Tottenham v Arsenal combined XI: Kane and Son headline our North London side
The first North London derby of the season is coming our way this Sunday, and we’re fascinated to see how Tottenham and Arsenal go about maintaining local pride.
While Spurs appear to be on the cusp of something special, Arsenal seem to be struggling to find their way under new management.
And ahead of this weekend’s key clash, we thought we’d combine the best of both worlds, for our North London XI…
GK – Hugo Lloris
There isn’t much in it between Hugo Lloris and Bernd Leno, truth be told. But we’re giving the gloves to Spurs’ World Cup-winning skipper having kept four clean sheets in his last five league games.
DF – Eric Dier
We all know Eric Dier can fill in at centre-half, but the England international has thrived at the back this season alongside Toby Alderweireld. Spurs have the best defence in the Premier League, and Dier has played a key role in that.
DF – Gabriel
We’ve got to get some Arsenal players in here somewhere, and credit where credit’s due, Gabriel has been a welcome addition to the Gunners’ backline. Quick and mobile, Gabriel still has much to learn, but at 22-years-old, time is on his side, and he’s becoming a potent threat at the other end of the pitch too.
DF – Toby Alderweireld
Defending is all about partnerships, however, and while Gabriel has had to switch between David Luiz and Rob Holding as his defensive partner, Toby Alderweireld has struck up a solid foundation with Dier at Spurs.
RWB – Hector Bellerin
With Matt Doherty injured and Serge Aurier inconsistent, the door is open for Hector Bellerin on our right wing-back role.
It feels like the coolest Spaniard in London has been around for decades, but Bellerin is still only 25-years-old. The likes of Trent Alexander-Arnold may have a greater presence going forward, but few can match Bellerin’s energy and defensive nous.
LWB – Sergio Reguilon
Spurs might have grabbed themselves a player here in Sergio Reguilon. The Spaniard has impressed since his summer move, offering composure and energy aplenty along the left flank, and he gets the nod over Kieran Tierney.
MF – Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg
Based on performances so far, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg is a candidate for signing of the season.
The Danish international has brought much-needed steel in Tottenham’s midfield, adding protection for Dier and Alderweireld while allowing freedom for Tanguy Ndombele, Harry Kane and Son Heung-min going forward.
Hojbjerg ranks eighth for fouls committed this season, and third for tackles. ‘Nuff said.
MF – Thomas Partey
We know he’s only made a handful of appearances, and it’ll take time for him to settle in, but there’s plenty of signs that Thomas Partey is going to play a big role in Arsenal’s future. It’s up to Arteta to figure out how best to utilise him, and who to play alongside the Ghanaian international.
MF – Tanguy Ndombele
Steven Bergwijn was a contender here, but his Spurs team-mate Tanguy Ndombele gets the spot. After a steady first season in the Premier League last term, the 23-year-old is really looking like a player now, and is revelling in a more advanced role, as part of Spurs’ swashbuckling forward displays.
FW – Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
While he’s not enjoyed his usual glut of goals so far this season, nobody is doubting that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang would be plundering the back of the net should he be given the chance.
The Gabon striker would walk into most XIs, and he strolls into ours as part of a mighty North London attacking trio.
FW – Son Heung-min
With nine goals already this season, Son Heung-min is striking fear into Premier League defences week-in week-out. The South Korean is on course to smash his personal best tally of 14 Premier League goals, and he’s developed a remarkably clinical partnership with the final man in our North London XI…
FW – Harry Kane
They said he couldn’t play under Jose Mourinho. How wrong they were. With seven goals and a whopping nine assists already this season, no player has directly contributed to more Premier League goals than Harry Kane.
The Spurs’ skipper seems to have added even more attributes to his all-round game this season, including a canny knack for sensational through-balls, usually to put Son in on goal. Of course he’s in our XI.
Tottenham v Arsenal odds
Such is the form of Jose Mourinho’s side right now, that our traders make them odds-on for North London glory at 19/20.
Arteta’s Arsenal, struggling for goals in the Premier League, are 29/10 for a massive three points, while a draw is 5/2.
All odds and markets correct as of date of publication.