Tuesday, June 25

Premier League



Combined XI: Manchester City vs. Tottenham Hotspur

:Headline: Combined XI: Manchester City vs. Tottenham Hotspur:ID:356614: from db_amp
Sports Mole selects its strongest combined XI from Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur ahead of Saturday's crucial Premier League showdown at the Etihad.
By , Editor | 2mo

Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur meet for the second time in the space of three days on Saturday when they face off in the Premier League having played out a classic Champions League encounter on Wednesday.

Five goals flew in inside the opening 21 minutes to set the tone for an unforgettable match which only got more dramatic when VAR first confirmed a controversial Spurs goal and then disallowed what would have been a tie-winning fifth Man City goal in stoppage time.

As it was, Man City's 4-3 triumph was in vain as Spurs progressed on away goals, reaching the semi-finals for the first time in their history and ending Man City's quadruple dreams in the process.

Saturday could see them deal another fatal blow to City's hopes of retaining their Premier League title, but victory for the champions would lift them back above Liverpool at the top of the table.

Here, Sports Mole selects its strongest combined XI from both squads, using only the players available for this weekend.

While Wednesday's match was a classic for the neutrals, neither goalkeeper will have been particularly pleased with the goals flying in. Hugo Lloris made some vital contributions over the two legs, but he is prone to a high-profile error, too, and Ederson remains ahead of him in the goalkeeping pecking order to earn the gloves in this XI.

Former Spurs full-back Kyle Walker gets the nod at right-back ahead of England teammate Kieran Trippier, who has admitted that he hasn't been at his best this season but is beginning to rediscover some of his top form towards the closing stages of the campaign.

On the opposite flank Danny Rose's form over the course of the season sees him pip the fit-again Benjamin Mendy and Ben Davies to the left-back spot, but perhaps the most difficult position to pick in this team are the centre-backs.

Aymeric Laporte was poor in Wednesday's meeting between the two sides, making costly errors for Tottenham's first two goals, but it was a rare off-day for the Frenchman who has otherwise established himself as Pep Guardiola's most trusted defender this term.

The likes of John Stones, Nicolas Otamendi, Vincent Kompany, Jan Vertonghen and Davinson Sanchez can all stake a claim to join Laporte at the back, but Toby Alderweireld narrowly edges them out and continues to remind Spurs about how big a loss he will be as his contract ticks down.

There is unsurprisingly lots of competition for places in midfield too, although the selection of Fernandinho is relatively straightforward despite the improving form of Victor Wanyama in recent weeks.

Another player on an upward trajectory is Kevin De Bruyne, who is beginning to show his very best form again following an injury-plagued campaign, even if his three assists on Wednesday night ultimately proved to be in vain.

Christian Eriksen acknowledged that he was the luckiest player around after VAR cancelled out Man City's late fifth goal, which stemmed from the Dane's errant pass inside his own half. Eriksen played his part in the away-goals win, though, assisting his side's second goal on the night and his selection in midfield creates a devastatingly creative trio.

The likes of David Silva, Dele Alli, Bernardo Silva and Ilkay Gundogan could all easily slot into the middle of the park, while Bernardo is also slightly unfortunate to miss out from the attacking trio.

It is impossible to leave out Raheem Sterling on current form, though, with the England international adding another two goals to his tally on Wednesday night and then only being denied a clutch hat-trick by that dramatic late VAR decision.

Son Heung-min's recent displays are also enough to earn him a place on the opposite wing having matched Sterling's feat of scoring twice on Wednesday, after also netting in the first leg to ease the impact of Harry Kane's absence.

Indeed, with Kane still sidelined the centre-forward role is one of the more straightforward choices in this XI with Sergio Aguero having firmly re-established himself as Man City's number one striker ahead of Gabriel Jesus, and Lucas Moura providing the main competition from Spurs.

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last updated article - 2019-04-19 08:37:13:
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