Alan Smith: Spurs’ Alli beats Ozil to place in England-Germany combined XI

England friendlies are usually as exciting as watching paint dry, but clashes with Germany, regardless of circumstance, always have a bit of edge to them.

The Three Lions travel to Germany this week to take on Die Mannshaft on Wednesday night and Gareth Southgate will be hoping for a morale boosting win, similar to the one that lead to plenty of praise for the national side after they beat the old enemy 3-2 in March last year.

Former England striker Alan Smith, who represented his country 13 times in the space of four years, now works as a pundit for Sky Sports and picked his Germany vs England Xi earlier this week, combining the top talents from both sides.

And whilst most would agree with his picks, one has lead to some surprise; despite his allegiance to Arsenal, twice wining the First Division Golden Boot with the Gunners, Smith has selected Tottenham’s Dele Alli over Arsenal playmaker Mesut Ozil at the tip of midfield.

Explaining the decision, he said; “[Dele Alli is] a fantastic talent. He’s full of goals and energy. It may surprise some that I’ve picked him ahead of Mesut Ozil but, on current form, Ozil simply doesn’t deserve to make the team.”

In fairness, Ozil’s been out of action over the last few weeks and has managed just two assists since the turn of 2017, also failing to score, whereas Alli’s notched up four goals and three assists in his last six outings.