What Is The Best Possible Centre-back Pairing For Conte To Consider?


Antonio Conte may no longer complain about the lack of numbers in central defence after bringing in David Luiz for £30 million on transfer deadline day. With the re-signing of the Brazilian, Chelsea have four central defenders to choose from. This is an extremely healthy number especially considering that Branislav Ivanovic is also capable of playing in this position with John obi Mikel and Nemanja Matic also likely candidates to a certain extent. David Luiz, Kurt Zouma, John Terry, and Gary Cahill are the four central defenders at the disposal of Conte. What would be his best combination if all four are fit?

5. Luiz – Zouma

This may not be the best partnership by any stretch of the imagination, as both players are exuberant going forward even for a central defender. Zouma has the pace to cover up for his or his partner’s mistake, but David Luiz makes too many of those to be a real partner. Luiz needs an overcautious player to be his perfect partner and Zouma is not the answer.

4. Cahill – Luiz

This may not be the best combination in the Premier League, but it is also not the worst either. Both players have great experience of big games and they complement each other sufficiently to work as a partnership. Luiz’ characteristic error in judgement often lets this partnership down.


3. Terry – Luiz

Even though Terry and David Luiz have played together in the past, there is a possibility for this partnership to be even better. Luiz has the pace and skill to cover up for Terry, should the Englishman make any mistake. However, the vice versa is rather difficult given Terry’s struggles for pace.

2. Terry – Cahill

This has been one of the best combinations for Chelsea since the days of Terry and Ricardo Carvalho. Apart from complementing and protecting each other, the English duo also have the capability to come up with the odd goal. They are extremely good on the ball with exceptional distribution skills in the case of Terry.

1. Cahill – Zouma

If Zouma recovers well from the anterior cruciate ligament injury, the best possible way to make him as the future replacement for Terry is by partnering him with Cahill. At 30 years of age, Cahill has the potential to transfer his years of experience to Zouma quite seamlessly. They both have excellent pace and could easily last as a partnership for the next three years.


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