What is Clean Sheet in Football?

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Clean sheet in football
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Definition of Clean Sheet

Clean sheet or shutout as the term is in the US is actually one and the same thing. Those unfamiliar with the sometimes complex and inaccessible jargon associated with football might well ask the question, what is clean sheet in football? When a team keeps a “clean sheet”, it simply means they have not conceded any goals in the game. If a match ends 0-0, then both sides have kept a clean sheet. The equivalent term in US sports is “shutout”, which means the same: stopping your opponents’ scoring.

In betting terms, clean sheets – one or both sides not conceding any goals – are significant in a number of markets, which we will explain in a little more detail here. We will go on to explain the main factors that affect the chances of a team keeping a clean sheet in soccer (hint: a top-class goalkeeper helps!).

Rineeth Saladi wrote for Quora
When a team does not allow their opponent team to score in the match then the team has kept a clean sheet. Keeping the clean sheet is very important. The goalkeepers and defenders even get bonus if the team keeps a clean sheet. At end of season a goalkeeper who keeps most clean sheet is rewarded. For eg.

if chelsea beat barcelona 1-0 ,chelsea kept a clean sheet.

if chelsea drew wid barca 0-0, both teams kept a clean sheet.

No offence barca fans\U0001f604\U0001f604

Betting Markets Involving Clean Sheets

The concept of one or more of the sides in a game of football stopping the other side scoring is easily understood. It is perhaps surprising, though, how many betting markets involve clean sheet in soccer in some way or another. Some of these betting options are more popular than others, and some might only be offered on the biggest bookmakers in the industry that cover popular games, such as matches from Premier League or La Liga clash or a Champions League game.

  • Clean Sheet
    The most obvious betting option available in relation to clean sheets, this market allows the punter to bet on a named side, keeping a clean sheet in a given football match. The prices can vary massively and are related to the odds of each of the parties winning the game. For instance, the odds for a heavy underdog to keep a clean sheet will be high (for example 15.0), while a team that is odds-on to win will often also have short odds to keep a clean sheet (such as 1.73).
  • To Win To Nil
    When betting on a side to win to nil, you need your team to win the game and also ensure they don’t concede any goals for the bet to win.
  • Both Teams To Score (BTTS)
    If you bet on both teams to score, your bet only wins if neither side keeps a clean sheet. But you can also bet against BTTS, in which case the bet wins if either or both sides stop the other team scoring.
  • How Many Teams To Score
    Very similar to both teams to score, you can back both sides scoring, just one of them or none, with the latter two options being reliant on one or two clean sheets being kept, respectively.
  • Correct Score
    Any correct score bet than involves either side not scoring is clearly reliant on one or both sides keeping the other side off the scoresheet.
  • Total Goals Exact
    In this market, you don’t have to say which side will win, just how many goals will be scored. Technically any number of goals could be scored with a clean sheet in soccer occurring when all the goals go to one team. If you back no goals or one goal to be scored, clean sheets come into play, but in reality, any low prediction is probably based on the logic of one team perhaps preventing the other from finding the back of the net.
  • Total Goals Over/Under
    Backing under 0.5 goals or under 1.5 goals will only win if one or both sides are able to prevent their opponents from scoring.
  • To Win From Behind
    If you back a side to win from behind, by definition, they must have conceded a goal during the match for the bet to be alive. And for the bet to win, they must also score at least two, meaning in this case neither side can keep a clean sheet if the bet is to win.

What Is a Clean Sheet in Football, Baseball, and Ice Hockey?

А clean sheet represents that one team did not score a goal against the other team. In American sports, like American Football, clean sheets are also called a “shutout”. In other, words, as the Merriam-Webster dictionary says, it is “a game in which the opposing team is prevented from scoring“.

Clean sheet is known as “shutout” when it comes to American Sports. Good examples of when one team does not score against the other and keeps its sheet clean are sports like American Football, Baseball, Ice Hockey and more. The shutout is in fact the ability of one team to shut out the other and thus prevent them from scoring. So it is quite literally shutting out the opponents from scoring a goal or any points for the duration of the game.

If represented visually, a game that kept a clean sheet in football, baseball and ice hockey would look line this:


🏈 Clean Sheets in Football 🏈

1 inning
2 inning
3 inning
4 inning
5 inning
6 inning
7 inning
8 inning
9 inning

⚾ Clean Sheets in Baseball ⚾

Period 1
Period 2
Period 3

🏒 Clean Sheets in Ice Hockey 🏒

Where to find “clean sheets” markets to bet on football?

Most leading sports betting sites provide the markets we outlined earlier in our article. Of course, to find the ones offering the best odds that come with the corresponding market, it is best to trust top bookmakers like Bovada that cover most if not all football leagues in Europe and around the world. An excellent alternative is 1xBet that covers more than 1,000 football matches on a daily basis. Last but not least, we would recommend you take a close look at William Hill sports betting section where punters can find both domestic and international matches that offer some of the exotic markets involving clean sheet described above. Whichever bookmaker you opt for, you will hardly regret it as they come with additional betting options and have safe and secure gambling platforms. As such they offer bets on clean sheet in soccer.

What Factors Affect Clean Sheet Chances?

Clean Sheet Factors

In the most basic terms, the two factors that affect the chances of a team keeping a clean sheet are the strength of their defense and the strength of the opposition’s attack. It should come as no surprise that a team facing a world-class attack featuring in-form strikers is going to be less likely to stop their opponents scoring than if their opponents possess a poor, out of form attacking line up.

Similarly, a team that is renowned for defensive solidity, which has been well drilled by the coaching staff and takes particular pride in shutting sides out will generally appeal to punters looking to back a clean sheet.

  1. The performance of the players
    In reality, many complex factors can affect a side’s chances of a shutout on any given day. The relative strength of the teams is the obvious one, so for instance if Manchester City are hosting Grimsby Town in the FA Cup, few are going to back the visitors to stop the favourites scoring.
  2. Style of play
    The style of play employed by the managers also has a significant influence on the likelihood of their sides, keeping things tight at the back. A free-flowing, expansive style, for instance, will often pay dividends from an attacking point of view, but such a tactic is likely to leave space at the back that can be exploited by the opponents. Managers who have employed such tactics include Jurgen Klopp in his early days at Liverpool and Kevin Keegan at Newcastle United in the 1990s.
    Such sides, if they have the requisite quality, will often win many games, but will as often as not concede in the process. The outlook of the manager might well be that as long as they score more than their opponents, letting the odds goal in is not a problem.
  3. Defensive tactic
    On the flip side, managers who put defensive solidity ahead of all else (such as George Graham in his Arsenal days or Sam Allardyce and Tony Pulis at various clubs), will put out teams who tend to grind out results and will often prioritise stopping their opponents finding a goal. Teams with a reputation for defensive styles tend to be priced at shorter odds in the clean sheet-related markets.
  4. Goalkeeper and defenders’ role
    Of course, possessing a world-class goalkeeper and a group of adept and experienced defenders will also increase a side’s chances of their opponents firing blanks. The very best teams, such as Barcelona at their peak or Pep Guardiola’s Man City, manage to have the best of both worlds. They can boast great scoring power, but due to dominating possession and having an elite defensive unit they are also superb at keeping clean sheets as well.

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    Author: Katerina Gadzheva
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