Emile Smith Rowe makes our Liverpool and Arsenal combined XI — but who joins him?
Emile Smith Rowe makes our Liverpool and Arsenal combined XI — but who joins him?

Liverpool and Arsenal will finally meet in the first leg of their Carabao Cup semi-final this evening.

After the clash was put back a week due to a coronavirus outbreak in the Reds camp, both sides will be chomping at the bit to take a huge step towards next month’s final where Chelsea lie in wait.

Ahead of tonight’s battle, we have pulled together our LiveScore combined XI from across the two squads. 

Goalkeeper: Aaron Ramsdale (Arsenal)

While Liverpool’s brilliant Brazilian Alisson remains one of the best goalkeepers in the business, he has not been at his highest level this term with high-profile errors against West Ham and Tottenham.

On the other hand, Gunners stopper Aaron Ramsdale was widely written off when arriving at the Emirates last summer but has been one of the success stories of the season — he just gets the nod in our XI.

Right-back: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool)

At right-back, Takehiro Tomiyasu has gained plenty of plaudits in his debut Premier League campaign and the Japanese international has been a near ever-present for Mikel Arteta.

However, there can be no trumping Liverpool’s mercurial academy star Trent Alexander-Arnold, who has risen through the Reds ranks to establish himself as one of the best in the business.

Centre-back: Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool)

Virgil van Dijk has been close to his brilliant best this season for Liverpool
Virgil van Dijk has been close to his brilliant best this season for Liverpool

Another man who can categorically be considered among the world’s elite, Virgil van Dijk is an easy first name in our combined XI’s centre-half pairing.

The Dutch colossus, 30, missed a huge chunk of last season due to a ruptured cruciate ligament but has been in top form this term.

Centre-back: Gabriel (Arsenal)

Despite his red card against Manchester City last weekend, Arsenal’s Brazilian defender Gabriel has emerged as a key figure in the North London outfit’s backline and gets the nod in our side.

Having missed the opening three defeats through injury, Gabriel has since started all 11 of the Gunners’ Premier League wins this term and his fine form has been rewarded with a Brazil call-up for next month’s World Cup qualifiers.

Left-back: Andrew Robertson (Liverpool)

Andrew Robertson has not had his best season at Liverpool but the Scottish international still gets a comfortable spot in our side over his compatriot Kieran Tierney.

While the Gunners star appears to be slowly finding his best form after a spell on the sidelines, 27-year-old Robertson is a classy and reliable operator who would walk into almost any team.

Central midfield: Fabinho (Liverpool)

While Thiago Alcantara has been impressive in patches, Fabinho remains Liverpool’s most consistently influential midfielder and adds real steel to our XI.

With the departure of Gini Wijnaldum last summer, the Reds lost one of their most consistent performers but Jurgen Klopp can always lean on his Brazilian to break up the play and dictate the tempo for his side.

Central midfield: Martin Odegaard (Arsenal)

Martin Odegaard is starting to show his class in an Arsenal shirt this season
Martin Odegaard is starting to show his class in an Arsenal shirt this season

Next to the discipline of Fabinho, we add a touch of attacking flair with Arsenal’s incisive Norwegian Martin Odegaard, who already has a wealth of experience at the tender age of 23.

With three goals and three assists in his last seven Premier League outings, the former Real Madrid man brings a genuine threat to the table and is a real asset for his forward-thinking team-mates.

Right wing: Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)

Despite missing this evening’s contest due to his Africa Cup of Nations commitments with Egypt, Mohamed Salah cannot be ignored when forming a best XI of the two squads.

The mercurial forward is almost unquestionably the best player in the Premier League, with 16 goals and nine assists already racked up in just 20 league appearances this term — he is the shining light of our side.

Attacking midfield: Emile Smith Rowe (Arsenal)

The future is bright for several members of this team but perhaps none more so than Emile Smith Rowe, who has become arguably Arsenal’s most influential player at the tender age of 21.

Gunners academy starlet Smith Rowe has eight goals in 18 league games this term and looks a cast-iron certainty to excel for both club and country for the next decade and beyond.

Left wing: Sadio Mane (Liverpool)

Smith Rowe’s partner in crime Bukayo Saka can consider himself the unluckiest absentee of our XI, with the Three Lions youngster narrowly missing out to Reds winger Sadio Mane.

Though also missing tonight due to his international duties, the Senegalese star has 59 Premier League strikes to his name since the start of the 2018-19 season and simply cannot be left out.

Centre forward: Roberto Firmino (Liverpool)

While both sides lack a clinical No9, our XI has plenty of goalscoring ability in other areas — making an unselfish line-leader like Roberto Firmino a perfect fit.

Diogo Jota has recently stolen Firmino’s spot with the Brazilian struck down by both injury and coronavirus, but we believe the latter’s link-up play would form an essential part of our side’s attacking prowess.

Let us know what you think of our combined XI
Let us know what you think of our combined XI

Do you agree with our line-up? Let us know by tweeting @LiveScore.

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LiverpoolArsenalEFL Cup

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