Only two Gunners would get into a combined Arsenal and Liverpool XI - and that’s being generous

Ahead of their showdown on Wednesday evening, Dave Tindall puts together a composite line-up and it’s dominated by Jurgen Klopp’s players.

Liverpool's title hopes have been reignited thanks to a seven-game winning streak and an untimely stumble from Manchester City.

But how much better would the Reds be if they could cherry-pick the best players from a fellow top-four side?

Well, as it turns out, not much.

Aaron Ramsdale vs Alisson Becker

Ramsdale has really established himself as Arsenal's No.1 this season, his gregarious personality making him a popular and authoritative figure. But he's still a notch or so below Alisson, who continues to make difficult saves look easy rather than flinging himself around. Alisson has 15 Premier League clean sheets this season to Ramsdale's 12.

Vote: Alisson (Liverpool)

Cedric Soares vs Trent Alexander-Arnold

Cedric Soares Trent Alexander-Arnold

Not much controversy here. Trent vs Chelsea's Reece James is a good pub debate but the Liverpool man operates on a different level to the Portuguese right-back. Alexander-Arnold tops the Premier League's assists table with 11 this season, while Cedric hasn't managed any. Next!

Vote: Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool)

Kieran Tierney vs Andy Robertson

Kieran Tierney Andy Robertson collage

A better battle this one as the Scottish pair are two of the best left-backs in the Premier League. Robertson's numbers are far superior, though. He has nine assists in the top-flight this season, while Tierney has only managed three. Both have scored just a single goal each. Tierney deserves respect but Robertson gets the nod.

Vote: Robertson (Liverpool)

Gabriel vs Virgil van Dijk

Soz Gaby. Any left-sided centre-back in world football would lose out to the Dutchman here. Opposition strikers see futility too with some not even attempting to try and take him on such is the Liverpool centre-back's combination of speed and strength. Van Dijk is sixth in the Premier League list for aerial battles won, his tally of 95 way higher than the Brazilian's 37. Let's just move on.

Vote: Van Dijk (Liverpool)

Ben White vs Joel Matip

Ben White Joel Matip collage

Matip has just been voted Premier League Player of the Month which shows what White is up against. The Cameroon star's leggy forays forward delight Liverpool fans and resulted in Matip scoring a superb goal against Leeds. White is settling in well now in the Arsenal defence after his big-money move but again the vote goes to Merseyside ahead of north London.

Vote: Matip (Liverpool)

Thomas Partey vs Fabinho

Partey at his best is a real force at the base of Arsenal's midfield: he's decent on the ball and offers great protection to the back four. But, again, can you really put him above Fabinho and his telescopic legs? In addition to breaking up numerous opposition attacks with his uncanny ability to read the play, the Brazilian has added goals to his game this season, scoring six times in all comps.

Vote: Fabinho (Liverpool)

Granit Xhaka vs Jordan Henderson

Granit Xhaka Jordan Henderson

Xhaka is a better player than many give him credit for but for sheer reliability and presence Henderson definitely gets the nod. Put it this way: if it's a big game, who is more likely to do something daft and get sent off? Henderson has played more minutes this season than any other Liverpool midfielder and, quite simply, is worth his weight in gold.

Vote: Henderson (Liverpool)

Martin Odegaard vs Thiago Alcantara

Now it gets more interesting. The eyes say Thiago but what does cold-hearted reason say? If you want a season full of reliability, where's your money? Let's go back to that minutes played tabe: Thiago has 920 under his belt, while Odegaard has nearly double that with 1,739. The Norwegian has five goals and three assists to his name in the Premier League while Thiago has just one of each. Tin hat on, let's go Odegaard.

Vote: Odegaard (Arsenal)

Bukayo Saka vs Luis Diaz

Bukayo Saka Luis Diaz

It's difficult to make direct comparisons with the attacks as the two sides play different systems. It means the manager of the Arsenal-Liverpool XI would have to shuffle things around a little so to get Saka into the team - and he narrowly deserves a spot - the Arsenal man will have to switch to the left of a three. Even then he's up against Luis Diaz who looks a massive talent but Saka's body of work this season - eight Premier League goals and five assists - books him a place.

Vote: Saka (Arsenal)

Alexandre Lacazette vs Sadio Mane

Lacazette is doing a fine job as the fulcrum of Arsenal's attack and seven assists show his worth. But just four goals is a poor return. Mane, who can play down the middle, is the joint-second highest scorer in the Premier League this season with 12. And that's despite not taking penalties and missing games when winning the Africa Cup of Nations with Senegal.

Vote: Mane (Liverpool)

Gabriel Martinelli vs Mo Salah

Gabriel Martinelli Mohamed Salah

That leaves Martinelli up against Salah, the equivalent of a young soap actor up against Robert De Niro. Salah is 8 (vidiprinter: eight) goals clear in the Premier League Golden Boot race having banged in 20 this season and check out those assists stats too. Salah has 10, second only in the league to his team-mate Trent. Martinelli is adding thrust to the Arsenal attack but Salah is on a different planet.

Vote: Salah (Liverpool)

Conclusion

Liverpool celebration vs Arsenal Jan22

Final count? Arsenal 2, Liverpool 9.

And, despite the imbalance, if anyone has cause for complaint it's probably Liverpool!

The above XI reflects season-long performances but imagine if this were a Champions League final and Combined Arsenal-Liverpool FC were about to take on Bayern Munich.

In that case, there's every reason to think Thiago displaces Odegaard and the front three are Salah right, Diaz left and Mane through the middle.

Saka loses the right-hand slot to Salah which leaves a choice of Martinelli vs Diaz down the left and, on current form, it's the Colombian.

And, of course, this side can't even find room for Liverpool's Diogo Jota, who shares second spot in the Premier League scoring charts with Mane and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Plenty may baulk at a complete Reds monopoly and Klopp's men being given all 11 starting berths.

But, to be honest, Arsenal were lucky to get two!

READ MORE: Manchester City will still win the Premier League title despite Palace blip, claim the bookies

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