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Once upon a time, many fans could not comprehend how a Liverpool defence without Jamie Carragher in it would fare.
I'll be honest, the thought of Martin Skrtel playing regularly without the organiser Carragher beside him was not one of happiness—but Skrtel is in the form of his life right now, and his partnership with Daniel Agger has blossomed into arguably the finest in the Premier League.
In the absence of Carragher, Daniel Agger's natural leadership skills have become both more apparent and important—as have the organisational skills of Pepe Reina behind them—and the two centre-backs have been the rocks on which Kenny Dalglish's team is being built.
Both are strong, committed defenders and both are comfortable both on the deck and in the air—but they contrasting styles which complement each other extremely well, and the succession of matches alongside each other that they have managed to play over recent months has helped them gel and develop a good understanding of what the other will do.
Skrtel, right-footed, prefers to come out of the backline to nip in ahead of an attacker receiving the ball—not always wisely, it is true—while Agger, a leftie, covers the spaces behind.
The Dane will drive forward out of defence with the ball at his feet, while Skrtel generally keeps it short and quick with his passing—though, perhaps inspired by his team-mate, he has this season also launched raids forward the odd time.
Manchester City fans will point to Vincent Kompany and Joleon Lescott as rivals for the claim of the best defence in the league, but not while the latter is part of their first choice duo will they have a rightful claim to that crown.
Nemanja Vidic's absence rules any Manchester United pairing out of the running, while Spurs change their central defenders as often as Alex Ferguson changes his goalkeepers.
Arsenal? Chelsea? Newcastle? Please.
No, in Skrtel and Agger Liverpool have the best centre-back pairing as of right now—and long may that continue, in terms of form and fitness.