Leighton Baines has come a long way from his Wigan days to where he now challenges Ashley Cole for the England left back shirt. Known for his buccaneering runs down the left, Baines is one of the most talented crossers of the ball and it comes as no surprise that he dominates the set pieces for Everton. As such, he has created a staggering 97 chances for team mates this season and has had 33 goal attempts.
Known as Mr. Reliable, Zabaleta has proven to be a shrewd purchase by Hughes a day before the club was bought by Sheikh Mansour in 2008. Since those days, he has proven himself to be arguably the best right back in the league, being called upon time after time in the City backline. This season he has helped City keep 11 clean sheets, scored twice, made 49 interceptions and has won 68 tackles.
29 appearances Another reliable right back comes in the form of Glen Johnson, who has developed since his days as a Portsmouth player. At Liverpool, Johnson has flourished and has shown his ability to burst down the right wing, whilst occasionally cutting inside to let a rocket go with his left foot. He has created an impressive 42 chances for team mates but has also helped Liverpool to 11 clean sheets by winning 61 tackles and 59 aerial duels over the course of the season.
Ivanovic has had an impressive season for Chelsea, featuring both at right back and in a central role when needed. He started the season in great fashion, scoring twice and helping Chelsea keep 4 clean sheets in their first 5 matches. Over the course of the league season, he’s racked up 10 clean sheets in total by making 103 successful clearances and winning 60 aerial duels.
Evra has shown great reliability over the years and has made the United left back role his own for many a season. However, in 2012/13, he has stepped up his attacking game, picking up the most assists (5) so far from any defender in the league. In addition, he’s been the unlikely scorer of a number of headers, helping him to a tidy total of 4 goals. The Frenchman is clearly a talented footballer and young hopeful Buttner has quite some way to go before he reaches Evra’s standard.
It comes as no surprise that there are plenty of rumours surrounding Swansea captain Ashley Williams, with Arsenal being one of the clubs reported to be interested in the talented defender. Known for his no-nonsense style of play, Williams has helped Swansea to 8 clean sheets this season by making a staggering 189 successful clearances. In addition, he’s made 82 interceptions and won 66 aerial duels over the course of the season.
Unfortunately for United, Vidic has been missing for a significant chunk of the season due to his second major knee injury in the space of 16 months. However, since his return for the second half of the season, United’s defensive performances have improved considerably. From failing to prevent the other team from scoring, United have kept 5 consecutive clean sheets with Vidic playing every minute of those games. If he can stay fit, it is surely a matter of time until United secure the title.
From one towering centre back to another, we have Vincent Kompany. One of a long line of talented Belgians currently plying their trade in the Premier League, many consider Kompany to be one of the best defenders in the league. He’s suffered a bit of an indifferent season but there’s no doubting his ability as Kompany has helped City to 9 clean sheets from only 21 appearances, making 70 successful clearances and winning 28 aerial duels.
Vertonghen came to the Premier League with high expectations and he hasn’t disappointed in his debut season. Equally adept at playing at left back or in the centre, his versatility has become an asset for Spurs. However, he has been most impressive when venturing forward, where he is currently the joint highest goalscoring defender with 5 goals this season from 31 goal attempts. In addition, he’s created 18 chances for team mates with 2 resulting in assists.
Liverpool spotted Enrique’s talent whilst he was playing for Newcastle and spent little time in bringing him to Merseyside. Since making the move, Enrique has impressed at left back whilst having a short stint as a left winger. With Liverpool bringing in attacking reinforcements in the January window, Enrique has reverted to a defender where he is effective going forward as much as he is defensively. With this in mind, he’s collected 4 assists for the season, 2 goals and has helped Liverpool to 7 clean sheets.
Richard Lam is the editor for Fantasy Football Addict, a website offering fantasy football tips, advice and analysis. He has followed football since he could walk and believes it is an incredible sport, which anyone can enjoy. For premier league fantasy tips and advice, check out the Fantasy Football Addict website.