Liverpool vs Arsenal: Each club’s greatest Premier League XI – who would come out on top?

23 Aug

Liverpool and Arsenal have enjoyed many great Premier League clashes over the years.

When the two sides go head-to-head, especially at Anfield, there is never a shortage of goals.

Liverpool vs Arsenal usually means goals galore!
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The Andrey Arshavin show in April 2009 springs to mind as they played out a 4-4 draw.

The two Premier League giants, who have won both of their domestic clashes to date, will go head-to-head again this Saturday evening (5:30pm), LIVE on talkSPORT.

And ahead of that mouthwatering counter, talkSPORT.com has put together both sides’ greatest Premier League XI, and then made the final call on who would come out on top if they went head-to-head.


Liverpool’s greatest Premier League XI

Such is the strength of Liverpool’s current side, three of their current backline make our all-time greatest XI.

Virgil van Dijk, formerly the world’s most expensive defender, has been a man-mountain at the heart of the Reds defence since his £75m move from Southampton in January 2018.

Andy Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold have also developed into two of the best young full-backs in the world, let alone the country.

The midfield speaks for itself, with club legend Steven Gerrard playing in an advanced role, with Xabi Alonso and Javier Mascherano playing behind him.

Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard is one of the first names on the teamsheet in this greatest-ever side
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For all the controversy that surrounded Luis Suarez during his spell at Anfield his impact on the field was unquestionable, helping the club end their long Champions League hiatus and delivering match-winning performances week after week.

Therefore, he gets the nod ahead of the likes of Fernando Torres and Michael Owen on the left-hand side of a three-man attack.

Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane also don’t feature, with Robbie Fowler – aka ‘God’ – a guaranteed starter, while fans favourite Mohamed Salah also makes the impressive line-up.

Pepe Reina gets the nod in goal, although if Alisson continues to star, he could go well go down as Liverpool’s greatest ever ‘keeper.

Arsenal’s greatest Premier League XI

With the exception of David Seaman, Tony Adams and Cesc Fabregas, the rest of the members of this star-studded line-up were part of the 2003/04 Arsenal Invincibles side.

Sol Campbell and Adams were imperious at the back for the north London side, while Ashley Cole and Lauren developed into top-class full-backs during their respective stints with the club.

A midfield combo of Fabregas and Patrick Vieira in their peak would have been a match for anyone, while Robert Pires’ and Freddie Ljungberg’s inclusions are more than justified.

Arsenal have not been short of attacking talent over the years, but the Thierry Henry and Dennis Bergkamp partnership was simply one of the best in the Premier League era, thus has to make an appearance in this all-time best XI.


CONCLUSION

There’s really not a lot of difference to choose between either of these two sides.

Both teams are packed with quality, especially from a defensive sense.

You could see the Gunners edging the battle in the middle of the park, but Liverpool’s pace on the flanks could cause serious problems.

It could go either way in all honesty, but a Thierry Henry in his prime would prove a pivotal factor and swing the momentum in Arsenal’s favour.

LIVE on talkSPORT

Check out all the live commentaries coming up across the talkSPORT network this week

  • Norwich vs Chelsea (Saturday, 12:30pm) – talkSPORT
  • Derby vs West Brom (Saturday, 12:30pm) – talkSPORT 2
  • Sheffield United vs Leicester (Saturday, 3pm) – talkSPORT 2
  • Liverpool vs Arsenal (Saturday, 5:30pm) – talkSPORT
  • Swansea vs Birmingham (Sunday, 12pm) – talkSPORT 2

Saturday is GameDay on talkSPORT and talkSPORT 2 as we become your go to destination for all the Premier League action. We’ll bring you LIVE commentary of Premier League games across all three time slots on Saturday – 12.30pm, 3pm and 5.30pm – including Arsenal’s trip to Liverpool this weekend.

Ashley Cole retirement: The greatest full-backs in Premier League history, including Gary Neville, Patrice Evra and Stuart Pearce

19 Aug

Ashley Cole announced his retirement from football on Sunday.

The former Chelsea and England defender’s last game came with Derby in a Championship play-off final defeat to Aston Villa in May.

Ashley Cole is a Chelsea legend
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Cole won every major honour, including three Premier League titles, seven FA Cups and a Champions League trophy.

The 38-year-old will be remembered as one of the most successful English players of all time and as one of the greatest ever in his position.

