5 of the best centre-backs in this season's Premier League
With more than half of the league programme already gone, a clear picture of the Premier League's landscape has begun to emerge.
It will be a straight fight between Liverpool and Manchester City for the Premier League title this season. The Reds currently lead the Cityzens (defending champions) by 7 points. Both teams are set to clash in a make-or-mar tie on Thursday.
Tottenham Hotspur has continued to push above their weight and is almost guaranteed a UEFA Champions League spot for next season. It looks to be a straight fight between Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United for the last UCL place.
While a lot of goals have been scored already this season, some centre-backs have also been very impressive. These men have stood tall in the face of assaults from the league's top marksmen and emerged with credit to their names.
Some are in title-chasing teams while others have impressed in teams with lesser ambitions. Here is a look at 5 of the very best centre-backs in the Premier League so far:
#5 Antonio Rudiger (Chelsea)
David Luiz's flamboyant hairstyle and style of play will always be the centre of attention in Chelsea. However, it is his understated partner that has quietly gone about becoming one of the league's top defenders.
A German international, Rudiger struggled in his first season at Stamford Bridge following a £29m move from AS Roma. The 25-year-old struggled under Antonio Conte as he was never given a fair chance to prove himself.
However, under Maurizio Sarri, he has shown what he is capable of. Adept at reading the game, making crucial tackles and interceptions, Rudiger has been very good.
Combined with a fearsome aerial presence, the German has an ever-present in the Chelsea backline as he has featured in all 20 matches played so far.