Race for the Premier League title: Leicester, Tottenham, Arsenal and Manchester City defences analysed
By Peter Smith
Last Updated: 09/02/16 1:39pm
The Premier League's top four go head-to-head on Sky Sports on Sunday, when leaders Leicester travel to Arsenal and Manchester City host Tottenham.
Just six points separate the teams in the table and this weekend offers the perfect opportunity for each to make a statement of intent in the title race.
To build up to the big showdowns, all this week Sky Sports will be analysing the teams.
Who has the best 'keeper?
As the race for the title heats up, we analyse the top four's goalkeepers...
On Monday, we looked at the top-four teams' goalkeepers. Next up, we take a look at their defences.
Here's what the stats say about their performances in 2015/16...
Top-four centre-backs compared
|Player||Team||International caps||Transfer fee|
|Morgan||Leicester City||23 (Jamaica)||£1m|
|Huth||Leicester City||19 (Germany)||£3m|
|Otamendi||Man City||30 (Argentina)||£28.5m|
|Demichelis||Man City||49 (Argentina)||£4.2m|
Team defence stats
Arsenal have kept the most clean sheets in the Premier League this season (12), one more than Manchester City, while Tottenham and Leicester have nine and eight shut-outs, respectively.
However, it's Spurs who have conceded the fewest goals. Mauricio Pochettino's team have let in just 19 goals - the best record in the Premier League. Arsenal aren't far behind, with just 22 goals conceded.
When it comes to the playing statistics, Man City have the worst tackle success rate (70.43 per cent) and have made the fewest number of blocks (44) in the Premier League.
Top-four defensive records (incl PL rank)
|Team||Fewest goals conceded||Most clean sheets||Tackle success %||Most blocks||Most clearances||Fewest errors leading to goals||Fewest shots faced|
|Leicester||27 (6th)||8 (T8th)||75.89 (8th)||107 (5th)||690 (5th)||1 (1st)||339 (14th)|
|Tottenham||19 (1st)||9 (T5th)||76.02 (7th)||85 (11th)||710 (3rd)||5 (T9th)||265 (4th)|
|Arsenal||22 (2nd)||12 (T1st)||74.84 (12th)||90 (9th)||573 (16th)||3 (T4th)||308 (8th)|
|Man City||26 (5th)||11 (T3rd)||70.43 (20th)||44 (20th)||632 (12th)||5 (T9th)||231 (1st)|
City have faced the fewest shots at goal this season. However, when that is analysed alongside their goals-conceded total it suggests they are presenting the opposition with good goalscoring opportunities.
On average, City's opponents score a goal with every 8.8 shots. In contrast, Arsenal only concede a goal for every 14 shots faced, Tottenham for every 13.9 and Leicester for every 12.5.
Top-four centre-backs stats
|Centre-back||Clean sheets||Tackle success %||Blocks||Clearances||Errors leading to goals||Games played|
Robert Huth and Wes Morgan have struck up a key partnership at the heart of the Leicester defence. Ever-present Morgan and Huth, who has missed just one game, have combined for all eight of Leicester's clean sheets this season - and, promisingly for the Foxes, five of those have come in their last seven Premier League fixtures.
The pair share a similar tackle success rate and number of blocks, while Huth has made 44 more clearances than his defensive partner and Morgan has made Leicester's only Opta-classified error leading to a goal this season.
Vertonghen out for two months
Tottenham defender Jan Vertonghen damaged a medial ligament in his knee against Crystal Palace
Their numbers compare favourably to the other top-four centre-back partnerships, although Arsenal's Per Mertesacker has registered a remarkable tackle success rate of 90.48 per cent and Tottenham's Toby Alderweireld has made 192 clearances.
Don't forget Kompany...
An inescapable issue for Manchester City's defence this season has been the absence of Vincent Kompany.
The impact the club captain has had on the City rearguard is plain to see in the stats. With him, they've kept seven clean sheets in nine matches and recorded a 77.8 per cent win record. Without him, they've managed just four clean sheets in 16 matches and their win percentage drops to 43.8.
Man City missing Kompany?
|With/Without Kompany||Wins||Draws||Losses||Win %||Conceded||Clean sheets|
|With||7||2||0||77.8||1 (while VK on field)||7|
Watch Arsenal v Leicester from 11.30am and Man City v Tottenham from 4pm on Super Sunday live on Sky Sports 1 HD