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English Premier League: Ranking the 20 Premier League Defenses

Mikhail TurnerContributor IIINovember 4, 2016

English Premier League: Ranking the 20 Premier League Defenses

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    This year's Premier League defenses have had to come up against some serious attacking firepower.

    Some strong evidence of that is the fact that the top two teams, Manchester City and Manchester United, have double the number of goals to games played, and the third, Tottenham, is just a couple goals shy of doing the same.

    So how good are these defenses really? Some are really good, but really good attacks generally beat good defenses.

    Of course, goals conceded is the easiest thing to look at in such a matter, but we'll also take some other statistics into consideration.

    Let's take a look and see how these Premier League defenses stack up.

20. Wigan Athletic

2 of 21

    Goals conceded: 48

    Goals per game: 2.09

    Percentage of goals conceded inside 18-yard box: 78 (8 percent penalties)

    Saves: 123

    Clean Sheets: 3

    Own Goals: 0

    As you can see, Wigan has let in a ton of goals. It looks like teams are just walking the ball in judging by the 78 percent of goals that have been scored inside the penalty box.

19. Blackburn Rovers

3 of 21

    Goals conceded: 47

    Goals per game: 2.04

    Percentage of goals conceded inside 18-yard box: 67 (4 percent penalties)

    Saves: 108

    Clean Sheets: 0

    Own Goals: 1

    Paul Robinson hasn't been getting much help in front of him, but sometimes goalkeepers can pull out those "I am unbeatable games." Doesn't seem like that's the case with the zero clean sheets.

18. Bolton Wanderers

4 of 21

    Goals conceded: 47

    Goals per games: 2.04

    Percentage of goals conceded inside 18-yard box: 71 (2 percent penalties)

    Saves: 117

    Clean Sheets: 3

    Own Goals: 0

    Bolton's defensive statistics are eerily similar to Blackburn's. Jussi Jaaskelainen is the difference between the two. Bolton missed him for a few games and is definitely a better defensive unit when he is around. 

17. Wolverhampton

5 of 21

    Goals conceded: 43

    Goals per game: 1.87

    Percentage of goals conceded inside 18-yard box: 71 (6 percent penalties)

    Saves: 159

    Clean Sheets: 2

    Own Goals: 2

    Wolves defenders have made their goalkeepers work, as they have racked up 159 saves, the highest total in the league. They have come up with two clean sheets, but the own goals are a bit of a problem.

16. Norwich City

6 of 21

    Goals conceded: 39

    Goals per game: 1.7

    Percentage of goals conceded inside 18-yard box: 83 (10 percent penalties)

    Saves: 134

    Clean Sheets: 1

    Own Goals: 1

    Our penalty area stat tells us that Norwich's opponents get close to the goal pretty easily. As a result, goalkeepers have to make a good number of saves.

15. Queens Park Rangers

7 of 21

    Goals conceded: 39

    Goals per game: 1.7

    Percentage of goals conceded inside 18-yard box: 79 (5 percent penalties)

    Saves: 106

    Clean Sheets: 4

    Own Goals: 1

    Queens Park Rangers have done just a little bit better than Norwich. It seem having the likes of Paddy Kenny and Radek Cerny competing in goal helps.

14. Stoke City

8 of 21

    Goals conceded: 35

    Goals per game: 1.52

    Percentage of goals conceded inside 18-yard box: 71 (19 percent penalties)

    Saves: 111

    Clean Sheets: 7

    Own Goals: 1

    Stoke defenders seem a little mistake-prone if the 19 percent penalties says anything. They have two good goalkeepers in Thomas Sorensen and Asmir Begovic. That shows in seven clean sheets.

13. Arsenal

9 of 21

    Goals conceded: 33

    Goals per game: 1.43

    Percentage of goals conceded inside 18-yard box: 80 (7 percent penalties)

    Saves: 105

    Clean Sheets: 8

    Own Goals: 4

    Four own goals is league-leading, and eight clean sheets is among the league leaders. Arsenal gives away a lot of goals in the penalty area as well.

12. West Bromwich Albion

10 of 21

    Goals conceded: 32

    Goals per game: 1.39

    Percentage of goals conceded inside 18-yard box: 87 16 percent penalties)

    Saves: 120

    Clean Sheets: 4

    Own Goals: 1

    West Bromwich Albion defenders really don't do a good job of keeping teams outside the 18-yard box. It doesn't help that they give away a good number of penalties as well.

