EPL 2016/17: Arsenal vs Tottenham Hotspur: Combined XI
The first North London derby of the season is upon as the bitter rivals will take centre stage at lunchtime tomorrow. The derby has been one of the one sought-after fixtures in English football and the bitterness has not toned down one bit as Arsenal again finished above Spurs last season even the Lilywhites were involved in a title race with the eventual champions, Leicester City.
This season guarantees yet another tight race between the two title contenders as Pochettino's men will try and ruin St. Totteringham's Day for Arsenal fans by finishing above them for the first time since 1995.
Arsenal are in blistering form as Wenger's men are joint toppers with 23 points with Spurs fifth in the table, just three points behind the Gunners. It is going to be a battle between Arsenal's attack vs Spurs' defence with Arsenal scoring the second-most goals in the league with 23 goals and Spurs conceding the least number of goals in the league so far with just 5 goals. So let's take a look at the combined lineup from the two rivals as tomorrow guarantees yet another mouthwatering fixture :
Goalkeeper: Hugo Lloris
This might be the most difficult position to choose a player from as both the sides have world class players at their helm. Petr Cech and Lloris are two of the best goalkeepers in the league but the Spurs captain edges out his counterpart because of his current form. Lloris' display against Bayer Leverkusen is the reason why Spurs are still in the running for a round of 16 spot as he had one of his best nights as a Spurs player.
Though Cech has kept the most number of clean sheets (20) in the league since joining the Gunners, Lloris has been a better all round custodian than the veteran.
Right back : Hector Bellerin
Bellerin has vastly improved since emerging from the youth ranks and has established as one of the best fullbacks in the Premier League. He is being targeted by the likes of Manchester City and Barcelona as that speaks of volumes of his immense ability. Though Kyle Walker too has been sensational since Pochettino's arrival, Bellerin is an upgrade on him both offensively and defensively.
Centre back : Jan Vertonghen
The duo of Vertonghen and Alderweireld can be said as the best centre back duo in the league as the Belgians have looked solid since last season after Alderweireld's arrival from Southampton. With Toby out injured for the derby tomorrow, Vertonghen will have his work cut out but the 29 year old has been in fine form recently and edges out Arsenal's new signing, Shkodran Mustafi in this lineup.
Centre back : Laurent Koscielny
After a stuttering start to his Arsenal career, Koscielny bounced back strongly and is now considered as one of the best centre-backs in the league. The Frenchman has been colossal at the back for Arsenal with conceding just two fouls this season and both on Diego Costa which might be justified considering the Spaniard's known antics.
His physical presence and recovery pace along with being an aerial threat in set pieces, Koscielny has been a crucial player for the Gunners and is a must in any lineup which includes Arsenal.
Left back : Nacho Monreal
Another close call between two fullbacks as both Danny Rose and Nacho Monreal have been in good form this campaign. Monreal has improved leaps and bounds this season particularly as he provides a balance in Arsenal's back line which Rose sometimes cannot execute. Rose can be erratic at times and might be out of position but Monreal has managed to do his defensive work really well and gets the nod ahead of Rose.