Arsenal meet Tottenham as the north London derby headlines this weekend’s round of Premier League action, a fixture neither side can afford to lose in their push to secure European football.
The two sides have endured indifferent fortunes throughout the current campaign, though it is Spurs who head into Sunday’s clash in the better form having won each of their past three league fixtures.
Ahead of the meeting we’ve analysed each squad and attempted to compile a dream side, here is the Football Faithful’s Arsenal and Spurs combined XI:
Goalkeeper: Hugo Lloris – Tottenham
Hugo Lloris edges our goalkeeping position, despite the inconsistent form of the veteran who has been criticised for several mistakes in recent months.
Lloris, however, is proven on the biggest stage having captained France to World Cup success in 2018, whilst he leads Arsenal’s Bernd Leno for both number of saves and save percentage this season.
The 34-year-old ranks fifth amongst all Premier League goalkeepers with a save percentage of 77.6% and has kept nine clean sheets for the campaign so far, a figure bettered by just three goalkeepers across the division.
Right-back: Serge Aurier – Tottenham
Serge Aurier appeared on his way out of Tottenham last summer following the summer signing of Matt Doherty from Wolves, the defender linked with a move to AC Milan before remaining at Spurs and forcing his way back into Jose Mourinho’s plans.
The 28-year-old was an impressive performer during the club’s strong start to the season and has shown signs of improvement this term, his attacking quality having shone with two goals and an assist for the campaign to date.
Aurier returned from injury during Thursday’s win over Dinamo Zagreb in the Europa League and will be hoping to retain his starting berth for the trip to the Emirates this weekend.
Centre-back: Toby Alderweireld – Tottenham
Perhaps not quite the same player of old but a key figure in the current Spurs side, Toby Alderweireld is the first member of our central defensive pairing.
The Belgium international has a wealth of experience and is the leader of Mourinho’s backline, the club’s greatest struggle having been finding a suitable partner for the 32-year-old this season with Davinson Sanchez the man currently in possession of the shirt.
In truth, this was a difficult selection given the lack of credible contenders, though Alderweireld’s best performances arguably still remain a cut above the central defenders in either squad.
Centre-back: Davinson Sanchez – Tottenham
Davinson Sanchez partners Alderweireld at centre-back having forced his way back in at Spurs, the Colombian international having impressed during the north Londoner’s return to winning ways.
Sanchez has not always convinced since a £42m move from Ajax in 2017, but has the raw attributes to be a success and can prove a formidable opponent when at his very best.
With Eric Dier’s early season form having nosedived for Spurs and none of Arsenal’s options – including Rob Holding, David Luiz and Gabriel – proving reliable for Mikel Arteta, Sanchez takes the shirt as the best of a rather mediocre bunch at present.
Left-back: Kieran Tierney – Arsenal
Preventing an all-Spurs domination of the backline is Kieran Tierney, who just about ousts Sergio Reguilon to claim the left-back spot in our combined side.
Reguilon has proven a shrewd signing for Spurs and has enjoyed some fine performances this season, though Tierney’s consistent showings for Arsenal sees him edge favour here.
The Scotland international has proven a hugely popular figure since moving to the Emirates, establishing himself as one of the most reliable full-backs in the division and showing traits that have seen him hailed as a future Arsenal captain.
Midfield: Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg – Tottenham
Jose Mourinho’s summer reshape of Spurs included the arrival of Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg from Southampton, the £15m purchase of the Denmark international having proven one of the signings of the season.
Hojbjerg has been a revelation as the midfield anchor of Mourinho’s side, snapping into challenges and keeping his side on the front-foot with tigerish aggression and meticulous passing play.
The 25-year-old has instantly cemented himself as a fans’ favourite and the general of the Spurs side, his patrolling of dangerous areas in front of the back four set to be pivotal once more ahead of Sunday’s derby clash.
Midfield: Tanguy Ndombele – Tottenham
With just two spots in our 4-4-2 system it is Thomas Partey who is the unfortunate man to miss out, the Arsenal career of the Ghana international not yet quite catching fire since his summer arrival from Atletico Madrid.
Following a stop-start campaign Partey could perhaps take hope from the man he’ll be facing this weekend, Tanguy Ndombele having bounced back from a difficult maiden season at Spurs to become one of the first names on the team sheet.
The France international is a unique talent with his blend of athletic qualities and outstanding technical skills, possessing an ability to take the ball quickly on the half-turn before driving forward past opposition challenges.
Improving his end product appears to be the next step for a midfielder who has made notable strides this season, Ndombele a player with all the natural qualities to be a leading light in English football.
Right-wing: Gareth Bale – Tottenham
Omitting Bukayo Saka from this side is not a decision that has been taken lightly with the Arsenal starlet having been the Premier League’s best teenage talent this season, but it’s hard to look past Gareth Bale following his recent reminders of his talent.
Bale’s return to Spurs was greeted with much fanfare but his start to the season underwhelmed hugely, struggling to get himself into the side amid form and fitness issues.
Recent performances have seen the Wales international burst into life and he has six goals in his past six appearances across all competitions, netting braces in Premier League victories against Burnley and Crystal Palace and dovetailing effortlessly with Spurs’ attacking options.
Bale has scored more goals against Arsenal than any other Premier League opponent and heads into this weekend’s north London derby in fantastic form.
Left-wing: Son Heung-Min – Tottenham
Amongst the stars of the season, Son Heung-Min and Harry Kane have spearheaded Spurs’ success this season with the former having netted 13 goals for the campaign so far.
The South Korean international has been in scintillating form for much of the season and has provided a further nine assists, with only Kane and Manchester United midfielder Bruno Fernandes having been directly involved in more Premier League goals.
Son’s mix of electric pace, fleet footwork and a never-ending appetite for hard-running have made him one of the most dangerous inside-forwards in European football in recent seasons.
Forward: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – Arsenal
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has not hit the heights of previous seasons this term but remains Arsenal’s most likely avenue to goal, having netted 22 league goals in each of the past two Premier League campaigns.
After a difficult start to the season the Gabon international has shown signs of his best recently, scoring six times in his past six appearances across all competitions, including a first Premier League hat-trick in the win over Leeds last month.
The 31-year-old has been one of the finest forwards in the division since arriving at the Emirates and will be looked upon to deliver when Spurs visit the red half of north London on Sunday.
Forward: Harry Kane – Tottenham
The best centre-forward in the Premier League and amongst the very best in world football, Harry Kane was a certainty to get into this combined side following his performances in recent seasons.
Kane has been a prolific goalscorer for Spurs and has enjoyed a remarkable season this term, providing both cutting-edge goal threat and creativity with his 13 assists the most in the division.
The England captain also ranks second in the race for the Golden Boot with 16 goals in 2020/21, the forward just one behind leader Mohamed Salah in his bid to finish as the Premier League’s leading scorer for a third time.
Harry Kane in all competitions for Tottenham this season:
• 25 goals
• 16 assists
41 goals contributions in 37 appearances! 🔥 pic.twitter.com/0JxTUxMOe8
— Footy Accumulators (@FootyAccums) March 11, 2021
Kane will be relishing the chance to take on Arsenal once more this weekend after scoring 11 goals in just 12 league appearances against the Gunners, the forward the highest-scoring player in north London derby history.