Picking a Combined XI of Arsenal & Tottenham Players Ahead of Sunday’s North London Derby

This weekend sees the first north London derby of the season, as bitter rivals Arsenal and Tottenham they lock horns in the Premier League.

Sitting fifth and third respectively, both have made strong starts to this campaign and boast an abundance of experience and most importantly, talent.

1. Bernd Leno

Having played second fiddle to veteran Petr Cech earlier in the season, German international Leno makes the cut following several impressive performances in recent weeks.

That includes the Gunners’ 1-1 draw with Liverpool at the start of the month – a scoreline that could have been so different but for Leno’s heroics. Since then, the summer arrival from Bayer Leverkusen has firmly placed himself as a regular, and he will be looking to keep his first league clean sheet since September. 

2. Hector Bellerin

Having somewhat been made a scapegoat under former boss Arsenal Wenger, the Spaniard has been a thorn in the side of opposition teams this campaign.

Deployed as a right wing-back under new boss Unai Emery, Bellerin has registered four assists in 13 outings and has been ever present in the league.

3. Toby Alderweireld

In the summer transfer window, Toby Alderweireld looked set for a move to fellow giants Manchester United. Fast forward three months though, and the Belgian’s irrepressible presence has been felt strongly in Tottenham colours.

He’s made the most passes and clearances of any Spurs player. 

4. Jan Vertonghen

At the heart of defence, Jan Vertonghen has arguably been one of Spurs’ most influential signings in the last decade.

Although the Dutch defender has featured just seven times this season thanks to injury, his top flight experience, defensive nous and aerial threat means there’s only one contender for this spot.

5. Ben Davies

Starting ten of his side’s 13 games this term, Ben Davies provides the perfect balance of defensive and attacking quality. 

Competent on the ball, his speed, agility and final third delivery puts him ahead of Gunners pair Nacho Monreal and Sead Kolasinac – who haven’t quite had the same impact. 

6. Lucas Torreira

Having cried out for a defensive midfield maestro, Arsenal have finally found their man in Lucas Torriera. 

The Uruguayan’s tenacity and gritty nature have transformed the Gunners into a solid force in the centre of the park – following his summer arrival from Italian side Sampdoria. The final piece of the jigsaw, the 22-year-old’s form will be vital this weekend.

7. Christian Eriksen

Despite missing a handful of games through injury, the Danish playmaker’s efficiency in the final third has been second to none once again.

The 26-year-old scored his 41st Premier League goal for Spurs last April to become only one of seven players to hit that mark in the 26 years since the top flight’s breakaway.

8. Moussa Sissoko

When Moussa Sissoko moved for an extraordinary £30m from Premier League rivals Newcastle two summers ago, Spurs looked to have overpaid massively. 

A host of miserable performances last season did little to dispel the questions posed by fans but, although he’s not a key player compared to his more high profile teammates, the France international has been red hot of late. 

9. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

Scooping Premier League’s October Player of the Month award, Aubameyang’s goalscoring exploits in north London have reinforced his pedigree as one of Europe’s most deadly finishers.

Since his arrival from Borussia Dortmund last January, the Gabonese striker has netted 18 goals in 26 league appearances and is this season’s joint top scorer with Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero on eight.

10. Heung-min Son

Scorer of a fabulous solo goal in the win over Chelsea, Heung-min Son is unplayable on his day. 

Having netted 31 goals in 107 appearances for Spurs, his flair, trickery and eye for goal place him in this illustrious list – and have helped him become one of the Premier League’s most feared forwards.

11. Harry Kane

Poacher. Marksmen. Call him what you want, Harry Kane has been a sensation year on year, and loves this fixture. He scored the winner in the last meeting between these two, and has seven goals in his last eight London derbies. 

The two time Golden Boot winner has already netted seven times this term as he looks to surpass his personal best scoring tally of 30, set last season. A formidable force, he’ll be relishing another chance to add to his frightening tally against the Gunners.


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