Manchester City are set to push Arsenal and Chelsea to the bitter end for the Premier League title this season, with Manuel Pellegrini’s star-studded squad looking strong heading into the business end of the campaign.
One area of concern for the Etihad Stadium faithful however has been at centre-half, where no natural partner for talismanic skipper Vincent Kompany has emerged.
Martin Demichelis, Joleon Lescott and Matija Nastasic have all featured in the heart of City’s defence this season – but statistically who has performed the best when given their chance?
|Name||Team||Pos||Error Lead To Goal / apps||Won Tackle / apps||Effective Clearance / apps||Aerial Won / apps||Interception / apps||Apps||Mins|
|Joleon Lescott||Man City||DF||0.13||1.25||4.50||1.38||1.75||8||675|
|Matija Nastasic||Man City||DF||0.08||1.23||6.62||2.00||1.08||13||1,027|
|Vincent Kompany||Man City||DF||0.06||1.59||6.12||1.41||1.82||17||1,455|
|Martín Demichelis||Man City||DF||0||1.27||6.67||2.07||2.20||15||1,350|
Looking at some of the key defensive attributes this season so far from the contenders, it is clear that the at-times maligned Demichelis has been the most effective of Kompany’s partners.
The Argentine is yet to make a mistake that directly leads to a goal, while Lescott has made the most of the four centre-halves.
Kompany has won the most tackles on average per game, but it is the South American who comes in second.
Demichelis has also made the most successive clearances for City on average, more than his skipper, and dominates in the air with the most aerial duals won.
Finally, the ageing centre-half also tops the charts for interceptions over the course of his 15 appearances this season.
With Lescott ready to leave Manchester in the summer and Nastasic not showing the form of his debut campaign, it is very likely that a new central defender will be on his way to the Etihad Stadium ahead of next season.
However, the stats from this season show that in some areas Demichelis has even outperformed Kompany and is still an asset for City.
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