Players were assessed on a weighted scoring model which considers attacking threat (20% weight), ball playing (40% weight), and defending (40% weight – includes aerial ability), by analysing over 20 different per 90-minute performance metrics.
To improve the accuracy of the results possession adjusted statistics were used for defensive stats – these give a more accurate representation of a players defensive output by accounting for team possession.
To avoid bias towards centre-backs who spend a lot of time on the ball, stats such as progressive passes and carries were adjusted per 100 live-ball touches to provide a truer account of a player’s use of the ball.
A pair of Brighton & Hove Albion defenders have been named amongst the league's shining defensive lights.
You can see where they rank in BetVictor's standings in the gallery below.
1. Aymeric Laporte
Aymeric Laporte is the top ranked centre-back overall due to his excellence on the ball, his rate of 11.43 progressive carries and 6.39 progressive passes per 100 live-ball touches is the best in the league. He also boasts the best pass completion percentage in the division with 94.8% - not to mention he is also the joint top goal scorer from that position following his goal against Newcastle United
Photo: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images
2. Joël Matip
Joël Matip is having one of his best Liverpool seasons to date, his 2.71 possession adjusted interceptions per 90 mins is the highest he has achieved in a season. He is also outperforming his counterpart Virgil van Dijk in several key areas such as tackles (2.09 PAdj per 90), blocks (1.79 PAdj per 90), and clearances (5.51 PAdj per 90)
Photo: Michael Regan/Getty Images
3. Thiago Silva
Thiago Silva is showing few signs of dropping off despite his age, he has the third best rate in the league of any player analysed for progressive passing distance (582.4 yards) and has made the fourth most carries (64.0), the best output achieved by any Chelsea centre-back
Photo: Catherine Ivill/Getty Images
4. Virgil van Dijk
Virgil van Dijk is undeniably having a great season. However, by his own very high standards his statistical output has dropped off since returning from an ACL injury compared to prior. His total per 90 for passes completed (67.6), progressive passes (3.12), tackles (0.61), and touches (83.0) is his lowest rate in any season for Liverpool indicating he is not quite back to his absolute best and saw him rank fourth
Photo: Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images