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Chelsea has played their first three games of the season with the same central defensive pairing of Andreas Christensen and Kurt Zouma due to the absence of Antonio Rudiger who returns next month.

The 26-year-old defender is the best and most experienced defender on the team and Frank Lampard will be counting on those attributes to tighten up an already leaky defence for the rest of the season with his leadership skills and play.

When he returns, one of either Zouma or Christensen will have to vacate that position.

Stats this season

Christensen averaged 2 tackles per 90 on 2.5 attempts while Zouma has averaged 0.5 tackles per game on 1 tackle attempt per game.

Zouma has better ball anticipation with an average of 2 interceptions made per game compared to Christensen’s 1.5 per game.

Zouma has not lost an aerial battle so far this campaign, winning all four of them but Christensen, on the other hand, has lost 3 of his 6 aerial duels this season.

(all stats via Whoscored **)

Christensen has been slightly better in possession of the ball with his 86.8% passing accuracy on 79 passes compared to Zouma’s 84.5% on 82 passes which means the former passed the ball fewer times but more efficiently within the same timeframe.

The Whoscored rating of both players were 5.84 for Zouma and 6.81 for Christensen.

The fact of the matter is both defenders have been underwhelming so far but Andreas Christensen makes the cut ahead of Kurt Zouma.

Reason being that Rudiger, as good as he can be, can be prone to errors, so can Zouma. Christensen is a calmer head under pressure and a more composed player on the ball than both players as well.