Picking a Combined Tottenham-Liverpool XI
Liverpool travel to London to face Tottenham on Sunday afternoon. The Reds enjoyed two big wins against Spurs last season, 9-0 across the two clashes in the Premier League.
A similar result to the 4-0 win at White Hart Lane would kickstart the new season for Brendan Rodgers’ side.
But Spurs will be a different proposition under new boss Mauricio Pochettino. The Argentinian has made some nice signings this summer and will look to get he best out of his compatriot Erik Lamela this season.
Up until last season, Liverpool and Spurs were the two sides looking to try to force their way into the top four. The Reds did so last season in emphatic style, but the loss of Luis Suarez in the summer has led to comparisons to how Spurs lost Gareth Bale 12 months earlier.
Those comparisons, though, lack perspective and all-around context; Liverpool are a settled club and manager now and have added smartly to their squad, losing Suarez much earlier in the summer than Spurs lost Bale.
We’re making this combined XI between the sides based upon proven Premier League performances for their respective clubs (so, Lamela fans, you may be disappointed here).
We're going for a 4-3-3 shape.
GK: Hugo Lloris
French stopper Hugo Lloris is one of the best keepers in the Premier League and certainly an improvement over Simon Mignolet.
In fact, Lloris is a player who would suit Brendan Rodgers' Liverpool perfectly; he's able to play the sweeper-keeper role and comfortable with the ball at his feet.
RB: Jon Flanagan
We're not really spoilt for choice at right-back.
More established players Glen Johnson and Kyle Walker are both out of form for their respective sides, so we're giving Jon Flanagan the nod.
The young Englishman is solid, strong in the tackle and would add passion to our attacking side.
CB: Martin Skrtel
Martin Skrtel was one of the standout centre-backs in the Premier League in 2013/14, weighing in with seven goals, too.
The Slovakian gets the nod as the first centre-half in the XI.
CB: Jan Vertonghen
Belgium international centre-back Jan Vertonghen was often used out of position for both club and country last season, but he deserves his place in this XI in his preferred position.
A pairing of Skrtel and Vertonghen would have good balance.
LB: Ben Davies
Left-back has been a troublesome area for both clubs in recent years.
Liverpool have signed Spaniard Alberto Moreno to hopefully solve their issue, but after just one Premier League appearance he's yet to earn his place in this fantasy XI.
Former Swansea man Ben Davies impressed last year and his arrival at Spurs seems to have worked wonders for Danny Rose, too!
DM: Steven Gerrard
Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard anchors the midfield in his new deep-lying playmaker role from which he can dictate play.
His experience, leadership and set-piece ability would be invaluable to this side.
CM: Jordan Henderson
In the engine room of the side is England man Jordan Henderson. He enjoyed two of his best performances last season for Liverpool in the two games against Tottenham.
Hendo has gone from much-maligned to key man for both club and country. His work off the ball is especially invaluable and underappreciated, pressing opponents and forcing mistakes high up the pitch.
CM: Philippe Coutinho
The third midfielder is a tough choice, but one for which Philippe Coutinho gets the nod.
The Brazilian is much more at home in a central role, where he displays greater tenacity and is able to influence play in an attacking sense too.
FWD: Raheem Sterling
On the right of attack is the impressive Raheem Sterling.
The 19-year-old has had a standout year in 2014 for both club and country. He's now become versatile and tactically clever, adding to his clear technical attributes.
FWD: Christian Eriksen
Playing from the left of the front three is attacking midfielder Christian Eriksen.
The Dane joined Spurs from Ajax a year ago and has begun the new season in good form again. He and Coutinho could interchange and really supply the creativity in the side.
FWD: Daniel Sturridge
Leading the attack is England forward Daniel Sturridge.
The 24-year-old has been a revelation since his move from Chelsea to Liverpool a year-and-a-half ago, already collecting an incredible 36 goals in 51 games for the club.
That means no place for a few high-profile players; namely Liverpool new boy Mario Balotelli and Spurs playmaker Lamela.
Subs: Mignolet, Walker, Sakho, Sandro, Paulinho, Lamela, Balotelli.