, and if you are looking for a similar play to him, I would look no further.

I opted for his CL card, as opposed to his TOTGS card due to the fact there is only 1 kicking, 1 handling, 1 speed, and 1 positioning difference, but a 28% difference in price as of the time of writing.

For chemistry links, I would look at Milan Skriniar from Inter Milan, as this would be a strong link to Handanovic. This player also has multiple upgrades, meaning you have a very obvious upgrade path for him. Other than that, you have the Serie A centre backs suggested above, or if you are willing to take a weaker centre back, Miranda from Inter Milan allows you to go into a Brazilian hybrid.

90 Oblak

90 Oblak

90 Oblak

Key Stats:

  • Height: 6'2
  • Body Type: Normal
  • Diving: 86 (96)
  • Handling: 92 (99)
  • Reflexes: 89 (99)
  • Positioning: 88 (98)

Our final inclusion on the list is Jan Oblak. Being our only LaLiga Santander representative, he provides what I believe to be a much-needed alternative to Courtois. I tried Courtois for hundreds of games before I moved away from him, due to Courtois' inconsistent ability to save shots ( which I attribute to his special body type).

Oblak only misses out on 4 stats from being maxed out and has the normal body type, which in my opinion is preferable. However, his major drawback is that he only stands at 6'2, which compared to the other players on the list, is short.

I do believe he is a good deal and offers that sorely needed alternate to Courtois, who became the go-to keeper due to the prevalence of Varane and Ramos at Centre back. As Courtois has his own body type, which I believe actually makes him worse (contrary to other players whose body type improves them) I found way more success using Oblak than I did when using Courtois. It even became a meme around me that Courtois was shaped like a pretzel.

For chemistry, I would be focusing on using Varane/Ramos if you have a good amount to spend, or if you are looking for a cheap centre back partnership with good chemistry, look no further than Giminez and Godin, both of whom play for Atletico. With these three in the squad, you can focus on the chemistry links of other players, as no matter who is around them, they will be full.

Honorable Mentions

  • CL Buffon: Although Buffon didn't make the list, he is the go-to keeper when it comes to Ligue 1 setups. He has the height and majority of the stats, but just lacks a lot in diving, which was one of my key attributes, and therefore didn't make the top 5.
  • Headliners Sommer: Another Bundesliga keeper, who on the board looks fantastic stats-wise, however, he stands at only 6'0 tall, which in my opinion was far too short when it came to my criteria.
  • Ter Stegen: Another representative from LaLiga Santander, I decided to go with Oblak simply for the slight stat difference. They are the same height and body type. I will concede; however, Ter Stegen does have Saves with Feet trait, so if that's something you're interested in using, pick him up over Oblak.
  • IF Allison: The premier league sorely lacks a keeper as an alternate to De Gea, and although Allison isn't that, he is the closest thing. His handling was for me a major issue, and simply from an eye test point of view, I was very unimpressed with this card, and therefore decided not to include him in the list. He does, however, link with Virgil Van Dijk, who I believe to be one of the best Centre backs in the game.

© 2019 Mr Awbery