Liverpool-Everton Ultimate XI Part Two: Who’s made our front line?
Our assessment of both Liverpool and Everton’s respective squads continues as we edge closer to the second Merseyside Derby of the season.
We’ve already combined the pair’s defensive units to create an ultimate back five. And today we’re looking at midfielders and forwards.
Both sides boast so much attacking talent, and it’s fair to say we struggled to pick the best players out here. But we’ve given it a good go, and you can expect this bunch to have a huge impact at Anfield this Saturday.
Find out who makes the rest of our squad below…
CM – Idrissa Gueye & Adam Lallana
We’ve picked out two of the most energetic players available to us to keep things ticking over in the engine room. And it’s unfortunate we’ll probably never get to see this pair play alongside each other in real life, because we reckon they’d form a perfect partnership.
Not many holding midfielders boast better numbers than the Everton man, who is averaging roughly 2.6 interceptions per game, while according to whoscored.com, no other player in the division right now makes more tackles-per-game.
His athleticism in the middle of the park would allow Lallana to push further forward and play to his strengths on the ball.
The former Southampton man is growing year on year, establishing himself in the England set-up as a key man in Gareth Southgate’s midfield.
There’s no way he wouldn’t make this team.
RW – Philippe Coutinho
We’re forcing the Brazilian further wide than we would have liked here to make room for another big name.
But Coutinho’s game is all about finding space and causing havoc all over the park. If that means he occasionally roams out of position, then that’s fine by us!
Any player that’s constantly being linked with a move to Barcelona deserves a place in this Ultimate XI, and the former Inter Milan ace is no different.
Following his injury late in 2016, he’s yet to return to his best, but he’s certainly not far off – and even a Philippe Coutinho playing a couple of gears below normal would prove to be a nightmare for opposing players.
CAM – Ross Barkley
We’ve given Barkley the benefit of the doubt here as we reckon he’d thrive playing in this side.
Time is still very much on the 23-year-old’s side, and if he could just add a few more goals to his game, he’d be right up there amongst the best players in the division.
Seven assists is almost a league best for him though, and there’s still nine games left to play.
Playing just ahead of Lallana and Gueye, his defensive duties would be covered in this set-up, giving Barkley the freedom to run riot.
LW – Sadio Mane
One of the signings of the season by our reckoning.
Mane arrived at Anfield as an exciting prospect, but has already exceeded expectations, netting a staggering 12 goals in 26 outings for the Reds while chipping in with four assists.
Some of his goals have been crucial too, and the Merseyside outfit would actually be some nine points worse off this season if we were to take his goals out of the equation – that would put them three points behind their neighbours Everton.
His influence on this side would undoubtedly be huge.
ST – Romelu Lukaku
The Belgian ace is in the form of his life right now, and already has 21 league goals to his name this season – making this his most prolific campaign in professional football.
Reportedly a target for Manchester United and Chelsea, as well as a whole host of European heavyweights, Lukaku has to spearhead what we think could be one of the deadliest attacking units in the Premier League.
Agree with our choices? Let us know who’d make your Ultimate XI in the comments section below!
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing