A key reason for Southampton's success? Saints boast two of Premier League's top tacklers

Clyne Tackles Gervinho

Morgan Schneiderlin and Nathaniel Clyne form two of the Premier League's top five when it comes to the number of tackles won this season.

Southampton's phenomenal rise to second in the Premier League table has hardly gone unnoticed.

But the contribution to their success made by their defence has not received anywhere near the plaudits their forwards have.

That is understandable considering the fact that Ronald Koeman's side recently scored eight goals in one league match. But so impressive is their back four that the Saints have conceded less than that throughout their whole Premier League campaign.

And a key reason has been the performances of Morgan Schneiderlin and Nathaniel Clyne.

  TeamPosWon TacklesTackle Success (%)AppsMins
Mile Jedinak Crystal Palace MF 34 77.27 9 810
Mohamed Diamé West Ham MF 31 86.11 9 580
Craig Gardner West Brom MF 27 79.41 9 801
Morgan Schneiderlin Southampton MF 27 75.00 9 810
Nathaniel Clyne Southampton DF 26 61.90 9 810

Indeed, as Opta stats show, the Southampton duo are both within the Premier League's top five for tackles won. Schneiderlin has won 27 while full-back Clyne has won 26.

Only two players have won more than Frenchman Schneiderlin, while three have won more than Clyne.

  Clean SheetsGoals ConcededTackle Success (%)Played
Southampton 5 5 71.36 9
Swansea City 4 10 81.63 9
Chelsea 3 9 82.42 9
Stoke City 2 10 75.51 9
Manchester City 2 10 73.44 9

Overall, meanwhile, Koeman's Saints have kept five clean sheets so far this term, meaning they have not conceded in over half of their games.

That is the top flight's most impressive total so far - and so is the one in the column next to it. In nine Premier League fixtures, Southampton have conceded just five goals.

Their overall tackle success, however, is far from the most impressive in the division. That emphasises just what an important job Schneiderlin and Clyne do. The latter has been superb out wide, while Schneiderlin is vital when it comes to breaking play down from midfield.

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