FIFA World Cup 2022: Best defenders to watch out for
With the FIFA World Cup 2022 starting on November 20 in Qatar, all eyes are on nations naming their respective squads. A solid team is which can have the right balance across areas and defensive structure is vital. A strong defensive and disciplined system leads to more chances of winning. Here we present a statistical analysis of the best defenders to watch out for.
Why does this story matter?
- All the top clubs in their respective leagues this season have one thing in common which is conceding the fewest goals.
- Similarly, Argentina, who are the hot favorites to win the World Cup, have built heavily on their defensive prowess, going on a 35-match unbeaten run.
- From central defenders to full-backs and wing-backs, defenders will have a crucial role to play in Qatar.
Lisandro Martinez (Argentina)
Lisandro Martinez has lived up to expectations at Manchester United since joining them this summer. He has delivered several valiant performances on the pitch to silence the doubters. Martinez has made 24 tackles, 17 interceptions, 52 clearances, 68 recoveries, besides winning 49 duels in the Premier League 2022-23 season. Martinez will be a key figure for Argentina. He has made nine appearances so far.
Joao Cancelo (Portugal)
One of the best versatile full-backs, Joao Cancelo could be immense for Portugal, providing the right balance. He game sense and sturdiness has improved vastly under manager Pep Guardiola at Manchester City. In Premier League 2022-23, Cancelo has made 27 tackles, 17 interceptions, 3 clearances, 71 recoveries, besides winning 87 duels. He has earned 37 caps for Portugal, scoring twice.
Thiago Silva (Brazil)
Veteran central defender Thiago Silva is a force to be reckoned with. Even at the age of 38, his fitness is laudable. The Chelsea defender has made 18 tackles, 17 interceptions, 40 clearances, 72 recoveries, besides winning 50 duels in PL 2022-23. Silva's alertness in seeing out danger and his reading of situations will help Brazil for whom he has made 107 appearances.
Kieran Trippier (England)
Kieran Trippier has made a case of being England's number one right-back. Since moving to Newcastle United from Atletico Madrid, he has lifted the bar. Trippier has enjoyed himself in the Premier League this season, having clocked 24 tackles, 19 interceptions, 29 clearances, 99 recoveries, besides winning 53 duels. He has scored once, besides making three assists. For England, he has made 37 appearances.
Dayot Upamecano (France)
Dayot Upamecano has been key for both Bayern Munich and France. He has established himself as a leading central defender. Upamecano will hope to showcase his potential in a projected 3-4-2-1 formation. He has so far made 7 appearances for France. As per Opta, Upamecano has made 37 tackles, 38 clearances, 16 interceptions, four blocks, and 103 ball recoveries for Bayern in Bundesliga 2022-23.