The FA Community Shield will see Chelsea face Arsenal in the traditional curtain raiser for the Premier League. The FA Cup winners, Arsenal face their bitter rivals Chelsea, the Premier League winners and the subplot is that former Chelsea number 1, Petr Cech is expected to face his old team in goal for Arsenal.
More importantly, it is another battle between two of the best centre-back pairings in the Premier League. Both clubs have experienced centre-backs in Koscielny and Mertesacker for Arsenal and Cahill and Terry for Chelsea, they would be looking to keep their opponent’s attackers quiet in this one-off game which could have major repercussions for the upcoming season. We take a look at the combined performances of the defenders thanks to Squawka.com from last season.
France and Germany Vs. An All English defence
Looking at the average scores of players from last season’s games, it is the Arsenal pair of Kos and Per who have a better defence score than Terry and Cahill. The Arsenal duo have a combined score of 38 in defence while Terry and Cahill just have a combined score of 23, which is a surprising stat.
Even pass completion is better from the Arsenal pair as they both complete 89% of all their passes while Cahill only completes 86% and Terry matches the Arsenal pair with 89% as well. The Chelsea pair does come to a league of their own when it comes to winning tackles. They lead the Arsenal pair as Terry averages 0.97 tackles won per game and Cahill averages 0.64, while Koscielny leads his teammate with 0.85 tackles won per game and Per comes in last with just 0.57 tackles won per game.
It is the non-British pair who come up on top regarding aerial duels won; Arsenal’s centre-back pairing average 6.09 aerial duel wins per game while the Chelsea pair only managed 5.77 aerial duel wins per game last season.
Interceptions is another battle won by the Arsenal pair, especially due to the whopping 3.44 interceptions made per game by Koscielny, Mertesacker isn’t far behind with 2.06 but the Chelsea pair only bring in 0.84 and 0.75 interceptions per game for Terry and Cahill respectively.
Blocks however is a battle just about won by the Chelsea pair with Terry and Cahill combining for 1.6 blocks per game while the Arsenal pair only bring in about 1.3 blocks per game.
From the stats it isn’t easy to make a decision on just which team has the better pairing of central defenders, while Mertesacker might be prone to the odd mistake, he has shown to be great in certain games, similarly Chelsea have Nemanja Matic to help them out in defence while Arsenal have only the young legs of Coquelin, who does need the support of his central defenders to do well.
Stats courtesy of squawka.com