Former Spurs boss casts doubts over Phil Jones - But how does he compare to Gary Cahill?

Glenn Hoddle feels United’s defence is a worry ahead of Chelsea clash.

Former Tottenham Hotspur boss Glenn Hoddle feels Manchester United’s defence – led by Phil Jones - is their Achilles heel ahead of Sunday’s clash at home to Chelsea.

The Red Devils entertain the Premier League leaders with an unsettled defence which has kept just two clean sheets in eight league matches, conceding a worrying 12 goals.

Boss Louis Van Gaal has had to contend with various injuries which has plagued his backline so far this season, prompting the Dutchman to twice call upon rookie Tyler Blackett to fill in.

Whether it’s a makeshift defence or the strongest one available, many observers feel it’s certainly United’s weak point and Chelsea will look to exploit it on Sunday.

In his written preview of the game for the Daily Mail, Hoddle feels that the possible absence of Diego Costa may not hinder the Blues as he questions Phil Jones’ ability to dominate a centre-forward.

“United's Achilles heel is obviously their defence. Should Drogba play, even at the age of 36, you could imagine him bullying their centre-halves, especially Phil Jones.” He wrote.

“But Jones can't allow that to happen. At 22 years of age, he's no longer an inexperienced player and he must dominate a centre-forward, even someone like Drogba.”

  TeamPosTackles Won / appsInterceptions Won / appsEffective Clearances / appsErrors Leading To Shots / appsAppsMins
Phil Jones Man Utd DF 2.50 5.00 6.75 0 4 360
Gary Cahill Chelsea DF 0.75 0.88 5.88 0.13 8 720

According to the table provided by Opta Stats, one could suggest that Hoddle’s comments might be a little harsh given Jones’ contribution from the back.

In four appearances this season, he has averaged 2.5 tackles per game, five interceptions and 6.75 effective clearances – figures topping that of Chelsea defender Cahill’s average in each category.

The England international defenders are both key players for their respective teams and Sunday’s clash may give us further indication as to who has performed better this season.

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