Stats: Southampton duo the most effective Premier League centre-backs

Southampton currently have the best defence in the Premier League this season having conceded fewer goals than any other team.

The Saints have let in just 21 goals from their 30 games, four less than the team with the next best back line, which is Chelsea who have conceded 25.

Captain Jose Fonte has missed just one game for Ronald Koeman‘s side in the 2014/15 campaign and he is currently leading the way as the centre-back with the most clean sheets – a total of 14.

Here is the numbers breakdown for the best six Premier League centre-backs based on those with a minimum of 15 appearances and the amount of goals their respective teams have conceded per-game when they play.

Best PL Centre Backs

Best Premier League centre-backs in 2014/15 (stats via Squawka)

Jose Fonte’s teammate Toby Alderweireld is statistically the most effective central defender in the division with the fewest goals conceded-per-game. The Belgian is on-loan from Spanish side Atletico Madrid and also boasts the best record for games-per-clean sheet.

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Arsenal‘s Laurent Koscielny is the next most impressive when it comes to the amount of goals conceded-per-game, although Chelsea defensive partners John Terry and Gary Cahill have shown why the Blues are top of the league as they have the next best games-per-clean-sheet ratio after Alderweireld and Fonte.

Perhaps unexpectedly, Manchester City‘s Eliaquim Mangala statistically has the sixth best record out of the Premier League’s centre-backs and is the most consistent successful passer of the ball, alongside John Terry with a pass completion ratio of 89%.

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Mangala also wins more tackles than the other five, while Alderweireld makes the most blocks and Koscielny the most interceptions.

The most surprising absentee from the top six centre-backs is probably Vincent Kompany. The Man City skipper concedes an average of one goal-per-game and has managed seven clean sheets at an average of three games-per-clean sheet.

Who is the best centre-back in the Premier League?

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Is Ronald Zubar the man to fix the New York Red Bulls defensive problems?

New York Red Bulls are a club in transition following the departure of a number of key players since the end of the 2014 season.

They’ve lost numerous defenders in the shape of Ibrahim Sekagya, Ambroise Oyongo, Richard Eckersley and most crucially, their mainstay at centre back, Jamison Olave.

After two years in New York, the Colombian has returned to former club Real Salt Lake where he spent four years between 2008 and 2012, and has certainly left a gaping hole to fill at the heart of the Red Bulls defence.

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They have brought in young defender, Andrew Jean-Baptiste and have also re-signed Damien Perrinelle, but Ronald Zubar has to be seen as the key replacement for Olave.

The 29-year-old Frenchman brings bags of experience into the dressing room having played at Marseille, Wolves and more recently Ajaccio.

It’s crucial that he settles in quickly and adapts to life in MLS because he can almost guarantee that he’s going to be called into action immediately.

Zubar v Olave

Ronald Zubar should prove to be an ideal replacement as his defensive statistics are slightly ahead of Jamison Olave with less goals conceded-per-game when he’s on the pitch.

He also helps provide the team with more regular clean sheets, which is something that the Red Bulls need to desperately improve on, having kept just six in 34 games over the course of the last regular season.

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The New York Red Bulls line-up is going to have a slightly new look about it in 2015, and new head coach Jesse Marsch will be hoping he can get the players to click in order to have a successful campaign.

Marsch seems in confident mood that he’ll be able to do so and told the club website, “once we add Zubar, we’ll have rounded out our team really well. The only other potential piece is figuring out how to complement Bradley Wright-Phillips up top, or at times if he’s not available, that we’re confident and always can supplement that role as well.”

Is Ronald Zubar the man to steady the ship at New York Red Bulls?

5 tackles, 11 clearances – John Brooks puts in solid display against Dortmund

USA international defender John Brooks put in a blockbuster performance for Hertha Berlin this afternoon as they beat Borussia Dortmund 1-0 at the Olympiastadion in the Bundesliga.

He was voted man of the match for his solid performance at the heart of the defence, making more clearances and interceptions than any other player on the pitch.

Centre-back performances in Hertha Berlin vs. Borussia Dortmund (December 13 2014):

John Brooks stats

[Stats according to whoscored.com]

Hertha Berlin midfielder Peter Niemeyer was the only player on the pitch who made more tackles (7) than John Brooks, while fellow centre-back Jens Hegeler was the only man to block more shots (3).

A faultless performance from the 21-year-old helped lift his side into twelfth position in the table.

The 6′ 4” giant came through the youth system at Hertha Berlin and has become an established member of the first team over the last two years.

It’s a positive sign for the future of the USMNT as John Brooks continues to develop well at the German club and he’s certainly not doing himself any harm if he continues to put in performances of this level.

How good is John Brooks?