MX23RW : Friday, May 24 05:30:34| >> :600:12221467:12221467:
Dec 29, 2018 at 5.30pm UK at ​Anfield
Attendance: 53,326
Liverpool
5-1
Arsenal
Firmino (14', 16', 65' pen.), Mane (32'), Salah (45' pen.)
FT(HT: 4-1)

Combined XI: Liverpool vs. Arsenal

Ahead of Saturday's Premier League clash between Liverpool and Arsenal, Sports Mole selects a strongest combined XI from the two squads.

The final round of Premier League matches in 2018 contains a top-five battle on Saturday as unbeaten league leaders Liverpool host Arsenal at Anfield.

Results have fallen very kindly for Jurgen Klopp's side over the Christmas period, leaving them six points clear at the top of the table halfway through the season.

However, Arsenal are one of only three teams they have failed to beat so far this season and the Gunners will be looking to bounce back from a run of just one win in four games.

Here, Sports Mole selects its strongest combined XI from both squads, using only players available for this weekend's match.



Combined XI: LIV vs. ARS

Liverpool boast the best defensive record after 19 games of any top-flight season in English football history, so they have to dominate the defence in this team too considering Arsenal have shipped 25 goals to Liverpool's seven.

Alisson Becker is an easy choice in goal ahead of Bernd Leno, while Arsenal's injury problems in defence also make choosing the back four even easier. Hector Bellerin, Konstantinos Mavropanos and Rob Holding remain sidelined, while Shkodran Mustafi and Nacho Monreal are doubtful.

Trent Alexander-Arnold returned from his own injury absence against Newcastle United in midweek - a match which saw Dejan Lovren score the opener. Lovren's place in this team is perhaps the most at risk with Laurent Koscielny and Sokratis Papastathopoulos providing competition, but he is beginning to shed his error-prone reputation this season.

Much of that could be down to the commanding presence of Virgil van Dijk alongside him, with his displays this season leading to some proclaiming him the best defender in the world, while Andrew Robertson continues to go from strength to strength at left-back.

Arsenal's first representative comes in midfield as Lucas Torreira earns a place, although there is plenty of competition from both sides in that area of the field. Granit Xhaka has improved this season while Matteo Guendouzi has also made a positive start to life in North London.

Any of Liverpool's midfielders - James Milner, Jordan Henderson, Georginio Wijnaldum or Naby Keita - could easily slot into this team, but purely on recent form we have opted for Fabinho, who has really settled at Anfield now and registered his first goal for the club against Newcastle on Boxing Day.

Liverpool dominate the forward positions too with Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah all making the team, although the latter features on the right this time rather than his newer position leading the line.

Salah's relocation is down to the presence of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang up front, meaning that the league's top two goalscorers feature in this XI. The likes of Xherdan Shaqiri, Mesut Ozil and Alexandre Lacazette were all in contention for the front four positions, but the level of quality was just too high for them to get into this team.

Who will win Saturday's Premier League clash between Liverpool and Arsenal?

Liverpool
Draw
Arsenal
Liverpool
73.7%
Draw
7.2%
Arsenal
19.1%
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Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang celebrates scoring against Burnley on December 22, 2018
Read Next:
How Arsenal could line up against Brighton
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CManchester CityMan City38322495237298
2Liverpool38307189226797
3Chelsea38219863392472
4Tottenham HotspurSpurs382321367392871
5Arsenal382171073512270
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd381991065541166
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves38169134746157
8Everton38159145446854
9Leicester CityLeicester38157165148352
10West Ham UnitedWest Ham38157165255-352
11Watford38148165259-750
12Crystal Palace38147175153-249
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle38129174248-645
14Bournemouth38136195670-1445
15Burnley38117204568-2340
16Southampton38912174565-2039
17Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton3899203560-2536
RCardiff CityCardiff38104243469-3534
RFulham3875263481-4726
RHuddersfield TownHuddersfield3837282276-5416

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