The biggest clash in the Premier League this weekend involves two sides of relatively even quality, who both employ similar styles of energetic and offensive football. I
ndeed, Tottenham hosting Liverpool is about as even a match as you can get on paper, so we asked Football FanCast’s readers earlier this week to vote for who would get into an XI combining the high-quality personnel of both sides. Check out who made the cut and who didn’t below…
With more than two thirds of the vote, Liverpool’s summer signing Alisson beat Hugo Lloris to a place between the sticks.
That’s a little harsh on the Tottenham No.1 considering he’s been comfortably one of the best goalkeepers in the Premier League during his six seasons with Spurs, whereas the Brazilian has been in the English game for a mere matter of months.
But perhaps because Alisson is still accompanied by the glamour of a monstrous price-tag, or perhaps because he embodies the new breed of glovesmen who are so confident with their feet, FFC readers turned to the Liverpool man for the first slot in our combined XI.
A forward-thinking back four, laden with technically gifted defenders. Virgil van Dijk and Jan Vertonghen are both Rolls Royces of centre-halves but compliment each other nicely as well; whereas the Dutchman is dominant in the air and bravely defends on the front foot, the Belgium international is one of the best centre-back partners in the business – he covers well, he’s incredibly comfortable on the ball and he’s a naturally smart footballer.
Andrew Robertson and Kieran Trippier, meanwhile, both mix energy with deadly deliveries from out wide. This combined back four should keep plenty of clean sheets, but also cause problems for the opposition going forward as well.
A midfield that encompasses a bit of everything – the sheer technical class and creative vision of Christian Eriksen, the frightening energy and agility of Liverpool’s summer signing Naby Keita and the sturdiness and defensive nous of Fabinho.
Admittedly, we’re yet to see the Brazilian feature in the Premier League so his selection over some of the other holding options comes as a surprise. But Jordan Henderson and Mousa Dembele haven’t exactly covered themselves in glory this term and Fabinho showed his quality at Monaco as their set-piece taking midfield destroyer.
There’s no room for Harry Kane in this Combined XI, making it eight Reds representatives compared to just three from north London. But perhaps there’s a genuine logic here.
After all, Kane’s struggled to meet his usual standards during the opening weeks of the season and although he’s no doubt one of the best strikers in the world, Liverpool’s front line just wouldn’t function with the same energy and potency without its unsung hero, Roberto Firmino.