What is clean sheet in football? Everything you need to know

What is clean sheet in football?  “Clean sheet football” occurs when one team shutouts the other team from scoring. While some games are low in scoring, stopping the opposing team from scoring takes a complete team effort but ultimately comes down to the goalie. At the end of the season, goalies receive a special award recognizing how often they did not allow a score during a game.

Not only is a clean sheet important for player stats, but it comes into play with soccer betting for fans. Sports betting on what team won’t score a goal during a match is popular since it is easy to understand.

So why is it called “clean sheet”? Can both teams receive it during a game? Who has the most clean sheets in Premier League? Here is the entire breakdown of this term in soccer.

What does clean sheet mean in football?

clean sheet meaning

What’s a clean sheet in football? A clean sheet means that one team did not score any goals against the goalie. Back in the early days of soccer, scores were put down on a piece of paper to keep track of the game. If one team were unable to score, their sheet of paper would be blank.

These pieces of paper would record all sorts of information about the game. Records like penalties, fouls, shots against the goalkeeper, and team scores would all go down on paper. When one team wouldn’t have any information about their scores, they had a clean sheet.

Clean sheet vs a no-score draw.

Ok before going on to look at some examples it is important firstly to explain the difference between the two above terms for they are commonly confused, misunderstood, and misused. This is important because they can yield vastly different results!

Clean Sheet

What is clean sheet in football? A clean sheet occurs when any team and their goalkeeper do not concede a goal during the course of a full match. For example, a clean sheet is classified as such when any team does not concede a goal within 90 minutes of added time of a normal match. Whilst in cup matches to be awarded a clean sheet the goalkeeper and team must not concede a goal for the whole 120 minutes plus any stoppage time.

*Note, however, goals conceded in a penalty shoot-out do not apply. So providing a team does not concede a goal before this, a clean sheet is awarded.

No score draw

  • A no-score draw is different from a clean sheet in that both competing teams do not concede a goal in the respective 90/120 minutes and stoppage time play. So basically the game ends 0-0. Or as it is frequently referred to ‘nil – nil’

A soccer game however that finishes 0-0 is statistically considered a clean sheet for both teams.

Why are clean sheets important in football?

Clean sheets during a regular-season match guarantee your team gets at least one point for the playoff bracket standings. That means if both teams give up zero goals and end in a tie, they both get one point to their playoff bracket.

Clean sheets are also important because they can highlight some of the best goalkeepers in the league. While it takes a team effort to win a soccer match, the goalie is still the last line of defense to prevent scoring. While low-scoring games are standard, not allowing any goals is an accomplishment for the entire team and goalie.

Can Both Teams Record a Clean Sheet During the Same Game?

A regular-season soccer game can end in a tie, which means both teams record a clean sheet since there were zero goals. However, during a knockout competition match, the game will have overtime or penalty kicks to decide a winner. For example, the World Cup will go into an overtime style of play since you can’t have the final match of the year-end with zero goals.

How common are clean sheet in a match?

Soccer America states that 30-40% of soccer games end in a tie. A tie doesn’t mean that neither team scored, but 0-0 games are also part of that mix. Understanding that there is a relatively high chance of having a clean sheet is essential for sports betting.

Golden Glove – Rewards for a Clean Sheet

What is the Golden Glove in Soccer?

At the end of the season, the goalkeeper that records the most clean sheets will usually be awarded the Golden Glove (or goalkeeper of the tournament, depending on the competition). The award for the most clean sheets is the goalkeeper’s equivalent of the Golden Boot or the top scorer award.

This trophy tends to see the winner boasting fewer clean sheets than a top scorer would have. This is because a striker can miss five chances in a game and still net a hat-trick in the match if they can then score from three of their other chances. For a goalkeeper, if they concede a goal in the game, then they cannot get that clean sheet back.

Sports Betting with a Clean Sheet Mindset

you can bet on clean sheets, and this can come in the form of a range of markets. The most obvious clean sheet market is the ‘To keep a clean sheet’ betting option. As the name would suggest, you will be wagering on whether a team will keep a clean sheet in the game. The options here are either yes or no, and you can bet on either of the two teams here.

Both Teams to Score

If there is no specific clean sheet market, then you can still bet on clean sheets. This will usually come in the form of two other markets. The first is the Both Teams To Score (BTTS) market. BTTS simply refers to whether both teams will score in the match or not. If you were to select ‘No’ in this market, then you will see your bet win if one or both sides fail to score. In other words, if one or both of the teams keeps a clean sheet, then your bet will win. You are therefore betting on clean sheets.


The other market with a link to clean sheets is the Over/Under market and, more specifically, the Under 0.5 goals option. If you bet on under 0.5 goals, then you are basically wagering on either team scoring a goal in the game, with both sides, therefore, keeping clean sheets.

To Win to Nil

Another betting market that will provide you with the chance to bet on clean sheets is the ‘to win to nil’ market. If Chelsea were playing Watford and you expect the Blues to keep a clean sheet and win the game, then you can wager on Chelsea to win to nil. If the Blues won 1-0, 2-0, or any other score line to nil, then your bet will win. You are basically betting on Chelsea to win the game and keep a clean sheet.

Who has the most number of clean sheets in the Premier League?

most clean sheets in premier league history

Who has the most clean sheets in the Premier League? According to, in 2021, Petr Čech has the most clean sheets in Premier League history with 202, followed are David James (169) and Mark Schwarzer (151).

What Do they Call a Clean Sheet in American Football, Baseball, and Ice Hockey?

A clean sheet represents that one team did not score any goals. In American sports, like Major League Baseball, Ice Hockey, and American Football, we call keeping a team from scoring a shutout. Both a clean sheet and a shutout mean the same thing.

Conclusion: What is clean sheet in football?

In summary, a clean sheet in soccer means that one team kept the opposing team from scoring a goal. There are fewer than 3 goals/per game in the EPL. This means there is a good chance one team might not score during a match. Understanding how good a team’s goalie is and what players play that day can help with sports betting.

Win and Nil is a popular betting method in football. If you can review how many goals one team scores and match that against a good goalie, your bet can be favorable if you correctly predict which team won’t score.

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