It's time to pick your 2016/17 Bundesliga Team of the Hinrunde, so select two from this array of centre-backs.
The rock at the heart of the BVB defence, Sokratis has been his usual calm, unflustered presence in a sometimes up-and-down Hinrunde for Die Schwarzgelben. Although yet to find the net, the Greek has completed almost 90 per cent of his passes, as well as winning over two-thirds of his challenges.
Hummels has demonstrated all his abilities since returning to his hometown club Bayern from Borussia Dortmund in the summer. The FIFA World Cup winner scored a crucial winning goal against Bayer 04 Leverkusen on Matchday 12, as well as returning a pass completion rate nearing 90 per cent.
The 19-year-old Spaniard has been a revelation at the heart of the Frankfurt defence and is one of the principal reasons that his side boast a defensive record second only to Bayern in the top flight. Vallejo has featured in all of his side’s fixtures this term, helping to record wins against FC Schalke 04, Bayer Leverkusen and Dortmund in the process.
One of the finest centre-backs in the world, that Boateng’s absence coincided with Bayern’s sticky patch is little coincidence. The Berlin native may only have featured in seven of his side’s fixtures this Hinrunde, his impressive passing and tackling statistics underline his worth to the German record champions.
The veteran Albanian has featured in every minute of Köln’s fine campaign so far and is a key reason why his side sit in the top half of the table. Boasts an impressive pass completion rate of over 85 per cent.
A fine performer at the heart of the Leipzig back four, Orban has stood firm to ensure that his side have maintained their position in the top four as the winter break approaches. The 24-year-old has played every minute of the campaign thus far and scored a crucial late winner at Leverkusen on Matchday 11.