Below, talkSPORT.com takes a look at 12 of the best full-backs from the Premier League era.

Gary Neville

Gary Neville was a one-club man
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Neville is probably the most obvious choice. The 44-year-old spent 19 years playing for Manchester United, his only club during a trophy-laden career.

The former right-back played a crucial role in United’s eight Premier League title triumphs under Sir Alex Ferguson.

Lee Dixon

14. Lee Dixon (Arsenal) made 253 Premier League appearances after turning 30
Lee Dixon is beloved by Arsenal fans
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Another superb right-back, Dixon featured heavily for Arsenal during a 14-year spell at Highbury.

During that time, he only won two Premier League titles, however, he is still considered an Arsenal legend for his service to the club. 

Patrice Evra

Patrice Evra
Patrice Evra is very popular in the football world
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Known now for his social media presence, Evra was an ever-present in Ferguson’s Manchester United team for seven years.

His final season with United did not go well during David Moyes’ short reign, but he is still beloved by the Old Trafford faithful.

Evra had spells with Juventus and Marseille before returning to the Premier League for a brief spell with West Ham.

The former France international retired from football earlier this summer.

Stuart Pearce

3. Stuart Pearce
Stuart Pearce displayed so much passion on the pitch
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Nicknamed ‘Psycho’, Pearce was a no-nonsense full-back and was extremely popular with Nottingham Forest and England fans.

He starred for Forest for 12 years between 1985 and 1997 and won 78 caps for his country.

Denis Irwin

3. Denis Irwin (wore United's <b>no.3</b> from 1993-2002)
Denis Irwin was a regular starter under Sir Alex Ferguson
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Irwin’s quality showed when he was still Manchester United’s first-choice left-back in his mid-30s.

He played 961 senior games for Leeds, Oldham, United and Wolves during a hugely successful 21-year career.

Leighton Baines

Leighton Baines is no longer a guaranteed starter at Everton
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Everton stalwart Baines is still going strong at 34, but has seen his game-time reduce in the past year following the arrival of Lucas Digne.

Digne appears to be an ideal replacement for the veteran left-back going forward.

Baines has been known for his excellent crossing ability and free-kicks since making his senior debut in 2002.

Graeme Le Saux

14. Graeme Le Saux (wore Chelsea's no.14 from 1997-2003)
Graeme Le Saux had two spells at Chelsea
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Le Saux played for Chelsea, Blackburn and Southampton in the Premier League during a 16-year career.

In a time when Pearce was England’s first-choice left-back Le Saux still won 36 caps.

He became English football’s most expensive defender after rejoining Chelsea for £5m in 1997.

Kyle Walker

Kyle Walker signed a new Manchester City deal earlier this summer
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Walker was once the world’s most expensive defender after joining Manchester City from Tottenham for £53m in 2017.

He has established himself as the first-choice right-back for City and England ever since.

Walker’s pace is hard to handle for any defender, which was proven when he grabbed an opening-day assist in a 5-0 win over West Ham earlier this month.

Branislav Ivanovic

2. Branislav Ivanovic (right back) – see the full line up, in squad number order, by clicking the arrow above
Branislav Ivanovic had an eye for goal
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Able to play as a centre-half, Ivanovic found his joy playing at right-back.

He was a huge threat for Chelsea at set-pieces and chipped in with a respectable amount of goals each season for a defender.

Ivanovic was a huge favourite under Jose Mourinho.

Bacary Sagna

Free agent Bacary Sagna to relaunch career with Italian minnows since release from Manchester City
Bacary Sagna was a solid right-back

Sagna made his name as an Arsenal player, but also had a three-year spell at Manchester City.

He was France’s first-choice right-back for some time too, winning 65 caps for his country.

Sagna now plays for MLS club Montreal Impact.

Pablo Zabaleta

Pablo Zabaleta (right) is still playing top-flight football

Zabaleta is a Manchester City legend.

The Argentine right-back played a key part in City’s rise to dominance, winning two Premier League titles, an FA Cup and a League Cup.

At 34, he is still regularly playing for West Ham in the top-flight.

Lauren

12. Lauren (wore Arsenal’s No.12 between 2000 and 2006)
Lauren was an Arsenal player for seven years from 2000

Lauren was part of Arsenal’s famous ‘Invincibles’ squad, which went a whole Premier League season unbeaten in the 2003/04 campaign.

The Frenchman offered solidity at the back and was decent going forward.