11. Aston Villa

11 of 21

    Goals conceded: 31

    Goals per game: 1.35

    Percentage of goals conceded inside 18-yard box: 89 (10 percent penalties)

    Saves: 108

    Clean Sheets: 5

    Own Goals: 2

    I guess Aston Villa defenders just let players walk right past them. They've given up a lot of goals in their own area, some being penalties. On top of that, they've knocked in a few of their own.

10. Fulham

12 of 21

    Goals conceded: 32

    Goals per game: 1.39

    Percentage of goals conceded inside 18-yard box: 68 (0 percent penalties)

    Saves: 154

    Clean Sheets: 7

    Own Goals: 0

    Seems like it takes a bit more long-range efforts to get into Fulham's goal. The saves count for goalkeepers is pretty high and probably means a lot of shots. A good number of those must have gone in for 32 goals to have been scored.

09. Newcastle

13 of 21

    Goals conceded: 30

    Goals per game: 1.3

    Percentage of goals conceded inside 18-yard box: 81 (18 percent penalties)

    Saves: 116

    Clean Sheets: 9

    Own Goals: 0

    The clean sheets and less goals conceded help Newcastle squeak in front of Fulham here. Not doing a good job in the box, though. Not a good job at all.

08. Swansea City

14 of 21

    Goals conceded: 28

    Goals per game: 1.22

    Percentage of goals conceded inside 18-yard box: 92 (5 percent penalties)

    Saves: 122

    Clean Sheets: 9

    Own Goals: 2

    If you're scoring against Swansea, they'll certainly make it easy for you. At least that's what the penalty area stat shows us. Otherwise, it's a pretty solid defense with an impressive clean sheet tally.

07. Chelsea

15 of 21

    Goals conceded: 26

    Goals per game: 1.13

    Percentage of goals conceded inside 18-yard box: 90 (5 percent penalties)

    Saves: 107

    Clean Sheets: 6

    Own Goals: 0

    Chelsea's defense is not where it has been in the last couple years, that's for sure. The new style of play definitely affected the defenders' stinginess.

06. Everton

16 of 21

    Goals conceded: 26

    Goals per game: 1.13

    Percentage of goals conceded inside 18-yard box: 80 (4 percent penalties)

    Saves: 93

    Clean Sheets: 5

    Own Goals: 1

    Everton does have a solid set of defenders, and it shows here. The percentage of goals in the 18-yard box is something to look at, but there is not much else.

    Everton beats out Chelsea as they seem less prone to let people into easy scoring positions.

05. Tottenham Hotspur

17 of 21

    Goals conceded: 25

    Goals per game: 1.09

    Percentage of goals conceded inside 18-yard box: 85 (5 percent penalties)

    Saves: 118

    Clean Sheets: 8

    Own Goals: 1

    Brad Freidel has done well for the club, and if Ledley King was always fit,things may be even better. The defense is doing its part to keep the team in the title hunt, though.

04. Sunderland

18 of 21

    Goals conceded: 24

    Goals per game: 1.04

    Percentage of goals conceded inside 18-yard box: 79 (9 percent penalties)

    Saves: 107

    Clean Sheets: 7

    Own Goals: 1

    If Sunderland's attacking players did their part, the team could be in a much better position. Some good stats from Sunderland here.

03. Liverpool

19 of 21

    Goals conceded: 21

    Goals per game: 0.91

    Percentage of goals conceded inside 18-yard box: 74 (11 percent penalties)

    Saves: 96

    Clean Sheets: 9

    Own Goals: 2

    Manchester United wins the clean sheet battle and is about the same in all other categories. Liverpool seems a bit stingier inside the area, though.

02. Manchester United

20 of 21

    Goals conceded: 21

    Goals per game: 0.91

    Percentage of goals conceded inside 18-yard box: 80 (11 percent penalties)

    Saves: 121

    Clean Sheets: 12

    Own Goals: 1

    Liverpool stats shows them being a bit stingier in the area, but 12 clean sheets is a league-leading stat.

01. Manchester City

21 of 21

    Goals conceded: 19

    Goals per game: .83

    Percentage of goals conceded inside 18-yard box: 89 (12 percent penalties)

    Saves: 95

    Clean Sheets: 9

    Own Goals: 2

    I guess when you are such a free-scoring side, you are bound to let in the occasional easy goal and have the lapse in defense. If Manchester City had a few more clean sheets and less own goals, they would certainly be in for the title. This defense is still the best, though.

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