Kompany, Lescott, Zabaleta, Clichy and Richards were the foundation of last season’s title win, when the Blues let in just 29 goals, the best defensive record in the country.
But this season Mancini has added 19-year-old Matija Nastasic to the mix, and he has proved a revelation.
Assistant manager David Platt: “I think all of the defenders, including Joleon when he’s come in, have performed very, very well.
“I think we had the best defensive record last year.
“I haven’t had a look at it for a few weeks but it wouldn’t surprise me if we have the best one again.
“Matija has done very, very well. He’s only young, he’s come out of Serie A and it’s a different style of football, but he’s come in and settled down very well.
“He is only 19 years of age as well. It is a little bit more blood and thunder in the Premier League and he has done well.
“He is very accomplished and assured on the ball and for him to come in and do so well at such a young age is very pleasing, although we always knew he had ability.
“Am I surprised? No, because we watched him. We knew he had ability and he has played for the Serbian national side so it’s not a surprise, but equally we all know the Premier League is cut and thrust – it’s thunderous.”