Premier League: Best XI so far (9)

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DM: Michael Carrick

Interceptions: 40

The role of most defensive midfielders is to act as the first-line of defence when the opposition come pouring forward, but the job is not just about tough tackling.

The ideal defensive midfielder must have the awareness and ability to read the play in order to intercept passes so he can then lay it off for a more creative player to spring an attack.

Michael Carrick is Manchester United's passing machine at the heart of midfield, and when you team that up with his uncanny ability to intercept his rivals' attempts to thread the ball through to an attacker, you have a deadly combination.

He'll be greatly missed as he works his way back from a spell on the sidelines with an Achilles injury.

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