Chelsea defender Cesar Azpilicueta has won more aerial duels than any other Chelsea player this season.
He has won an average of 2.7 duels in the air per game. This is somewhat surprising given that Azpilicueta, or Dave, is only around five feet 9 inches tall or 178 cm.
The little Spaniard has won more more defensive headers than David Luiz, Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger who are all significantly taller than Azpilicueta. Gary Cahill and Rudiger who are both towering centre-backs hve won 2.5 aerials per game.
And perhaps this is one attribute that has been underestimated by opponents that have targeted his small size by pinging long balls over to his side of the defence. Which would explain why he has won more aerial balls than other Chelsea players. But still, you can’t deny his great skill at jumping at the right time and his ability to read the game.
Conte recently said that Azpilicueta is one of the best defenders in the world. And rightfully so. He has also made five assists and scored a goal in 13 appearances, often setting up Morata with an incisive inward curling cross meeting Morata’s golden head.
And not only is he one of the best defenders, but he’s also quite possibly the most consistent player in the League right now given that until Swansea, Azpilicueta had started and played in every minute of 74 consecutive matches.
And while he may have been unhappy to end that record after being dropped against Swansea, he had a well earned rest and should be fully fit to play Newcastle today.