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2013-14 Premier League Preseason Rankings: Top Defenders

Andrew M. Laird

Andrew M. Laird, a four-time FSWA Award finalist, is RotoWire's Senior Soccer Editor and an editor for the site's NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, CBB and DFS content.

For our 2013-14 Premier League rankings, we polled four of our writers to come up with a composite list for the upcoming year. We broke it down by position, listing our top-20 forwards, midfielders, defenders and top-10 goalkeepers.

Points were assigned to each player based on their ranking by each writer: 10 points for a first place vote, nine points for a second place vote, eight points for a third place vote and so on.

Petr Cech is the top choice in our Goalkeeper Rankings and Everton's Leighton Baines checks in at the top spot for defensemen.

The tricky part about ranking defensive players is that their stats are so volatile year-in and year-out. Players on top teams accumulate more clean sheets but goals and assists are still important.

With that said, here's what we think about this year's defensive crop:

1 Leighton Baines Jonny Evans Leighton Baines Leighton Baines Leighton Baines 71
2 Branislav Ivanovic Nemanja Vidic Branislav Ivanovic Branislav Ivanovic Jan Vertonghen 64
3 Patrice Evra Laurent Koscielny Jan Vertonghen David Luiz David Luiz 61
4 David Luiz Vincent Kompany David Luiz Glen Johnson Branislav Invanovic 60
5 Jan Vertonghen Martin Skrtel Rafael da Silva Patrice Evra Glen Johnson 51
6 Per Mertesacker Jan Vertonghen Glen Johnson Jan Vertonghen Patrice Evra 50
7 Pablo Zabaleta Pablo Zabaleta Patrice Evra Jose Enrique Pablo Zabaleta 46
8 Glen Johnson Phil Jagielka Ashley Cole Angel Rangel Jose Enrique 40
9 Ashley Cole Matija Nastasic Vincent Kompany Pablo Zabaleta Jonny Evans 37
10 Jose Enrique Leighton Baines Per Mertesacker Laurent Koscielny Per Mertesacker 33
11 Ryan Shawcross Per Mertesacker Jose Enrique Russell Martin Rafael da Silva 32
T12 Daniel Agger David Luiz Jonny Evans Rafael da Silva Laurent Koscielny 31
T12 Steven Caulker Nacho Monreal Kyle Walker Steven Caulker Daniel Agger 31
14 Rafael da Silva Daniel Agger Gary Cahill Garath McAuley Vincent Kompany 29
15 Garath McAuley Glen Johnson Ryan Shawcross Jonny Evans Ashley Cole 25
T16 Angel Rangel Jose Enrique Pablo Zabaleta Per Mertesacker Nemanja Vidic 19
T16 Gary Cahill Cesar Azpilicueta Daniel Agger Davide Santon Angel Rangel 19
T18 Laurent Koscielny Sylvain Distin Per Mertesacker Matthew Lowton Ryan Shawcross 16
T18 Jonny Evans Patrice Evra Matija Nastasic Gary Cahill Steven Caulker 16
T18 Sylvain Distin Gary Cahill Angel Rangel Phil Jagielka Martin Skrtel 16

The next 11: Gary Cahill (14 points), Phil Jagielka (14), Matija Nastasic (14), Garath McAuley (13), Russell Martin (10), Nacho Monreal (8), Kyle Walker (8), Sylvain Distin (4), Cesar Azpilicueta (4), Davide Santon (4), Matthew Lowton (3)