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The Merseyside derby: Everton and Liverpool combined XI

Sunday 18th December 2016
Monday night brings us one of the most eagerly anticipated matches in English football as Everton take on Liverpool in the Merseyside derby. Both sides possess a wealth of talent: Who gets into the combined XI?

Goalkeeper



Simon Mignolet



Neither side has a top quality goalkeeper. Loris Karius has made several costly mistakes for Liverpool, which has seen Simon Mignolet regain his place in goal. Everton's Maarten Stekelenburg is a decent keeper, but Mignolet's superior shot-stopping gets him the nod.

Defence



Seamus Coleman, Ashley Williams, Dejan Lovren, Leighton Baines



At right-back, it's an even contest between England international Nathaniel Clyne and Republic of Ireland international Seamus Coleman. Both provide pace and an attacking threat from the right-hand side, but Coleman just edges it: three goals this season showcases his versatility.

Ashley Williams is the second Everton defender in the side. After a successful nine seasons with Swansea City, he moved to Goodison Park this summer. Williams is a rock at the back and he's also good on the ball, which puts him above teammates Ramiro Funes Mori and Phil Jagielka.

Mamadou Sakho has been frozen out at Anfield; while Liverpool's newest centre-back Joel Matip has been impressive in his opening ten Premier League games. However, Dejan Lovren is the most experienced of the trio and he's returning to his best, so he deserves a place in this side.

Although Alberto Moreno began the campaign as Liverpool's first choice left-back, James Milner established himself at the Spaniard's expense. Milner is doing a superb job, but the former two times Everton Player of the Season, Leighton Baines, provides greater experience as a full-back.

Midfield



Idrissa Gueye, Jordan Henderson, Adam Lallana



After joining Everton from Aston Villa, Idrissa Gueye is one of the standout players for his side this season. Gueye's impressive form and ability to win the ball back make him an excellent choice in the holding midfield role, ahead of veteran teammate Gareth Barry and Liverpool's Emre Can.

James McCarthy was once sought after by the biggest clubs in England; however, his reputation has since diminished. Unlike that of Jordan Henderson; the Liverpool captain is in the form of his life. Henderson provides high energy and decent technique, which earns him a place in this side.

The man who plays as the attacking central midfielder is crucial; Adam Lallana is selected because of his creative ability. Lallana has been outstanding for Liverpool this season, scoring six times in 14 games, and his consistent performances see him chosen ahead of Ross Barkley.

Attack



Sadio Mane, Philippe Coutinho, Romelu Lukaku



Sadio Mane had a successful two-year period at Southampton before joining Liverpool for £34 million. Mane has been exceptional this season; he possesses pace, trickery and a goal threat, which earns him his place ahead of the likes of Everton's Kevin Mirallas and Gerard Deulofeu.

While Yannick Bolasie's reputation continues to grow, the winger is still trailing behind the standards set by Philippe Coutinho. The Brazilian is Liverpool's main weapon and one of the most technically gifted players in the Premier League, which assures him of a place in this team

Liverpool have options up front: Daniel Sturridge, Roberto Firmino, and Divock Origi. However, none of them currently offer as much as Everton striker Romelu Lukaku. Early in his career, Lukaku proved his goalscoring prowess, and he continues to regularly find the net for Everton.

Merseyside derby XI full line-up
Danny Glendenning

Passions include reading, sport, and nights out with friends. A football fanatic whose writing career began in May 2016. Now 30 years old, lives in South Yorkshire - local team is Doncaster Rovers, although heart lies with Arsenal. Contributing editor for It's Round And It's White. Current claim to fame is an interview with Ron Atkinson. Always looking for work, either editing or writing. Contact via email: Dannysg1988@outlook.com. Or Twitter: @DannySG1988.

 

 


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