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Arsenal vs Tottenham: combined XI

Who would get into a side if you combined the two squads?

Arsenal and Tottenham meet in an early north London derby on Sunday, with both sides boasting unbeaten starts to the season as things stand, and the pair will be desperate not to see that end against their bitter rivals.

Spurs have enjoyed an excellent start to life under Ange Postecoglou, helped by several impressive new signings and a return to form for Yves Bissouma, a player criminally misused by former boss Antonio Conte.

With only an opening day draw to Brentford blotting their copybook at the moment, they sit above Arsenal courtesy of goal difference, having put five past Burnley to boost that.

The Gunners are yet to hit top gear, but have still managed to put up 13 points via some narrow wins over Nottingham Forest, Crystal Palace and Everton, though they were held to a draw by Fulham.

Now welcoming Spurs to the Emirates, they will be desperate to continue their impressive run against the Lilywhites, where they haven’t lost a Premier League home north London Derby since 2010. Spurs, meanwhile, will be keen to lay down a marker of their own, with many pegging Arsenal as title challengers once more.

With so much quality on show from both sides, it is hard to pick out an 11, but we have tried to do just that below.

GK: Aaron Ramsdale

England’s no.2 was a key part of helping his side finish 2nd last season, and is likely to have a similar importance this time around even with the added competition.

RB: Ben White

An unsung hero on the red side of north London, White is consistently turning in top performances from fullback despite not getting the goals and assists to make a defender stand out.

CB: William Saliba

Arguably the best defender in the Premier League, William Saliba’s absence cost Arsenal the title last season, and his return has coincided with more defensive stability.

Though Cristian Romero has started the season strongly across north London, the Frenchman is a shoo-in for this side.

CB: Gabriel

A much closer battle than their centre-back partner in this side, Gabriel has been in and out of the Arsenal side in the opening salvo of the season but appears to have won his place back from Jakub Kiwior.

Micky van de Ven has looked a smart purchase by the Lilywhites, but with just five games to go off it is hard to tell just how good he is yet.

LB: Destiny Udogie

Tottenham’s new arrival has started like he means business. The Italian has been excellent in his first five outings for Spurs and seems to fit what Ange Postecoglou wants from his fullback perfectly. A massive upgrade on previous left-backs at the club in recent years.

DM: Declan Rice

One of the best defensive midfielders in the Premier League, Declan Rice has already begun showing why Arsenal were willing to shell out £105m for him over the summer.

The ex-West Ham man has already mastered what Mikel Arteta wants him to do at the base of midfield, and will be crucial to any title aspirations the Gunners have this season.

CM: Martin Odegaard

Described by Gary Neville as a player Pep Guardiola would sign ‘in a heartbeat’, the Gunners skipper continues to improve every season and has begun this one in excellent form.

The Norwegian has registered two goals in his five games so far this campaign, and will be the key to any success that they have against their north London rivals.

CM: James Maddison

Though not quite at the level of Odegaard, Maddison is undeniably effective in the final third. Already looking right at home with Spurs, the England man has been the talisman for Postecoglou’s new brand of football at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and has already racked up two goals and two assists this season.

RW: Bukayo Saka

Perhaps second only to Mohamed Salah in the Premier League when it comes to right-wingers, Bukayo Saka has emerged as a key player for both club and country, to the extent where he is almost the first name on the teamsheet for both.

Already up to two goals and two assists for the season alongside Maddison, he is irreplaceable in the Arsenal side.

ST: Gabriel Jesus

Though the dynamic between Gabriel Jesus and Richarlison is flipped at international level, it is the Arsenal man that makes our side here.

Richarlison ended his goalscoring hoodoo against Sheffield United and could finally be about to step into the giant hole left by Harry Kane, but Jesus gets the nod for what he brings to the Arsenal side as well as his goals, with the Gunners looking far better with Brazil’s second choice no.9 starting games.

LW: Heung-Min Son

So often in the shadow of Harry Kane, the south Korean endured a torrid season last time out but looks a man reborn in the early weeks of the latest campaign.

He underlined his class with a hat-trick against Burnley, and has been a key part of Tottenham’s strong start to the season.

Picture of Ben Browning

Ben Browning

Football writer and analyst. Long-time writer of all things Arsenal and avid watcher of European football. Happy to discuss all things football over on Twitter.

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