Tottenham Hotspur vs Liverpool: Combined XI | Premier League 2019-20
Jose Mourinho's men managed a toilsome 1-1 draw against Middlesbrough in the FA Cup on Sunday and have varied reasons to be discouraged following an uninspiring performance by an otherwise strong squad. Their previous Premier League encounter saw them lose 1-0 to Southampton in a game that exposed a defensive fallibility that has plagued the team since Mauricio Pochettino's reign.
Meanwhile, Liverpool have shown no signs of slowing down their exceptional run as they beat Merseyside rivals, Everton, 1-0 in the third round of the FA Cup over the weekend. Jurgen Klopp's men also have a 13-point lead at the summit of the English top-flight after registering a 2-0 win over Sheffield United at Anfield last week.
Spurs have an injury crisis to contend with the likes of Harry Kane, Moussa Sissoko, Hugo Lloris, Danny Rose, and Ben Davies all sidelined due to injury. The Reds, on the other hand, have major doubts on the fitness of Fabinho and Naby Keita and it's unlikely that the duo will start this Saturday.
In this article, we take a look at a combined XI from Tottenham and Liverpool:
Note: Only players who are fit and available for the upcoming game have been considered.
GK: Alisson Becker
Alisson may have struggled to replicate his erstwhile form upon his initial comeback from injury but the shot-stopper has begun making up for it with consecutive clean sheets in Liverpool's last five Premier League games.
The Brazil international has made 12 appearances in the English top-flight so far this season, during which he has kept five clean sheets and conceded five goals. The 27-year-old has also rescued the Reds from atypical defensive mistakes this term, having made 22 saves and five sweeper clearances.
Alisson has abundantly justified his £67 million transfer price tag for Liverpool and could easily secure a spot in any elite team in Europe at the moment.
Left-back: Andrew Robertson
The consistency of Andy Robertson's exponential rise into the bracket of European football's best modern left-backs sees him ease his way into this combined XI.
The indisputable Scot combines defensive intelligence with attacking prowess, showing a keen ability to be prolific in the offensive front without neglecting any of his duties at the back.
The 25-year-old has registered one goal and six assists in 20 Premier League outings in the present campaign and his telepathic understanding with Sadio Mane down the left flank will surely help him increase those numbers at the heavy cost of Liverpool's opponents.
Centre-back: Virgil van Dijk
Virgil van Dijk's influence on Jurgen Klopp's squad since completing a then world-record €84 million transfer in January 2018 has been astounding.
The Netherlands international was the defensive authority behind Liverpool's title charge in the previous season and his displays were paramount as they lifted the UEFA Champions League title at the end of the campaign.
The 28-year-old may not have replicated the same heights in the present campaign but he remains a vital component of the Reds squad as a player who is almost impenetrable defensively and is capable of getting on the scoresheet as well.
Van Dijk, who has racked up three goals in 20 appearances for the Merseyside giants this term, is the obvious choice in one of the centre-back spots in this team and there is really no better option in this area of the field that the towering Dutchman.
Centre-back: Joe Gomez
When the season started, Joe Gomez's position as Liverpool’s first-choice centre-back appeared to be slipping away as an ankle injury halted a promising individual unfolding at Anfield. The resurgence of Joel Matip further alienated him from the role as the Cameroonian established himself as a principal defensive figure towards the end of the previous season.
Injuries to the likes of Joel Matip and Dejan Lovren this season has now put him back on the map as he takes his place alongside Van Dijk at the heart of the Reds' defence. Since then, the 22-year-old has put on reinvigorated performances that match those of his Ballon d'Or-nominated partner and has been fundamental in maintaining the club's recent clean sheet run.
Right-back: Trent Alexander-Arnold
Much like Robertson, there is not much competition for Trent Alexander-Arnold in the right-back position, with Tottenham Hotspur presently short of options in the area after Kieran Trippier left for Atletico Madrid last year.
The Liverpool academy graduate possesses a unique combination of skills- which include pace, creativity and impeccable crossing- that has terrorised opponents down the flanks and his understanding with Gomez has given him further liberties on the other end of the pitch without compensating defensively.
The 21-year-old defender has already tallied two goals and eight assists in 20 league games this season and will undoubtedly be a massive threat to Spurs this weekend.