Football | 1 week ago

Some big players miss out.

Liverpool host Everton at Anfield on Sunday in the first Merseyside derby of the season. Reds fans have taken great joy in the trainwreck that's been Everton's season, but the Toffees' return to form following the appointment of Sam Allardyce as manager suggest this could be a tight game.

Ahead of the clash, we decided to assemble our combined Merseyside derby XI - because that's what the people want.

Like the Manchester derby one, the process of picking the best 11 players between the two clubs was a pain in the arse. Below is what we've come up with.

Not even the most ardent Liverpool fan would argue with Jordan Pickford being named ahead of Simon Mignolet, so we'll swiftly move on. There was certainly a case for either Nathaniel Clyne or Trent Alexander-Arnold to nab the right-back spot, but Séamus Coleman has been a class act for too long, so we just couldn't leave him out.

Michael Keane hasn't found his best form for Everton since joining from Burnley but, at his best, he is the arguably the finest centre-half either of the clubs have. Ramiro Funes Mori hasn't played since March but looked impressive before his injury, so he gets in ahead of Dejan Lovren, Ashley Williams and Phil Jagielka.

Alberto Moreno at left-back may raise a few eyebrows, especially with those who watched him endure a nightmare return to Sevilla recently, but his form this season has otherwise been a marked improvement on last year. Leighton Baines is still a fine defender, but we felt Moreno's energy in wide areas would bring plenty to this side.

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Idrissa Gueye was an easy pick in holding midfield. The Senegal international has established himself as one of the finest ball-winners in the Premier League in the last few years so he's the perfect man to have shielding the back-line. In front of him is Emre Can who, when he's in the mood, is an indefatigable box-to-box midfielder.

From there, it's all Liverpool, but we didn't really have a choice. Philippe Coutinho, Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah - not a lot of clubs can compete with that.

While you're here, check out the latest episode of #SportsJOElive where we had Donegal pro boxer Jason Quigley, Cork Camogie star Ashling Thompson, alongside the ever-brilliant Dion Fanning in the studio!


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Liverpool, Everton, Barclays Premier League