MX23RW : Tuesday, January 22 23:59:28

Combined XI: Tottenham Hotspur vs. Liverpool

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

Even accounting for the lingering feel-good factor around international football following this summer's World Cup, the return of the Premier League this weekend will be greeted with open arms - particularly when it kicks off with a top-four showdown between Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool.

Liverpool go into the game sitting top of the table following four wins from their first four games - their best-ever start to a Premier League campaign and one which has reinforced suggestions that they could be genuine title challengers this season.

Tottenham's own 100% record was ended last time out, meanwhile, when they fell to a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Watford at Vicarage Road, leaving them looking for a response at Wembley.

The two sides boast some of the best attackers and sturdiest defences in the league, so unsurprisingly they can provide a very strong combined XI.

Here, Sports Mole selects the best team from both squads, using only players available for this weekend's match.



Combined XI: TOT vs. LIV
Alisson Becker still has a lot to prove if he is to live up to the price tag - and his mistake against Leicester City last time out will ensure that the magnifying glass is well and truly on him now - but Hugo Lloris's absence this weekend due to a thigh injury makes it an easy choice in goal.

The defensive line is tougher to select, with Spurs often playing a back three and both sides boasting some of the best defenders in the division. Jan Vertonghen and Davinson Sanchez have impressed for Spurs, while Joe Gomez has made a very bright start to the season for Liverpool, but the two outstanding centre-backs from that selection are Virgil van Dijk and Toby Alderweireld, who would form a formidable partnership at the heart of the defence.

There are plenty of options out wide too; at Spurs alone Serge Aurier and Kieran Trippier vie for the right-back slot while Ben Davies and Danny Rose provide enviable depth on the opposite flank, and when you add the likes of Andrew Robertson, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Nathaniel Clyne into the equation, it makes for a difficult choice. However, for all of Alexander-Arnold's promise, Trippier remains ahead of him, while Robertson has established himself as one of the best left-backs in the Premier League since breaking into the Liverpool team.

In midfield, Mousa Dembele narrowly gets the nod ahead of Jordan Henderson for the pivot role, while the likes of Naby Keita, Georginio Wijnaldum and Eric Dier are also unfortunate to miss out. None would look out of place in this team, but Christian Eriksen's creativity makes him an automatic choice, whereas James Milner's age-defying statistics continue to amaze every week.

These two sides can also combine for a formidable strikeforce, but there is little competition in the wide areas with Mohamed Salah and joint Premier League top-scorer Sadio Mane representing Liverpool. Roberto Firmino has arguably reached world-class level in his own right - and there is an argument to be made that he dovetails with Salah and Mane better than any other player would, but when it comes to an out-and-out striker there is still none better in the league than Harry Kane.

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

Tottenham
Draw
Liverpool
Tottenham
26.1%
Draw
12.0%
Liverpool
62.0%
Naby Keita in action for Liverpool in a friendly on July 19, 2018
Read Next:
How Liverpool could line up against Spurs
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool23193154134160
2Manchester CityMan City23182362174556
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs23170648232551
4Chelsea23145440192147
5Arsenal23135548321644
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd23135546331344
7Watford239683232033
8Wolverhampton WanderersWolves239592731-432
9Leicester CityLeicester2394102929031
10West Ham UnitedWest Ham2394103034-431
11Everton238693433130
12Bournemouth2393113342-930
13Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2375112532-726
14Crystal Palace2364132332-922
15Southampton2357112540-1522
16Burnley2364132343-2022
17Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2356121931-1221
18Cardiff CityCardiff2354141944-2519
19Fulham2335152151-3014
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2325161340-2711

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