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Pre-Match Analysis – Combined Arsenal/Liverpool XI

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So with one of the biggest games in the Premier League season so far coming up next Monday night as Arsenal and Liverpool clash in an early season clash, it’s only right that we discuss the two teams in action.

Here at the Sports Lowdown, our writer Ethan Gore discusses the combined Arsenal/Liverpool XI and who would take their place in the side

Goalkeeper & Defenders

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GK: Petr Cech, Arsenal.

Petr Cech hasn’t had the greatest of starts to his Arsenal career thus far but there’s no denying that on his day, he’s a world-class goalkeeper. With very little game-time for Chelsea last season, it was hard for him to match Simon Mignolet in clean-sheets but Cech’s all-round experience and leadership will add to Arsenal’s title challenge. Mignolet on the other hand has improved as a goalkeeper in the past six months or so, keeping more clean sheets and making more important saves. Cech did make two questionable errors on the opening day but as the season goes on, you’d expect him to improve.

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RB: Nathaniel Clyne, Liverpool.

Now, Hector Bellerin was very impressive for Arsenal last season and did score against the Reds’ in their 4-1 overhaul at the Emirates. However, Nathaniel Clyne has undoubtedly proved his class at right-back for Southampton in the past two seasons and has shown that he’s just as good defensively as he is going forward. Clyne’s positional sense is remarkable and he’s already showing signs for Liverpool that he’s going to be a very good signing after two superb performances in the opening games for the Reds. Debuchy also deserves a shout but being an injury prone player, he hasn’t had much of a chance to show his true quality at Arsenal.

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CB: Laurent Koscielny, Arsenal.

It would be stupid not to include him – in most combined teams – as Koscielny is arguably one of the best centre-backs in Europe and has drawn interest from Real Madrid this summer. Koscielny is a true leader at the back and has developed remarkably as a footballer in the past few seasons. Koscielny’s defensive awareness and positioning is up there with best and his leadership and experience adds a huge deal of help to Arsenal’s defence.

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CB: Martin Skrtel, Liverpool.

Skrtel has been an established Premier League defender at Liverpool for a long-time now. In recent seasons, his defensive abilities have been questioned and he’s been close to being sold on a few occasions but after working his way back into the first-team under Brendan Rodgers in 2013/14, he’s been a key player for the Reds’. Not only has he been solid defensively but he’s been a threat going forward – from corners. Skrtel’s now partnered up with Dejan Lovren at the back and this appears to be the new partnership Rodgers wants to form in defence. Two games, two clean sheets. Could they keep a third at the Emirates?

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LB: Nacho Monreal, Arsenal.

I don’t think either team really has a stand-out LB but Monreal has been probably the most impressive. Monreal proved his critics wrong last season and put in a string of very good performances for the Gunners. 18-year-old, Joe Gomez hasn’t played enough really to be in contention of this spot but early signs suggest that he’s going to be very good whilst Alberto Moreno looks more like he’ll flourish as a winger rather than a full-back after many questionable errors defensively have put his first-team at LB at risk.

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