/football/arsenal/league-cup/feature/combined-xi-liverpool-vs-arsenal_376690.htmlCombined XI: Liverpool vs. Arsenal - Sports Mole MX23RW : Wednesday, October 30 00:01:38| >> :120:4420:4420:
Oct 30, 2019 at 7.30pm UK at ​Anfield
Liverpool
vs.
Arsenal

Combined XI: Liverpool vs. Arsenal

Ahead of Wednesday's EFL Cup showdown between Liverpool and Arsenal, Sports Mole selects its strongest combined XI from both squads.

Liverpool will be looking to continue their dominant domestic form when they entertain Arsenal at Anfield in the last 16 of the EFL Cup on Wednesday night.

The Reds have stormed into a six-point lead at the top of the Premier League table and, the Community Shield aside, have not lost a competitive match on English soil since January.

Liverpool's unbeaten run at Anfield now stretches back 13 months to the third round of this competition last season, which gives an indication of the task facing an Arsenal side still reeling from their damaging 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace on Sunday.

Here, Sports Mole selects its strongest combined XI from both squads, using only players available for Wednesday's match.



Combined XI: LIV vs. ARS

Both managers are expected to make sweeping changes to their teams for this match, but from the players available to them it is Liverpool who dominate this XI.

The fit-again Alisson Becker is an easy choice ahead of Bernd Leno in goal, while there is also little debate about the full-back positions, with Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andrew Robertson currently streets ahead of Kieran Tierney, Calum Chambers, Sead Kolasinac and Hector Bellerin.

There is a slight injury doubt over Virgil van Dijk after he picked up a dead leg at the weekend, but he is expected to be available even if Jurgen Klopp is unlikely to risk him. The Dutchman is, of course, a shoo-in for this team when fit, but the place alongside him is more fiercely contested considering Joel Matip's knee injury.

David Luiz and Sokratis Papastathopoulos are Arsenal's first-choice centre-back partnership at the moment, but it is a damning indictment of their continued struggles in defence that Dejan Lovren, who has only played a bit-part role this season, makes this XI ahead of both of them. Joe Gomez was also in contention, although he seems to have slipped behind Lovren in the pecking order for now.

Liverpool's near-monopoly in this team continues in midfield with Fabinho and Georginio Wijnaldum, although Matteo Guendouzi is pushing his claim for consideration with the type of performances that have seen him tipped as a future Arsenal captain. The current skipper Granit Xhaka will likely be taken out of the firing line after his outburst at fans on Sunday, with the other main competition for midfield places coming from Liverpool quartet James Milner, Jordan Henderson, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Naby Keita.

Arsenal are strongest in attack and the likes of Alexandre Lacazette and Nicolas Pepe would challenge for a place in most Premier League teams, even if the latter has not quite hit the ground running in England. It is impossible to leave out the Liverpool trident of Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah, though, with the latter expected to be available for Wednesday's match despite struggling with an ankle problem at the weekend.

The sole Gunner in this XI leads the line, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang managing to maintain his frightening scoring record despite the inconsistent nature of those around him. The 30-year-old has seven goals in 10 league games this season and, without him, Unai Emery's side would be in a lot more trouble than they find themselves in anyway.

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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool109102381528
2Manchester CityMan City107123292322
3Leicester CityLeicester106222581720
4Chelsea106222316720
5Arsenal104421514116
6Crystal Palace104331012-215
7Manchester UnitedMan Utd103431310313
8Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd1034398113
9Bournemouth103431313013
10West Ham UnitedWest Ham103431214-213
11Tottenham HotspurSpurs103341615112
12Wolverhampton WanderersWolves102621313012
13Burnley103341415-112
14Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton103341214-212
15Aston Villa103251516-111
16Everton103161016-610
17Newcastle UnitedNewcastle10235615-99
18Southampton10226925-168
19Norwich CityNorwich102171124-137
20Watford10055521-165

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