Anfield will play host to a huge Premier League showdown in the race for a top four spot on Sunday afternoon when Liverpool welcome Tottenham Hotspur to Merseyside.
Both clubs enjoyed good midweek victories and saw their rivals around them in the table – namely Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal – all lose, leaving just two points separating third-placed Liverpool from fifth-placed Spurs heading into this contest.
Victory for either side will ensure that they end the day in the Champions League places, while Liverpool will also be after revenge having lost the reverse fixture 4-1 at Wembley.
Jurgen Klopp and Mauricio Pochettino have plenty of talent at their disposal, and here we have created a combined XI from both squads, using only players available for this weekend’s match.
Spurs dominate with eight players to Liverpool’s three, starting in goal with the relatively easy choice of captain Hugo Lloris ahead of Loris Karius or Simon Mignolet.
There is only one Liverpool representative in defence too as £75m man Virgil van Dijk gets the nod, despite being left out of the starting XI for Liverpool last time out. Doubts over the fitness of Toby Alderweireld – who has been sidelined since the beginning of November – prevent him from being selected alongside compatriot Jan Vertonghen, who beats the likes of Davinson Sanchez, Dejan Lovren and Joel Matip to the other centre-back spot.
The full-backs also belong to Spurs, with Ben Davies and Serge Aurier’s main competition coming from their own clubmates Danny Rose and Kieran Trippier.
An attacking midfield lineup sees Spurs players dominate once again – but largely due to the need to include two Liverpool forwards. Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen are used to playing further forward, but they can also operate in a deeper-lying playmaker role.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Georginio Wijnaldum and Emre Can provided the main competition from Liverpool, but the Spurs duo are too hard to leave out of this team. Mousa Dembele is also selected as the holding midfielder ahead of Liverpool skipper Jordan Henderson.
For all of Roberto Firmino’s quality, the centre-forward role in this team has to go to the prolific Harry Kane, who has already hit the 30-goal mark this season. Indeed, he is the only player with more Premier League goals than Mohamed Salah, who continues to go from strength to strength during a dream debut campaign which has seen him become the fastest player to reach a quarter-century of goals for the club since 1915.
Sadio Mane rounds off the attacking trio, with his pace and trickery working in tandem with that of Salah on the opposite flank.