Who were the best defenders during August? Azpilicueta, Debuchy and more

Chelsea, Crystal Palace, Leicester City, Stoke City, Manchester United, Newcastle United, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur stars all feature.

The first month of the new Premier League season has come to an end and there have already been several exciting talking points.

Chelsea look strong and are the favourites for the title while it seems plenty of sides will be battling hard at the other end of the league throughout the season.

We’ve taken a look at the stats to judge who the best defenders were throughout August.

Tackles Won

  TeamPosWon TackleAppsMins
César Azpilicueta Chelsea DF 12 3 270
Joel Ward Crystal Palace DF 12 3 270
Gaël Clichy Man City DF 10 2 180
Eric Dier Spurs DF 10 3 270
Rio Ferdinand QPR DF 10 3 270

Two players share the honours in this category with Cesar Azpilicueta for Chelsea and Joel Ward for Crystal Palace. Azpilicueta’s form appears to have been maintained from last season. It will also be encouraging for Tottenham Hotspur boss Mauricio Pochettino to see new signing Eric Dier feature in this category.

Outfield Blocks

  TeamPosOutfielder BlockAppsMins
Wes Morgan Leicester DF 8 3 270
Phil Bardsley Stoke DF 5 3 270
Liam Moore Leicester DF 5 3 270
Ryan Shawcross Stoke DF 5 3 270
Gary Cahill Chelsea DF 4 3 270

Leicester’s Wes Morgan made more outfield blocks than any other defender in August. What that tells us is that he’s reading the game well and getting into the right positions to make it as difficult as possible for the opposition attack.

Effective Clearances

  TeamPosEffective ClearanceAppsMins
Ryan Shawcross Stoke DF 38 3 270
Ashley Williams Swansea DF 33 3 270
Dejan Lovren Liverpool DF 30 3 270
Winston Reid West Ham DF 30 3 270
Marc Wilson Stoke DF 30 3 270

Stoke City manager Mark Hughes will be pleased that one of his most important players is doing the basics effectively. Shawcross gets the job done when his defence are under pressure and if he can keep it up throughout the season, it bodes well for his team.

Successful Interceptions

  TeamPosInterception WonAppsMins
Phil Jones Man Utd DF 17 3 270
Jose Fonte Southampton DF 12 3 270
Phil Bardsley Stoke DF 11 3 270
Patrick van Aanholt Sunderland DF 11 3 270
Javier Manquillo Liverpool DF 10 2 180

The name at the top of this list is sure to surprise a few fans. Manchester United defender Phil Jones made more successful interceptions than any other defender, which tells us that Louis van Gaal has got his defenders constantly thinking about the danger that could develop.

Aerial Duels Won

  TeamPosAerial WonAppsMins
Michael Williamson Newcastle DF 21 3 269
Mathieu Debuchy Arsenal DF 18 3 270
Marc Wilson Stoke DF 13 3 270
Steven Caulker QPR DF 12 3 270
Jason Shackell Burnley DF 12 3 270

Newcastle United defender Mike Williamson has been the most difficult defender to get the better of in the air so far. An interesting name on this list is Debuchy, Arsenal’s right-back, who is making teams keep the ball on the deck in front of him where it’s easier to contain.

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