Tottenham and Arsenal combined XI: Our writers make their selections


rsenal have been top dogs in north London for most of the Premier League era but there has a power shift between the clubs and Spurs are favourites going into Sunday’s derby.

Tottenham are top of the Premier League and Arsenal are down in 14th after their worst start to a season since 1981.

But which players would get into a combined Tottenham and Arsenal XI? We asked our writers to select the best team from both squads.

4-3-3: Lloris; Aurier, Gabriel, Dier, Reguilon; Hojbjerg, Ndombele, Lo Celso; Aubameyang, Son, Kane.

The summer signing has been Arsenal’s standout defender and a major threat in the opposition’s box, all while adjusting to the Premier League in a struggling team. Alderweireld, while superb against Manchester City, remains one of the most replaceable components of Jose Mourinho’s side, as Joe Rodon’s full debut against Chelsea demonstrated.


Toby Alderweireld misses out to Arsenal counterpart Gabriel

/ Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images )

There are few Arsenal challenges elsewhere in defence and midfield, especially with Thomas Partey currently sidelined, and the only real question was whether Moussa Sissoko should get the nod over Giovani Lo Celso, as he surely will on Sunday.

As much the better footballer, the Argentine makes the cut here.

Controversially, I am also having Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in the front three. True, he has been woefully off colour but on paper he is still one of the finest players in the Premier League and with better service from Harry Kane, Lo Celso and Tanguy Ndombele, you imagine he would quickly rediscover his mojo.

Bukayo Saka deserves a mention, so too Steven Bergwijn, but neither would strike the same fear into a defence as Aubameyang, even in his current state.

3-4-3: Lloris; Dier, Gabriel, Tierney; Aurier, Ndombele, Hojbjerg, Reguilon; Son, Kane, Saka.

My team is based on current form and fitness, which means it is very nearly an XI entirely made up of Tottenham players.

There is still doubt around the fitness of Toby Alderweireld, while Thomas Partey is another who is excluded due to a lack of games and fitness. The defence is where Arsenal have the most involvement, with Gabriel at the heart of a back three. He has been one of the Gunners’ best players this season and is joined by Eric Dier, who looks much improved, and the ever-reliable Kieran Tierney.


Bukayo Saka continues to go from strength to strength for Arsenal

/ Getty Images )

The midfield is a clean sweep for Spurs and Moussa Sissoko is very unlucky to miss out. He has been excellent so far, especially against Manchester City, and there is an argument he should play and Tierney be axed – so the team would be set up in a 4-3-3.

In attack, Harry Kane and Heung-min Son are no brainers but there is a debate around who joins them. Ordinarily, you would pick Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – however, he is so out of form I have overlooked him. Instead, Bukayo Saka gets the nod after a fine start for club and country.

4-3-3: Lloris; Aurier, Gabriel, Dier, Reguilon; Ndombele, Hojbjerg, Sissoko; Son, Kane, Saka.

Given the form of both sides, it’s very hard to make an argument to include too many Arsenal players.

Mikel Arteta’s side are not far from crisis ahead of the derby, while Spurs sit proud at the top of the table.


Spurs forwards Heung-min Son and Harry Kane feature across the board

/ Getty Images )

But Toby Alderweireld’s fitness doubts give Gabriel the opportunity to come into the back four.

Beyond that it is a real struggle to find room for someone like Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, given his struggles for goals – but I’m going with Bukayo Saka in an advanced position just because he is such an exciting prospect.

Otherwise it’s Spurs all the way, with their midfield, which is effective if unimaginative, and the deadly duo of Harry Kane and Heung-min Son.

4-3-3: Lloris; Aurier, Gabriel, Dier, Reguilon; Hojbjerg, Ndombele, Lo Celso; Bale, Son, Kane.

This was very nearly a clean sweep for Spurs and, if it wasn’t for the fitness doubts around Toby Alderweireld, it would have been.

Bernd Leno has done well in goal for Arsenal so far this season and was perhaps the only other Gunners player who came close to being in the reckoning. In the back four, Joe Rodon made an encouraging start against Chelsea in his full Premier League debut, but Gabriel has settled well and will fly the flag for the red half of north London in this side.


Gunners centre-back Gabriel Magalhaes prevents a Tottenham clean sweep

/ Arsenal FC via Getty Images )

Arsenal’s midfield lacks any sort of creativity and with Thomas Partey injured, no one else gets near the trio of Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, Tanguy Ndombele and Giovanni Lo Celso. Frankly, Dele Alli might have stood a better chance than anyone from Mikel Arteta’s ranks.

With Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang having become a shadow of the regular Golden Boot contender we’ve become accustomed to, it’s two Spurs players flanking Harry Kane in the forward line, though an honourable mention goes to Bukayo Saka.

4-3-3: Lloris; Aurier, Dier, Gabriel, Reguilon; Hojbjerg, Ndombele, Sissoko; Saka, Kane, Son.

Well, this is bleak. I’ve picked this team on current form and fitness, so the injury doubt around Toby Alderweireld gives Arsenal their only route into the back five via the excellent Gabriel. Kieran Tierney has been the best of the rest of Gunners defenders, but Sergio Reguilon has been better.

You can’t argue with Spurs’ outstanding midfield three, though I suppose there is at least hope from an Arsenal perspective that a fit Thomas Partey would eventually come into contention.


Kieran Tierney doesn’t beat out Tottenham right-back Sergio Reguilon (R)

/ Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images )

Up front, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s form is in the toilet and in any case, amid all the calls for him to play through the middle, it would be too easy to farm him out onto the wing in this side.

In the interests of some sort of balance, I’ll plump for Bukayo Saka on the left, though it’s not a particularly bullish selection with Steven Bergwijn going well.

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