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Combined XI: Liverpool vs. Arsenal

Ahead of Monday's Premier League clash between Liverpool and Arsenal, Sports Mole picks a combined XI from both squads.

Liverpool and Arsenal will lock horns in the Premier League on Monday evening with both sides looking to continue their impressive starts to their respective 2020-21 campaigns.

Arsenal have beaten Fulham and West Ham United in their first two league outings this term to claim six points, while Liverpool have also made a 100% start, overcoming Leeds United and Chelsea.

These two sides locked horns in the Community Shield at Wembley at the end of last month, and it was the Gunners that triumphed on penalties after a 1-1 draw in the capital.

Arsenal also beat Liverpool towards the end of the 2019-20 Premier League season, but Jurgen Klopp's side recorded a 3-1 victory when they last met at Anfield in England's top flight last August.

Some of the Premier League's biggest stars will be on display on Monday and with that in mind, Sports Mole picks a combined XI from both squads, using only players available for the game.


Combined XI: LIV vs. ARS

In all honesty, it was not difficult to pick the goalkeeping spot in this particular side. Bernd Leno was actually one of Arsenal's better players last season before picking up a knee injury, but Alisson Becker is deserving of the spot between the sticks here. The Brazilian has conceded three times in the league this season but has proved his class since arriving from Roma and was always going to feature in this XI.

The decision to pick three of Liverpool's back four was straightforward, with Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andrew Robertson arguably the best two full-backs in the Premier League, while Virgil van Dijk has been a revelation for Klopp's side since arriving from Southampton. Van Dijk was not at his best on the opening weekend of the season against Leeds, but there is no question that he is one of the outstanding central defenders in England's top flight.

Joe Gomez missed Liverpool's win over Chelsea through injury, but the England international is expected to return to the XI against the Gunners. Gabriel Magalhaes has shown encouraging signs since arriving at Arsenal, although it is difficult to pick him in this side as it is still very early in the season. As a result, Gomez gets the nod over the likes of David Luiz and Rob Holding to make it an all-Liverpool back four.

Further forward, Liverpool also dominate the midfield as Fabinho lines up alongside Thiago Alcantara. Jordan Henderson will be absent through injury, while it is difficult to pick either Granit Xhaka or Dani Ceballos over the Liverpool pairing. Fabinho was excellent in central defence against Chelsea last time out, while Thiago showed his class in the second half at Stamford Bridge. The Spaniard is an incredible signing for the English champions and absolutely sails into this starting XI.

It was also difficult to leave out any of Liverpool's front three, but the need to include Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang at the tip of the attack means that Roberto Firmino will operate slightly deeper here. Aubameyang has been in impressive form for the Gunners this season, scoring twice in three appearances in all competitions, and he will be looking to hit the goal trail again in 2020-21.

Firmino is yet to get off the mark this term and only actually scored nine Premier League goals last season, but the Brazilian's importance for the Merseyside giants is unquestionable, and it was difficult to leave him out for the likes of Willian and Alexandre Lacazette, who should both start for the visitors on Monday night.

Sadio Mane would have been the first name on this particular teamsheet, and the 28-year-old has made a brilliant start to the season, scoring twice in three appearances. He was in irresistible form at Chelsea last weekend, scoring a brace as Frank Lampard's side lost their first match of the season.

Mohamed Salah, meanwhile, was also never going to be left out of this combined XI. The Egyptian scored an excellent hat-trick against Leeds on the first weekend of the season and has now actually managed 97 goals in 155 appearances for Liverpool in all competitions since arriving from Roma, which is a staggering return from the wide forward.

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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Everton6411149513
2Liverpool64111514113
3Aston Villa5401125712
4Leicester CityLeicester6402138512
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs6321168811
6Leeds UnitedLeeds6312129310
7Southampton6312109110
8Crystal Palace631289-110
9Wolverhampton WanderersWolves631268-210
10Chelsea623113949
11Arsenal63038719
12West Ham UnitedWest Ham622212848
13Manchester CityMan City52218808
14Newcastle UnitedNewcastle6222810-28
15Manchester UnitedMan Utd5212912-37
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton61231012-25
17West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom6033614-83
18Burnley501439-61
19Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd601539-61
20Fulham6015514-91

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