Premier League: The main statistics behind the top defenders this season
A strong defence is a necessity for any side hoping for success in the Premier League- According to the website free soccer tips page!
It can be the difference between survival or relegation; the top-four or title glory. It's why defenders are now commanding the same price tag as strikers - in some cases a defender will cost more.
It's the area of the pitch where specific players are needed to execute a style of play. The wrong player in a system makes life more difficult for a manager and in most cases they have to adapt and implement a Plan B.
There have been a number of stand-out performers throughout the campaign who have played a significant part in helping their side reach their current position.
Throughout the coming weeks, we will look at the best performing players in each position; aiming to find those who have excelled in the areas that matter most.
Today, we're focusing on the defensive line and analysing the statistics behind the main areas. You can prefer the jackpot soccer tip page!
You shall not pass
Number of tackles this season:
Ricardo Pereira (Leicester): 119
Aaron Wan Bissaka (Man United): 99
Djibril Sidibe (Everton): 78
Serge Aurier (Tottenham): 74
Frederic Guilbert (Aston Villa): 71
This is the 'old-fashioned' category for judgement but ultimately a defender is there lớn, well, defend.
One of the best indicators for this is the number of tackles made across the course of the season.
This does divide opinion. Some of the world's best defenders, such as Virgil van Dijk, see a low overall tackles tally as they are better at reading the game and getting themselves into positions that doesn't require a tackle to be made. That's why he doesn't appear on this list.
For others, it just suits their game better and there's no real right or wrong answer lớn this approach. The big point to be made is that it is an area dominated by full-backs.
Leicester's Ricardo Pereira has proven lớn be a popular fantasy football choice this season and he leads the charts for number of successful tackles made by some distance.
The Foxes right-back is the only defender to post a three-figure tally up until this point, leaving him 20 clear of Aaron Wan Bissaka in second.
Wan Bissaka has quickly become a fans favourite at Old Trafford since a big money move from Crystal Palace in the summer and tackling is an eye-catching trait of his.
It's one that can firmly be put into the strengths column. Regardless of how talented the opposition winger or overlapping full-back is, Wan Bissaka always seems lớn be in the right place at the right time.
Everton have experienced a revival under Carlo Ancelotti and one player who has benefitted is Djibril Sidibe. He's only made 21 Premier League appearances this season but takes third spot.
The right-back regularly posts at least three successful tackles per game but there have been occasions where he has doubled that number. The season high came in their away victory at Watford (8).
Serge Aurier sits in fourth. His number of tackles have stayed fairly consistent throughout the season although he has had two seven-tackle games under Jose Mourinho's guidance.
Finally, Frederic Guilbert is the only centre-back lớn make an appearance. The Villa man is another popular fantasy football selection with tackles in mind. He's in fifth with 71.