5 Centre-backs vital to their teams chances of clinching the EPL title


Last season’s statistics have shown that the teams that conceded the least goals have went on to win their respective leagues, be it Manchester City in England, Juventus in Italy or even Montpellier in France. And this coming season might not be any different. This is why in the long chase for the title, defenders play a very vital role. They govern the stability of the team’s gameplay and without them, all the efforts of the strikers and playmakers would mean nothing.

Manchester United v Manchester City - Premier League

Vincent Kompany: Player of the season for the 2011/12 EPL campaign

Here are 5 centre-backs which might well be the reason for their team to have its hands on the silverware.

5) Daniel Agger:

The 27 year-old Danish footballer has already shown such high potential, that even European biggies like Barcelona have shown an interest in him. Assuming he stays at Liverpool this season, the £6 million signing would be at the heart of Liverpool’s defence. And who knows, newly appointed manager Brendan Rodgers might just bring out the best in the Danish captain.

 Official EPL season 2011/12 stats:

MATCHES OWN GOALS BLOCKS CLEARANCES CLEANSHEETS CLEANSHEETS PER MATCH
27 1 16 62 9 0.33

 

FOULS CARDS FOULS/MATCH FOULS/CARD CARD/MATCH
24 7 0.74 2.86 0.26

* Goalkeepers are only as good as their defenders and hence, clean sheets is not an attribute of goalkeepers solely.

 4) Thomas Vermaelen:

Ever since Kolo Toure left for Manchester City in 2009, Vermaelen has been the man in charge of central defense in the Emirates stadium. Arsenal’s resurgence from the bottom half of the table at the start of the season, to a top-3 finish at the end, was hugely credited to Robin Van Persie. But defending goals is as important as scoring them and this 26 year-old Belgium international was a silent workforce in protecting the Gunners’ woodwork.

MATCHES OWN GOALS BLOCKS CLEARANCES CLEANSHEETS CLEANSHEETS PER MATCH
29 1 19 27 9 0.31

 

FOULS CARDS FOULS/MATCH FOULS/CARD CARD/MATCH
35 10 1.21 3.5 0.34

3) John Terry:

With all the controversies of the previous season finally settling down, and after the defeat at the hands of Manchester city in the Community Shield, the Blue’s captain would want to get down to business as usual.

Even if Chelsea are a very good defensive unit with talented young defenders in Luiz and Cahill , Terry would still be the man to look out for. After all, it’s not for nothing that “Captain Marvel” is the most beloved player of millions of Chelsea fans. And add to this fact his goal scoring ability from set pieces, he just had to be on this list.

MATCHES OWN GOALS BLOCKS CLEARANCES CLEANSHEETS CLEANSHEETS PER MATCH
31 0 43 106 9 0.29

 

FOULS CARDS FOULS/MATCH FOULS/CARD CARD/MATCH
31 10 1 2.8 0.32

2) Vincent Kompany:

The 26 year-old Belgium international was last season’s ‘Premier League Player of the Season’. Though the attractive gameplay of the likes of Silva and Nasri and the clinical finishing of Aguero, Tevez and Balotelli stole the limelight, Kompany was the reason that City could win their first ever Premier League title. And those who disagree should remember the goal that the City captain headed against arch-rivals United in the title-deciding derby. But this season will be his real test, as they say, defending the title is more difficult than winning it.

MATCHES OWN GOALS BLOCKS CLEARANCES CLEANSHEETS CLEANSHEETS PER MATCH
31 1 28 56 15 0.29
Related

 

FOULS CARDS FOULS/MATCH FOULS/CARD CARD/MATCH
35 9 1.13 3.89 0.29

1)       Nemanja Vidic:

This is one name that I could not resist  putting it at the top of the list, not because he is a two times ‘Barclays Player of the Year’, but because of the fact that after missing out on the majority of last season, most of Manchester United’s hopes of regaining the lost title rest on his shoulders; and he is a man who just relishes such challenges. The Serbian warrior, who loves to take on a centre-forward, has already shown glimpses of defensive excellence in the pre-season friendly against the mighty Barcelona and would be dying to get started. If he can just stay away from injuries, then there is no one stopping him from being the best central defender of the league one more time.

MATCHES OWN GOALS BLOCKS CLEARANCES CLEANSHEETS CLEANSHEETS PER MATCH
35 0 35 76 17 0.48

 

FOULS CARDS FOULS/MATCH FOULS/CARD CARD/MATCH
41 9 1.17 4.56 0.26

*As Vidic only played 6 EPL matches the previous season, the above stats are of the 2010/11 season.

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Ankur Deore
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A huge cricket and hard core Manchester United fan.Currently pursuing Mechanical Engineering at K.J.Somaiya College of Engineering,Mumbai.
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