With centre-backs like Virgil Van Dijk and Aymeric Laporte ready to put their lives on the line in order to save goals, the standard of defending has certainly gone upwards in England.
After a frenetic week of football in the Premier League, we are back with the top five centre-backs in the competition. There was some quality defending in the Merseyside Derby from both the sides while Manchester city are starting to struggle with injuries.
5. Michael Keane:
The 26-year has been in a great form this season and after his two games last week, it became impossible to overlook him for the top 5. (Toby Alderweireld’s performances in three Spurs games did help the Englishman as well) Keane was the second best defender in the Merseyside Derby behind Virgil Van Dijk and there is no shame in taking that tag. The Everton defender was just as crucial as VVD throughout the game and won 6 duels, 4 aerial duels and made 7 clearances. Keane had also collected a clean-sheet in midweek’s game against Cardiff City with a 3-0 victory for Everton.
4. Victor Lindelof:
Victor Lindelof has been simply untouchable at the back for OGS, such has been the defender’s performances. The Swedish international made 9 clearances and recovered 5 balls against the Reds in the goalless draw and made sure United took a point from the game despite injury issues. The 24-year old was at his best once again, against Crystal Palace, as he finished the game with 92% passing accuracy and an assist for Lukaku’s second goal. United conceded two goals against Southampton as they had to make a late comeback to claim all three points. But despite conceding two goals, Lindelof had a great game with 7 duels and Aerial Duels Won and 6 ball recoveries.
3. John Stones:
Injuries are starting to make life difficult for Manchester City in the last few months of the season. After missing out three games due to an injury, John Stones was finally back in the side against Bouremouth. But the Englishman had to be substituted after just 48 minutes. But Stones was having one hell of a game before coming off, making 71 successful passes out of attempted 72!
2. Aymeric Laporte:
The Frenchman is out with an injury he suffered during the League Cup final against Chelsea. As a result of it, Laporte missed Manchester City’s games against West Ham and Bournemouth and is likely to miss a few more. But given his performances so far, there is no way any other player can take the second place away from him anytime soon.
1. Virgil Van Dijk:
Just like Alisson in the goalkeeper’s list, VVD would rather sit at the top of the Premier League table than being the best centre-back in the league. But if it wasn’t for the Dutchman, the result of the Merseyside Derby could have been in Everton’s favour. Van Dijk was simply impenetrable in the defence with 14 duels won, 12 aerial duels won, 13 clearances and 4 ball recoveries – One hell of a game!
VVD also did his job against Manchester United and Watford by keeping a clean-sheet and must be mad at his forwards for missing out on scoring opportunities against United and Everton to slip in the second place in the league table.
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