North London Derby is tomorrow and here is our combined XI
It will no doubt go down as one of the biggest North London Derbies of all-time as Tottenham Hotspur host Arsenal tomorrow lunch-time with both teams battling for the Premier League title.
The duo both slipped up midweek with Arsenal losing to Swansea City and Spurs losing to West Ham United, but all eyes will be on White Hart Lane tomorrow as they both look to bounce back.
However, instead of going against each other, we thought what would a team look like if they had to combine.
So here is our North London XI.
Goalkeeper – Hugo Lloris – Tottenham Hotspur
It’s VERY close between Hugo Lloris and Petr Cech, but we have gone with the Spurs captain due to being a bit younger meaning he can play for us longer.
No questions asked, both are up there with the very best, not only in the Premier League, but in the world, but between the sticks for us will be Lloris.
His leadership and ability to win Spurs points is incredible and he’s a main figure of the best defence in the Premier League.
Close, but Lloris just edges it. Cech isn’t a bad substitute goalkeeper to have though.
Right-Back – Hector Bellerin – Arsenal
Although he’s suffering for form in recent weeks, there is no questioning Hector Bellerin’s ability.
Kyle Walker and Kieran Trippier have both had very impressive seasons for Spurs, but we’ve just gone with Bellerin due to his emergence in the past two years.
His raw pace is lethal going forward and tracking back, which helps massively in a very fast league.
Yes he’s not the finished product just yet, but he’s shown all the signs of being a great right-back for years to come.
Centre-Back – Laurent Koscielny – Arsenal
Sadly for Arsenal, this guy is injured for tomorrow’s game, but he comfortably makes it into a combined XI.
One of the best defenders in the Premier League and it’s no surprise that the likes of Bayern Munich and FC Barcelona have been sniffing around him.
He’s a very quick central defender and is brilliant at reading the game, making him one of the best in England and across Europe.
Easy choice to include Koscielny.
Centre-Back – Toby Alderweireld – Tottenham Hotspur
It was a close call between Toby Alderweireld and his team-mate Jan Vertonghen, but this seasom we think the former has been better.
Not only has he been a rock at the back for Spurs, he’s also contributed with a handful of goals from corners. Alderweireld was superb for Southampton last season, and he’s got even better this year with Tottenham.
Him and Koscielny would make an unbreakable partnership.
Left-Back – Nacho Monreal – Arsenal
Probably one of the most underrated players in Arsenal’s squad and also in the Premier League.
Nacho Monreal was a walking error when he first joined the Gunners, but over the past two seasons, he’s actually been one of their most consistent players.
Danny Rose has had a solid season for Spurs, but in terms of consistency, you can’t look past Monreal.
He’s become a vital part of Arsenal’s back-line and is usually the only one to stay calm when under severe pressure.
Centre-Mid – Dele Alli – Tottenham Hotspur
Unless you’re an admirer of League One football, you probably hadn’t heard of Dele Alli until this season.
The youngster was signed from MK Dons and surprisingly he’s become a vital part of Spurs’ title-challenging team.
He’s scoring goals for fun from the midfield position and he’s also assisting goals for the likes of Harry Kane, Erik Lamela and Christian Eriksen.
His impressive and yet shocking form has even seen him win an England call-up and he’s likely to be included in Roy Hodgson’s squad for the European Championships.
What a year for him.
Centre-Mid – Santi Cazorla – Arsenal
Boy have Arsenal missed this chap.
Santi Cazorla has been out of action since November, and Arsenal’s midfield hasn’t been the same since.
Aaron Ramsey isn’t firing like he was a couple of seasons ago in that central position and the whole of Arsenal’s play is a lot slower without the Spanish maestro.
If he was fit, he’d easily slot into our midfield alongside Dele Alli.
Right-Mid – Christian Eriksen – Tottenham Hotspur
Not his natural position, but if he wants to make the team he’ll have to play there.
Christian Eriksen hasn’t had the greatest of seasons with Tottenham Hotspur, mainly because Dele Alli is making the headlines, but he’s still a top-class player.
He’s deadly from set-pieces, which is where Arsenal often struggle to score from, and he would bring a lot to the combined XI.
Could he play on the wing? Possibly not, but in this day and age, players can free-roam.
Centre-Attacking Mid – Mesut Ozil – Arsenal
Arguably Arsenal’s player of the season and also a contender for PFA Player of the Year.
Mesut Ozil has been instrumental to the Gunners this season, providing them with 18 assists in the league, which is just two shy of Thierry Henry’s long-standing record.
Some people are still questioning him, which is utterly ridiculous, but slowly and surely, Ozil is proving his critics wrong.
Left-Mid – Alexis Sanchez – Arsenal
Arguably not having his greatest season, but Alexis Sanchez still has to make the team.
He proved what he can do last season, scoring goals for fun and carrying the Gunners at time, and although this season he’s struggled for form, he makes our team.
Alexis has been struggling in recent weeks and hasn’t recovered from his injury picked up back in November, but on his day, he can be a game-changer and a match-winner.
Has to make the starting XI.
Striker – Harry Kane – Tottenham Hotspur
He may have started the season slowly, but Harry Kane has shown that he isn’t a one-season wonder.
He beats the likes of Olivier Giroud, Theo Walcott and Danny Welbeck to our striker position and that’s because he’s a natural goalscorer.
Easy choice to go with and a deserved spot as the lone-striker.
So there is our combined XI for the North London duo.
Who would make yours?
Written by Alex Batt – @AlexBatt