The Premier League: Top 10 Defenders Today

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The Premier League: Top 10 Defenders Today
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Where does Everton's defensive stalwart Sylvain Distin rank in the list?

Newcastle United 5-1 Sunderland, Arsenal 2-3 West Brom, Wigan 0-6 Chelsea. 248 goals in 100 games.

That's a lot of goals and lopsided matches already this season in the Premier League.

However, last season saw 1,023 goals scored in 380 top-flight games, or 2.69 goals per game. Does this prove that defending is better this season than last? The balls have not changed, the goalposts have not moved, the law books have not been re-written and there has been little transfer activity of note at most clubs.

Have teams switching to the a la mode 4-2-3-1 formation become more compact and more resolute? Is this system clogging up the centre of the pitch? If it is, it could explain why wingers such as Florent Malouda and Gareth Bale are having notable seasons.

In fact, exactly half of the teams in Europe's Premier League have kept three or more clean sheets in their 10 fixtures to date.

But who has excelled for his team, either as a marauding full-back or as a commanding presence at the heart of the defence?

In the following video slideshow, I choose the 10 best defenders currently playing in the Premier League, as chosen according to the following criteria: their Actim Index score, their team's fortunes, the influence they exert on the pitch.

Let the debate commence!

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