Premier League

What is the best centre-back & goalkeeper combination in Premier League history?

Dhruv Sharma

May 3 2023
centre-back & goalkeeper combination in Premier League history

Comparing legendary English top-flight defensive trios

The Premier League is the toughest league to play, thanks to the defensive players we have seen till now. Successful teams have always had the best defensive record in the League and the whole of Europe.

A solid backline lays the foundation for any team to build on and in the League’s history, it is always important for a team to rely on their defence. In this article, we will take a sneak peek at two of the best centre-back & goalkeeper combinations in the Premier League.

Great Wall of Stamford Bridge

The defensive trio of Petr Cech, John Terry, and Ricardo Carvalho played together for Chelsea in the mid-2000s and were instrumental in all the club’s achievements during that time. At that time, Petr Cech was one of the best goalkeepers in the world, while Carvalho and Terry formed a frightful and firm partnership at the back.

The trio started a total number of 83 games together, winning 72% of their matches. During this tenure, they were able to keep a clean sheet for 54% of the times they faced their opponents and conceded only 0.67 goals per game. This is an exceptional record keeping in mind the standards of the Premier League.

The Three Amigos

Edwin Van Der Sar, Nemanja Vidic, and Rio Ferdinand formed a tremendous trio for Manchester United and Sir Alex Ferguson. The trio played together for Manchester United in the late 2000s and early 2010s and were important in the club’s success. Van Der Sar was a reliable goalkeeper, while Vidic was considered a defender who could give everything on the pitch; diving for headers, and goal-line clearances he did it all. Alongside Vidic, Ferdinand performed every match at the highest level forming an impenetrable partnership.

Together, the three of them played 96 games, winning 68% of them. They kept clean sheets in 51% of their games, and on average they conceded 0.72 goals per game. Even though this record is impressive yet it falls short of the record set by Chelsea’s trio.

It is difficult to choose between these two legendary trios because statistics do not usually tell the truth. Both the trios had different styles of managers and play. In conclusion, having a strong defence is essential to achieve success in the Premier League. The trios of Vidic, VDS, Ferdinand and Carvalho, Cech, and Terry are considered the best defensive trios till now.

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