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Tottenham Hotspur v Arsenal: north London derby combined XI

Sunday 30th April 2017
­ It's derby weekend and the fiercest rivalry in English football is set to reignite on Sunday. In what's set to be the last ever North London derby at White Hart Lane, Tottenham and Arsenal will do battle in a match that means a great deal for each club.

This year it's Tottenham, not Arsenal, who still have a title to fight for while the Gunners are looking to scrape top four.  How the tables have turned eh, but regardless of the circumstances, it's safe to say that football in London has never been in a stronger position. As the two teams prepare to clash, we have put together a north London derby combined XI, based not only on form but also ability.

Hugo Lloris (GK)

Strong, dominant, agile and quick, Hugo Lloris is everything Petr Cech used to be. He's also what every top keeper aspires to be. Not only does he bail his team out of many situations, he organises the back four when under siege. Captain, leader and saviour. Tottenham wouldn't be where they are today without the solid foundation Lloris provides.

Kyle Walker (RB)

Already England's best right-back, Kyle Walker is officially now north London's best right-back. The 26-year old hasn't put a foot wrong this season. He's influential to build up play and ever reliable in defence. Many lambasted the full-back for just being a failed winger that uses his speed to make up for any defensive errors, but it's clear to see he's shown his exceptional defensive positioning this season. Something Hector Bellerin has seemingly yet to learn.

Laurent Koscielny (CB)

As the only saving grace for Arsenal's defence, Laurent Koscielny has suffered so much this season. The Frenchman has time after time been left to defend against two players by himself due to the poor positioning of Shkodran Mustafi. Arsenal have only lost 5 games this season when Koscielny has played the full 90 minutes. Noticeably both times he exited the Champions League games early against Bayern Munich, 10 goals were conceded.

Toby Alderweireld (CB)

Solid, reliable and dependable, Toby Alderweireld has proved he can defend to the highest level everywhere he‘s played. Not only is he a prime example of what a centre-back should be, he also excels at being a model right-back. He's basically as close as they come to being a complete defender. He's the reason why Spurs can seamlessly switch from a back three to a back four, he plugs all the holes and occupies the relevant lanes.

Nacho Monreal (LB)

Perhaps one of, if not, the most underrated players on this list. Nacho Monreal provides a subtle brilliance to every Arsenal attack. Everyone knows Arsene Wenger's build up play relies on the width of his full-backs and Monreal takes that element to a new level. Unlike his teammate, Bellerin, Monreal times his runs to attack with precision, ensuring he never leaves his defensive partners exposed.

Victor Wanyama (DM)

Upon his arrival to White Hart Lane, Victor Wanyama was labelled as nothing more than an unskilled destroyer. However, under the tutelage of Mauricio Pochettino, the Kenyan has developed into the ultimate holding midfielder. Not only reliant on his physical attributes, Wanyama has ensured he's four steps ahead of his opponents, allowing his positioning to force rival attackers into spaces they don't want to be in. Pochettino has also taught the defensive midfielder to be more influential in attack, compelling him to create 28 chances for his teammates.

Moussa Dembele (LCM)

Moussa Dembele is a player that possesses so many fine attributes but such glaringly obvious flaws it's frustrating. The Belgian dribbles with the ball through players like no one we've ever seen before. He has the ability to carry the ball 60-70 yards through the pitch, turning defence to attack in seconds. However, many use his often poor final decision making against him. He's forever slated for not shooting, but it's his on the ball confidence that holds the key to Pochettino's risky system.

Dele Alli (RCM)

For the past two seasons, there's not been a Spurs player more talked about than Dele Alli. It's not hard to see why. The 21-year old has racked up 26 goals in 65 Premier League appearances, these are literally the numbers of a striker, not midfielder. Add to that he's English and the media hype cycle goes all year round. But for once there may actually be substance to all the attention. Alli has proven over two consecutive seasons that he has what it takes to perform at the highest level. Long may it continue. Is he the next Frank Lampard?

Alexis Sanchez (RW)

As one of the best wingers in the world, it was impossible to leave Alexis Sanchez out the North London derby combined XI. The Chilean is literally the star of Arsenal and also the team's talisman. This season, Sanchez has seemingly carried his teammates on his back, scoring 25 goals and providing 12 assists in the process. When others haven't stepped up, he's stepped up for them. Playing Sanchez on the right allows him to focus more on creating chances in the box rather than dropping deep to cut in.

Mesut Ozil (LW)

Every team needs a creator and there's no one who creates more chances than Mesut Ozil. Often criticised for his lackadaisical body language, he has been a constant talking point in matters pertaining to Arsenal. The German is often the centre of attention for either good or bad reason, after almost every single match. But a player of such stature and talent will always push through the attention and deliver when it most matters.

Ozil has created 71 chances in 27 appearances this season, many of which have been converted by his Chilean counterpart. With both Harry Kane and Alexis Sánchez making runs in behind, this could be a match made in……London.

Harry Kane (ST)

As England's best ever striker, Harry Kane would start for any team on the planet today. He is now third in the all-time Premier League goals to minutes ratio, averaging a goal every 127 minutes, something only bettered by Sergio Aguero and Thierry Henry. That's pretty elite company. For Kane to be achieving such feats at the age of 23, only goes to show how talented this kid is and the potential of what he could achieve in the future.

The north London derby combined XI

Mathaeus Abuwa

Arsenal fan with ample amounts of passion for both Cristiano Ronaldo & Real Madrid. I'm one of those bandwagonist hipster fans that will claim to know everything about football, but only watches the El Clasico outside of the Premier League. Forgive me, I'm trying. Oh yeah, #WengerOut. 

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