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No place for Wilshere or Giroud in combined Arsenal Spurs XI

| 02.01.2014

Tim Sherwood takes his rejuvenated Tottenham side to the Emirates to do FA Cup battle with Arsenal and will be looking to do what no Spurs boss in the last 20 years has managed: win the north London derby at the first attempt.

With that in mind, Arsenal are priced up as the 1/1 favourites to win the clash with the draw at 5/2 and Sherwood’s men at 11/4.

It’s the Gunners who come out on top in our combined XI too, albeit by a slim one player margin.


Hugo Lloris is preferred in goal given his speed off the line and relatively blunder-free Spurs career when compared to the admittedly improving, but still inferior Wojciech Szczesny.

The back four is dominated by the Emirates-based club, which is understandable given that they own the Premier League’s meanest defence. Laurent Koscielny is the unlucky man, losing his place in the side to Jan Vertonghen whose added goal threat and comfort on the ball ousts the Frenchman.

Per Mertesacker, Kieran Gibbs and Bacary Sagna all retain their places however, with the tall German getting the captain’s armband and both fullbacks providing hustle and bustle in attack while remaining solid defensively, take note Kyle’s Walker and Naughton.

In the middle band, Sandro does what he does best in dropping anchor, preferred in that role to the comparatively diminutive Mathieu Flamini. A representative of either club sit alongside the Brazilian, with Christian Eriksen providing craft and the odd goal and Aaron Ramsey doing his best Roy Keane impression, getting everywhere and doing everything.

In attack, Emmanuel Adebayor is unrivalled in being the in-form striker from either side, with four goals in five appearances.

Theo Walcott and Mesut Ozil provide support from the flanks, easily getting the nod over Spurs’ wide options Erik Lamela, Nacer Chadli and Andros Townsend with perhaps only Aaron Lennon unlucky to miss out on current form.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.