If you asked any fan which two Premier League clubs have the best defences, the majority will say Tottenham Hotspur and champions Chelsea, in any order.
Manchester United tied with Spurs for the best defensive record last season, both conceding 29 goals, but you’d take Chelsea’s defensive options over the Red Devils’.
That said, there’s an expectation that Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof can form a partnership akin to that of Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic.
Bailly is 23-years old; Lindelof, who has arrived in a £30 million deal from Benfica is a year young. If they hit the ground running together, Man United’s centre-back duo could be sorted for the next decade.
But that’s one for the future. Right now, GiveMeSport has decided to take a look at the season just passed.
Chelsea’s defence, a back three that mainly consisted of David Luiz, Gary Cahill and Cesar Azpilicueta, conceded 33 goals in 38 Premier League matches en route to the club’s title success.
It wasn’t as resilient as the Chelsea side of 2004-05, which conceded just 15 goals under Jose Mourinho, but it was enough.
Yet it wouldn’t be a surprise if Antonio Conte signed a new centre-back in the summer.
Chelsea could sign a new CB
John Terry has left following the expiration of his contract and it remains to be seen whether Kurt Zouma has a future at Stamford Bridge.
Gary Cahill is 31-years-old and, as the stats prove, there were better options than David Luiz.
Luiz, was performed better than many expected, was included in a GMS poll for the Premier League’s defender of the season, alongside Azpilicueta and Spurs pair Toby Alderweireld and Kyle Walker.
Here’s how the votes went:
Luiz: 8,100 votes
Alderweireld: 3,500 votes
Azpilicueta: 2,700 votes
Walker: 623 votes
Stats show Azpilicueta should have been #1
Luiz won, rather convincingly, picking up more than double the number of votes
Using stats provided by Squawka, a breakdown of the four players shows that, while Luiz did impress, the award perhaps should have gone to his teammate, Azpilicueta.
Or Alderweireld, who outperformed Luiz when it came to number of tackles won, blocks and number of fouls committed.
Check out the stats below.
So Azpilicueta outperformed Luiz when it came to tackles won and interceptions made, which are arguably the two most important statistics listed.
The Spaniard was the only defender not to make a single error and conceded two fewer fouls than his teammate.
So we’re giving this us to you, Cesar.