EFL Cup: Liverpool vs Arsenal - Combined XI
Liverpool or Arsenal have Chelsea to look forward to in the League Cup Final, but they still have two games to play to get to Wembley.
At this stage of the competition, the senior squad members tend to step up to take over the duties of the youngsters who got the team this far.
There might be one or two in the lineup on Wednesday, but most of the team will likely be made up of established players at the clubs.
Below we look at the best-combined XI of the players available for the first leg of the semi final match.
Aaron Ramsdale might be having a headline-grabbing season at the Emirates, but he’s still a long way from Liverpool’s Alisson Becker. The Brazilian is one of the best goalkeepers in the world and easily takes the first spot on the list.
Takehiro Tomiyasu is another at Arsenal who has won over their supporters. Still, Trent Alexander-Arnold is another Liverpool player who is arguably one of the best at his position in the world.
The young Liverpudlian might not get picked for England, but he makes it into the lineup here.
Arsenal’s defence has had questions around it for years, but even with Ben White and Gabriel dos Santos Magalhães playing at their best, they are not match a for Virgil van Dijk.
This statement is getting repetitive, but the Dutch defender is another who is best in the business.
The Reds are missing a few of their top players to the Africa Cup of Nations, but thankfully for Liverpool supporters, Joel Matip stepped down from international duty with Cameroon and has always stayed with the Reds.
Matip has shone this season and has put in a good number of performances that have even outshone his partner at the back, van Dijk.
Andy Robertson hasn’t had his best season, but he still takes the final spot on the backline. Kieran Tierney makes a good fight for the position, but his senior Scottish compatriot gets the nod in this lineup.
The battle for first-choice left back would be closer with Kostas Tsimikas, but with the Greek left back pushing Robertson for his spot, Tsimikas would be picked over Tierney as well.
Fabinho hit the back of the net twice for Liverpool against Shrewsbury at the weekend but is more known for his ability to read the game and stop the opposition before they get going.
Arsenal have a few top midfield players, but Fabinho would still make it into their team.
Jordan Henderson hasn’t been at his best for Liverpool this season, and he misses out to Arsenal’s Martin Ødegaard.
The Norwegian midfielder hasn’t always performed consistently in his time at Arsenal, but he’s shone in several games for the Gunners.
If Thiago Alcântara was fit, this spot would be his.
The last midfield spot goes to the young Englishman Emile Smith Rowe.
The Arsenal midfielder is high up on the goalscoring chart in the Premier League with eight goals so far this season.
Smith Rowe is an exciting young talent and easily makes it into this lineup.
Bukayo Saka only makes it into this lineup because of Mohamed Salah’s absence, but there arguably isn’t anyone who would make it in over the Egyptian.
The young English winger has been linked with Liverpool in the past, and that shows how highly he’s rated. Saka has a long career ahead of him at the top level and has already started to dazzle.
Roberto Firmino’s return from injury happened at the perfect time for Liverpool with Salah and Sadio Mané at the African Cup of Nations.
The Brazilian dusted off his shooting boots in fine style against Shrewsbury with his backheel at the weekend.
Arsenal’s attack isn’t at its most potent since the fall of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, and the Gunners are familiar with Firmino’s ability in the final third, so he gets the nod for the striker role.
Diogo Jota is second in the top-scoring charts in the Premier League and has done this without starting the season as a first-choice starter.
Jota has broken into the team and will make it tough for Jürgen Klopp to drop him with the performances he’s put in.
The Portuguese winger rounds out the final spot in the combined XI deservedly.
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