Top 5 Fullbacks in ISL 2017-18 – Analytical Perspective

Top 5 Fullbacks in ISL 2017-18 – Analytical Perspective

When everyone is going gaga over the attacking players, the fullbacks have put in a solid effort this season. 8.5% of the total assists, 28.5% of crosses and 109 successful key passes in this season have come from fullbacks. The improvement in fitness over the years and more possession football being played this season has led to increased key involvement of fullbacks. Let’s see how the data has chosen the top performing fullbacks in the recently concluded Indian Super League.

(Note 1: The players were rated on per 90 mins stats)

(Note 2: Only players that have played at least 1500 mins were considered)

5. Souvik Chakrabarti:

Chakrabarti played every minute of the season for Jamshedpur FC in their inaugural season. With 244 challenges and 72 tackles, he was solid at the back. Going forward, he sent in 50 crosses and successfully dribbled past players 19 times. What makes him standout is his defensive consistency and a threat when he makes those overlapping runs. Considering the style of play Jamshedpur adopted this season, Souvik’s 720 passes is quite impressive. He also stands out with 17 key passes with an accuracy of 64.7%

4. Lalruatthara:

In a fairly lacklustre season for the club, Lalruatthara shined bright in the yellow of Kerala Blasters FC. He was named the Emerging player of the season and earned a place in the starting line-up of the national team against Kyrgyz Republic for the final group game of the Asian Cup qualifiers. He made 302 challenges (most by a fullback this season) and 90 tackles. In attacking terms, he attempted 49 dribbles (again, the most by a fullback this season) and 22 crosses inside the box. He attempted 738 passes with an accuracy of 77.2%

3. Seriton Fernandes:

Having started every game but one, Fernandes was one of the key players on the right for FC Goa. Be it making overlapping runs, stopping crosses or keeping the ball moving, he was a force to reckon with. His overall accuracy made him very effective. The ex-Churchill and Sporting Goa player has raked up 866 passes with a staggering accuracy of 89%. Fernandes was responsible for 10.2% of the crosses that FC Goa have whipped in. In terms of his defensive duties, he came up with 9.8% of the challenges and 16% of tackles with respect to                                              the entire team.

2.    Rahul Bheke:

Bheke was one of the best overall defenders in the league this season. He has a good skill combination of wing play, passes and aerial prowess. This is one of the reasons why he is slowly being transformed into having a more central role in defence. Bheke was outstanding in the air with 84 aerial challenges. He made 875 passes with a completion rate of 85.3%. Defensively, he has made 249 challenges, 58 tackles and recovered the ball 138 times.

1.    Jerry Lalrinzuala:

Jerry was one of the most influential figures leading to Chennaiyin FC’s title winning season. He won the Emerging Player of the Match 8 times and the Hero of the match once. Apart from stopping players from running past him, his passing, crossing and dribbling have been the key factors in his rise. The Mizoram lad made 961 passes (the most by a fullback and 6th amongst all players) with a completion rate of 82.4%. He also produced 14 key passes, 51 crosses and                                            48 dribbles throughout the season. Being only 19 years old, he has the potential to become one of the best left backs in the country.




This article written by our Sports Data Scientist – Sushant Rao


This Post Has One Comment

  1. Szkło Tematy

    Just to let you know, this content looks a little bit strange from my android phone. Who knows perhaps it is just my phone. Great article by the way

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