The English Premier League's 7 Best Centre-Backs so Far This Season
What a season it's been so far in the English Premier League. We've had unbelievable goals, great saves and outrageous score lines.
It's been a great season so far—but not for defenders. There have been 325 goals in 11 match weeks and a huge amount of high-scoring fixtures.
The Premier League is usually famous for its great defenses, but this hasn't been the case this season. However, there have been specific defenders that have excelled at the back.
Without further ado, here's a list of the seven best EPL centre-backs so far this season:
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Team: Stoke City
Ryan Shawcross is remembered by most people for his terrible tackle on Aaron Ramsey two years ago, but the 24-year-old remains one of the top defenders in the Premier League.
In many ways, Shawcross can be considered the epitome of Stoke City. The English defender works hard, isn't afraid to tackle and is a great header.
This season has really brought the best out of Shawcross, who has helped Stoke stay high in the table for the first 11 matches.
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Wes Brown has not received the sort of praise that he deserves since his summer move to the Stadium of Light. The 31-year-old has played great so far for Sunderland but still hasn't garnered too much attention.
Brown has started all 11 league matches for the Black Cats and is looking to be forming a strong defensive partnership with Titus Bramble. When Bramble was arrested on September 28, Brown played in the center with Michael Turner against West Bromwich, which ended up being a disaster.
Fortunately for the Black Cats, Turner has improved since that day. However, it's still Brown that is the strongest link in defense.
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Team: Newcastle United
Steven Taylor has played very badly on a few occasions so far this campaign (like against Tottenham) but remains one of the Premier League's top defenders this season. The English defender has been an important part of Newcastle's unbeaten start of the season, with the Toon conceding just eight goals.
Taylor and Fabio Collocini have formed an impressive partnership at the back, and manager Alan Pardew will hope that his defense can maintain its current form.
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Team: Aston Villa
In Aston Villa's opening seven games this campaign, they conceded five goals. James Collins and Richard Dunne played in the center defense for these matches and were superb. In their next game, against Manchester City, Villa played without Collins and let four goals in.
Allowing four goals against Manchester City may not be astonishingly bad, but it was evident that Aston Villa missed Collins.
In Villa's recent games, it can be said that Collins is going through a rough patch, but he is still playing reasonably well.
Villa will hope the Welshman can continue his early-season form and lead the team to a top-seven league finish.
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Team: Manchester City
Despite already receiving a red card this season, Vincent Kompany has been one of the best centre-backs so far this campaign. Since his move to Eastlands in 2008, the Belgian has been superb and this year has been no different.
Manchester City have allowed 10 league goals this season (tied for second-least conceding team), and Kompany has been crucial in making that happen. It was clear that, with Kompany suspended against QPR last weekend, the Citizens were lacking defensively.
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Team: Manchester United
Most people didn't understand why Alex Ferguson chose to buy Phil Jones from Blackburn Rovers over the summer. Those who doubted the manager's decision have now been proved wrong.
Phil Jones has been superb for United this season, featuring in almost all fixtures so far. Although the injuries to Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand have helped Jones establish himself as a starter, the 19-year-old's great performances have been the main reason.
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Team: Swansea City
Despite already conceding 15 goals this season, Swansea City have been one of the better defensive sides. The Welsh side conceded 11 goals in three games, which were against Manchester City, Chelsea and Norwich City, but allowed just four in the other eight league matches.
Being a promoted team is never easy, but Swansea have been great. That is partly due to the fact that Ashley Williams is in top form. The Welsh centre-back has played every game so far this campaign and has been an integral part of the team.
If Swansea City can keep up their strength in defense for the entire year, they will have no problem achieving a mid-table finish.