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Tiri vs Juanan: Who is the best defender in the ISL?

Juanan Gonzalez has been a key part of Bengaluru FC
Juanan Gonzalez has been a key part of Bengaluru FC's success this season
olive paul
ANALYST
Modified 24 Dec 2019, 11:42 IST
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Carles Cuadrat’s men pipped Sergio Lobero’s FC Goa by a solitary goal in the Indian Super League final last season. Fast forward nine months, Bengaluru are once again fighting it out for the prized title. Defending the title was always going to be an uphill task and the departure of Miku has not helped either.

In the absence of Miku, Bengaluru’s strike force has not been exactly prolific and the steady decline in goal scoring numbers is obvious. However, Bengaluru’s goalscoring woes have been compensated by a rock-solid Defence. They have conceded just five goals in nine matches, which is the league's best tally and four fewer than any side in the division. 

Juanan has been a rock for Bengaluru in central defence and has been one of the main reasons behind the club’s success this season. His stunning form has seen them occupy the second spot in the table, 2 points behind league toppers FC Goa. But how does Juanan’s stats compare to Jamshedpur FC's Tiri - another leading centre-back in the league?

In terms of clearances in the ISL, Tiri comes out on top. Tiri has managed to get 8.4 clearances per match, which is more than Juanan’s 6.7 clearances per match. Tiri has also recorded more tackles than Juanan: 2.14 tackles per game compared to Juanan’s 1.25.

In terms of interceptions, Juanan again falls just short. Tiri has managed to get 1.68 interceptions per match, 1.07 more than Juanan did. But fans may be surprised to learn that Tiri has made the fewer blocks per game than Juanan. Tiri has 1.05 blocks per match compared to Juanan’s 1.14.

Tiri makes more fouls per game than Juanan, 0.88 per game. For comparison, Juanan makes 0.78 fouls per game. Last but not least, the Bengaluru FC centre-back on average 36.28 passes per game. On the other side, Tiri made only 35.55 passes per game.

Through the different statistics mentioned above, you can see how Tiri managed to lead the Jamshedpur defence in different areas. He is often the one who was in charge of the opponent’s long balls. He managed to block opponents’ passing and shooting and take the responsibility of getting the ball forward.

It is worth noting that Tiri played more minutes than Juanan – 6230 to 4096. Despite that, the statistics indicate that he is comfortably on top in almost most parameters. Tiri is key to Jamshedpur in everything he contributes, in his leadership. He's a phenomenon.

Whether you think Tiri is better than Juanan, or vice-versa, you will struggle to find a better centre-back in the league at the moment than the pair.

Published 24 Dec 2019, 00:13 IST
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