Ahead of Sunday’s Premier League meeting between Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur, Sports Mole selects a strongest combined XI from both squads.
The Reds are 15 points better off than their opponents, having played a game more, and they have lost just one of their last 24 home Premier League games against Spurs.
Only title favourites Manchester city (19) have won more points than Liverpool (13) in top-flight meetings between the big six this season, meanwhile, and Manchester United (six) are the only side with fewer points than Tottenham (seven) in such matches.
Spurs still have a number of world-class talents in their ranks, but how many of them would make it into Liverpool’s starting lineup?
Here, Sports Mole selects its strongest combined XI from both squads, using only players available this weekend.
Liverpool snapped up Alisson Becker for a then-record £67m fee for a goalkeeper, surpassed a few weeks later by Kepa Arrizabalaga‘s switch to Chelsea, and the Brazilian has more than justified his price tag. Alisson leads the way in terms of clean sheets this season, keeping 17 in all, compared to nine for opposite number Hugo Lloris.
Tottenham are blessed in terms of their squad depth at full-back, but Kieran Trippier has regressed since the World Cup, whereas Trent Alexander-Arnold has gone from strength to strength. The same is perhaps true of Danny Rose and Ben Davies, who do not offer as much as Andrew Robertson – quite possibly the finest player in his position anywhere on the continent right now.
One of the first names on the team sheet has got to be Virgil van Dijk, who is another player to have lived up to his billing during his first 14 months an Anfield. It says a lot about Van Dijk that he has even managed to make Dejan Lovren and Joel Matip look like top-class performers, but neither of those – nor the injured Joe Gomez – can match Toby Alderweireld, Davinson Sanchez or Jan Vertonghen for quality. As for our hybrid side, it is the latter who gets the nod.
Jurgen Klopp has a number of midfield options to choose from, but this is perhaps an area where they are lacking compared to Man City. Christian Eriksen would be the ideal type of player to slot into midfield and pull the strings, being used alongside two shielding midfielders in Fabinho and Georginio Wijnaldum, who have started 43 Premier League games between them this term.
There is a tough decision to be made up top as, despite Roberto Firmino‘s undoubted talents, he is not in great form at the moment and Harry Kane can offer this side so much more, essentially doing the same job by dropping into the hole. The attack certainly does not lack creativity, with Mohamed Salah – despite dropping off slightly this term compared to last season – and in-form forward Sadio Mane also included.
How Liverpool could line up against Spurs