Tottenham Hotspur vs Liverpool: Combined XI
After a stoic display against Real Madrid, Tottenham Hotspur welcomes Liverpool, fresh from a 7-0 thrashing of lowly Maribor, in the game of the weekend. Who gets into a combined XI?
Manager: Mauricio Pochettino
The accomplishment that Tottenham Hotspur has managed to keep hold of Pochettino should be lauded. He is one of the best coaches in world football and it is surely just a matter of time until an elite club approaches him. His ability to man-manage and actually develop players sets him apart from most. With his clear purist ideology translating into his players: yet he can also be pragmatic and it is this awareness that sometimes one must approach a game differently that elevates him above a Jurgen Klopp who often refuses to compromise.
This system allows for the sturdy Spurs defence and the maximal inclusion of both side's creative sparks.
GK: Hugo Lloris
A string of stunning saves meant Spurs held out for a draw at the Bernabeu. Lloris is one of the best keepers in the league and though the Frenchman is prone to a mistake, he is far superior to the options available to Liverpool.
RWB: Serge Aurier
A gamble, but a calculated one. Pochettino bought Aurier knowing his reputation and past mistakes, but he decided to trust the young man and Aurier looks more assured with every passing game.
LCB: Jan Vertonghen
Bizarrely, Veronghen does not receive the credit or praise he deserves. Strong in the tackle, tactically aware and composed in possession, Vertonghen is a complete centre-back.
CB: Toby Alderweireld
The best centre-back in the league: quite high praise, but it is warranted. Spurs have a defensive gem and it is no surprise that top clubs are taking a keen interest in the Belgian.
RCB: Davinson Sanchez
At 21-years-old, Sanchez's maturity on the ball belies his tender age. A costly acquisition over the summer, but he is a quality addition to Spurs' back line and will evolve into a fantastic centre-back.
LWB: Ben Davies
Davies has missed the last few games with an illness but should be back for the Liverpool match. It seems odd to describe Davies as one of Spurs' best-attacking options, not only because he is a left-back, but because of the array of attacking talent Spurs boast, but the Welshman has been electric down the left for Spurs so far.
Advanced CM: Chrisitan Eriksen
Eriksen normally plays CAM, but for the sake of attempting to include the best players, he has been dropped down to CM; Eriksen is a wonderfully talented and creative player, with his vision integral Spurs' attacking play.
CM: Jordan Henderson
For all the criticism levelled at him, is an important member in Klopp's side. Calm in possession yet firm in the challenge, Henderson's game receives fewer plaudits than it should due to the understated nature of his style.
LAM: Mohamed Salah
Salah is surely one of the best buys of the summer window and at £35 million looks a relative bargain in today's sensational transfer climate. Incisive, deliberate and daring, Salah has settled into life nicely at Liverpool: find that final touch - a goal, assist - and he will be amongst the best in the league.
RAM: Phillipe Coutinho
It was difficult to leave out Alli, but Coutinho gets the nod. Ali can produce the sublime, but Coutinho's consistency in threading balls through, unravelling defences and whipping teasing balls in means he is selected.
ST: Harry Kane
No justification needed, here. One of the best strikers in Europe currently, we must now involve Kane in the conversation of world class.