Liverpool-Tottenham combined XI: Is this the front three you would pick?

Friday, May 31st, 2019 5:34pm

By James Gray @jamestingray

Liverpool and Tottenham face off in Madrid on Saturday but what would a team featuring the best of both squads look like? James Gray had a crack at picking a starting XI on his show on Friday.

Mauricio Pochettino will have a selection dilemma of his own on Saturday with Harry Kane desperate to play after recovering from an ankle injury.

However, the England striker has not played since he picked up the problem in their Champions League quarter-final and his boss will be concerned about a lack of match-sharpness.

Jurgen Klopp meanwhile has spring plenty of surprises in his midfield selections in this year's European competition - but probably not as many as James has in his combined XI.

James Gray on Love Sport Radio

"In terms of shape, in order to best utilise the skills I've got available to me, I'm going to play a 5-2-1-2 if that makes any sense.

"Right centre-back is an obvious choice for me and it's Joe Gomez. I know that's harsh on Toby Alderweireld who I think is a good player and a good ball-player, but Gomez when fit this year has blown me away: his composure on the ball, his long-legged interceptions, his ability in the air, his tackling. Everything about him stinks of being a brilliant centre-half, and especially a ball-playing one.

"I would want to play two in midfield sitting deep which is where it gets really difficult.

"You don't want to be too lightweight and you need players who can come and offer [an option].

"We saw Spurs fall down when Victor Wanyama played there because he is a shadow of the player he once was as he cannot come and offer.

"When fit, I want to pick Harry Winks, who could form a brilliant combo with Jordan Henderson, but that would make it very hard to get Christian Eriksen into the team.

"That's why I've picked Henderson and Eriksen and will rely on press all over the pitch to make up for the lightweight midfield, where people also underrate how hard-working Henderson can be."

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