Seb: My Combined Tottenham and Arsenal XI

Arsenal versus Tottenham. 1st versus 3rd. Emirates Stadium, 12:30pm, Saturday October 1st. The stage is set, but who makes it into a Combined North London XI? We've put Seb Jenkins to the test and asked for his lineup...

Seb Jenkins

With the North London Derby coming up this weekend, and both Tottenham and Arsenal flying in the Premier League, it seems a perfect time to look at a potential combined XI…

Goalkeeper – Hugo Lloris

No matter how much Arsenal fans attempt to argue this one, I’m afraid that there really is no contest.

Aaron Ramsdale has impressed since making the move to the Emirates, but when put up against a World Cup winner and a top three keeper in the league like Hugo Lloris, there is only ever going to be one winner.

Right centre-back – Cristian Romero

This was between Romero and Ben White for me, with the latter being a centre-back who has covered at right-back this season.

Once again, White has performed very well, but Romero has just made the RCB role his own since joining the Premier League and is arguably Tottenham’s best defender, so it seems impossible not to include him.

Central sweeper – Eric Dier

When choosing between Gabriel and Eric Dier, it really is a close call.

However, Dier has been one of the in-form centre-backs over the last year, recently getting his England recall and he thrives in the back three sweeper role.

A little unfair to Arsenal and Gabriel that we are playing a back-three formation, but on this occasion, I would have to go for Dier.

Left centre-back – William Saliba

One of the most impressive central defenders at the start of this new season.

He has transformed Arsenal’s ability to play out from the back, while also providing his own goal threat from set pieces.

He simply has to make the XI over the likes of Ben Davies and Clement Lenglet.

Right wing-back – Bukayo Saka

We are going for a back three formation, and with Emerson Royal struggling to impress this season at RWB for Spurs, it seems only logical to look towards Arsenal.

Yes, Saka is ideally a right-winger, but he does have experience at wing-back and puts in a lovely cross with both feet.

In a wing-back system, he would also have plenty of chances to get in behind.

Left-wing-back – Ivan Perisic

There really are riches to choose from on the left side.

Sessegnon has performed well for Spurs of late, while Arsenal have both Kieran Tierney and Oleksandr Zinchenko, however, you really can’t look any further than Ivan Perisic.

Three assists in the Premier League already, another in the Champions League, and one more for Croatia this week. The former Inter Milan man is a class act.

Central midfield – Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg

It was tough to choose between the solidity of Hojbjerg and creativity of Bentancur, but the Dane just offers you the perfect all-round game for a hard-working midfield two.

He has also added two goals and two assists to his game so far this season.

Central midfield – Martin Odegaard

Arsenal’s creative chief and exactly the type of player Tottenham are missing.

It is brave to play Odegaard in a midfield two rather than in a three or a number ten role, but let’s be attacking.

He could be the perfect option to keep this keep ticking over in possession, while also kickstarting the transition.

Right-forward – Gabriel Jesus

Sorry, Jesus, but you’re back on the right like your Man City days.

Although, in truth, he would likely drift central when Harry Kane drops into the pockets, so a free role for the Arsenal man.

His quality on the ball and eye for goal has been very impressive this season and he just has to make the XI.

Centre-forward – Harry Kane

It’s Harry Kane… I mean, come on. Enough said.

Left-forward – Heung-min Son

His form over the past week has saved him and given him the nod over Martinelli, Richarlison, and Kulusevski.

A hat-trick of high quality against Leicester then two goals in two games for South Korea.

Sonny is in a purple patch and you never pass up on that.

Manager – Antonio Conte

A proven winner, tactical mastermind, and thrives in the back three formation, although Arteta has impressed a lot more with his set-up and fluid football this season.

The bench:

Aaron Ramsdale, Gabriel, Rodrigo Bentancur, Dejan Kulusevski, Martinelli, Richarlison, Oleksandr Zinchenko, Ben White, Thomas Partey.

The team in full:

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