Goalkeeping can be a dangerous game and when Dean Kiely stepped out at Villa Park three weeks ago, the younger fans among the crowd could have been forgiven for thinking that Halloween had come a week early.
The Charlton 'keeper emerged from the tunnel with a horrendous shiner, courtesy of a training ground bust-up with the now transfer-listed Andy Todd, but the physical scars have clearly not hindered his performances. The Australian has kept out 80% of the shots that have flown his way - fully 16 percentage points better than Saturday's opposite number Shaka Hislop.
Very few people thought that Hislop would have played every second of the Hammers' campaign by this stage of the season. But with summer signing David James crocked, manager Glenn Roeder immediately turned to the former Reading number one.
While West Ham's season has stuttered and stalled, the Trinidad and Tobago international has somehow achieved a tally of four clean sheets, despite leaking an average of almost two goals per game. Table-topping Leeds and high-flying Newcastle were among those thwarted by the towering custodian.
But Kiely is also akin to putting the mockers on the big guns and recently pulled off seven saves to keep Arsenal's frontrunners at bay to ensure an historic win for the south London outfit. They have every possibility of overwhelming their next capital opponents if their reliable shot-stopper is on song.
Kiely has made more saves than any other top-flight 'keeper this year and along with Brad Friedel, is the only Premiership player to have been called into action more than 50 times. However, he will need to improve his own distribution if he is to keep the pressure away from his own goal, as fewer than half of his kicks/throws have found a red shirt.
Hislop has proven far more accurate when releasing possession and needs to continue impressing if he is to maintain his place in the side. James is on the comeback trail and West Ham have offered Swedish shot-stopper Dime Jankulovski a trial in a bid to provide Hislop with competition.
Nevertheless, the qualified engineer will still be donning the green jersey at the weekend and is rated at 8/1 to maintain a shut-out as the visitors play out their third goalless draw of the campaign.