As the end of the season draws ever closer, the defenders in sides at the top and bottom of the table become more important and focused on.
Experience is everything at this stage of the season because the odds are so high. Defenders scrapping away with sides tipped to be relegated can be just as important as the highest paid stars in the back fours of the biggest sides.
We’ve looked at five key statistical areas to judge the best defenders from last month.
It will be extremely encouraging for any Liverpool fan to see Flanagan’s name at the top of this list. He was superb last month and closed out some very good attacking players.
|Gareth McAuley||West Brom||DF||6||4||349|
Caulker deserves a special mention because he’s putting in a great shift for a side trying to fight off relegation back down to the Championship. He’s literally been superb in terms of putting his body on the line.
|Damien Delaney||Crystal Palace||DF||53||5||450|
Ryan Shawcross produced the most effective clearances last month but it’s Martin Skrtel we’re going to focus on, who’s appearing on this list more and more frequently. The Slovakian has a great ability to clear his lines with no nonsense defending.
Aerial Duels Won
|James Tomkins||West Ham||DF||24||5||450|
Shawcross appears again as one of the more difficult defenders to get the better of last month aerially. He made it extremely difficult for teams to play long ball football against Stoke.
|Joel Ward||Crystal Palace||DF||19||5||450|
|Scott Dann||Crystal Palace||DF||17||5||450|
|Gaël Clichy||Man City||DF||14||3||270|
This isn’t the first time that Swansea City players have appeared at the very top in this area. They have a great ability to read the game, press and win the ball back without having to make a challenge.