Van Persie & Bale in, Hazard & Rooney out: Our combined Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester United & Tottenham XI

As four of the Premier League's top clubs prepare to clash on a vital Sunday, debates which players would make it into a mixed best team from the respective squads
By Chris Myson
Just like January 13, there are arguably two main events for us all to enjoy in the Premier League on Sunday.

Chelsea host London rivals Arsenal while Tottenham are at home to Premier League leaders Manchester United in two mouthwatering matches between some of the biggest clubs in England.

In a special combined XI piece ahead of the clashes, analyses each area of all four of the squads on show on Sunday and attempts to come up with what would be the best amalgamated team, lining up in a 4-2-3-1 formation.

Read on to find out who we have selected in our XI and the reasons why some of the other top stars from the squads have been left out!


In the goalkeeping position we are faced with a tough choice between Tottenham's Hugo Lloris and Chelsea shot stopper Petr Cech.

We opt for Lloris as our keeper. The France captain has significant talent and experience and has made a fine start to life in the Premier League.

That means he edges out Cech, who returned to somewhere close to his best form towards the latter part of last season, although still tends to throw in mistakes on a semi-regular basis.

David de Gea and Wojciech Szczesny are both talented young goalkeepers with excellent potential but both still have a number of deficiencies to iron out in their games before they can be considered top calibre.


At right-back we were tempted to go for the potentially controversial choice of Kyle Walker. However, we opt for the consistency of Bacary Sagna despite the fact that Walker offers a greater attacking threat. Rafael is talented but still needs to make further improvements to the defensive side of his game and Cesar Azpilicueta is new to the English game.

In the middle we have selected Chelsea's John Terry, who remains a resolute defender despite his advancing years and partner him with a player who remains world-class despite his recent injury troubles; Nemanja Vidic.

That means the likes of Rio Ferdinand, Jonny Evans, Thomas Vermaelen, Jan Vertonghen, Gary Cahill and Branislav Ivanovic miss out.

At left-back, Ashley Cole remains the best player in the world at that position, meaning that he sees off the challenge posed by the impressive Kieran Gibbs and United stalwart Patrice Evra. Spurs have played Vertonghen and Kyle Naughton at that position this season but neither are at their most comfortable there.


Sir Alex Ferguson says that Michael Carrick is enjoying his best season at Manchester United and the England international gets a selection in our team.

His all-round midfield play and experience sees him continue to play a key role at Old Trafford, where he is highly appreciated despite not always getting wider recognition.

Alongside him we go for Arsenal and England's cultured star, Jack Wilshere. The starlet has wasted little time getting back to his best after returning from a long-term injury absence and the future looks very bright. His energy and box-to-box style complements the deeper-lying Carrick.

That means it is tough to leave out the likes of Frank Lampard, Ramires, Sandro, Mousa Dembele and Mikel Arteta but there are only so many spaces at our disposal.


Further forward, Arsenal's Santi Cazorla gets the nod in the centre of our attacking midfield trio. The Spain star has mesmerised the Premier League with his touch, vision, dribbling and passing ability this season.

Compatriot Juan Mata continues to set the bar for new recruits to England's top flight as he consistently produces influential performances at Stamford Bridge to win a role on our right-hand side.

One of those new arrivals, Eden Hazard, is unlucky not to get the nod. The playmaker has started to find his stride again in recent weeks having initially burst onto the scene after joining from Lille. He scored highly impressive goals against Stoke City and Southampton.

He misses out as we opt for the stunning pace, dribbling, crossing and goal threat of Gareth Bale down the left-hand side. That gives us a different type of threat at either side of the pitch.

Oscar can also consider himself highly unlucky to miss out on a place in the team, while Victor Moses, Lukas Podolski, Aaron Lennon, Nani, Ashley Young and Antonio Valencia are also not selected.

Selecting just one striker from the array of attacking talent available from the four squads is an almost impossible task. Nonetheless, we will give it a go.

Robin van Persie
gets the nod in our team. For 18 months now, he has been one of the most influential Premier League players and is having an equally strong impact at United as he was at Arsenal. Arsene Wenger and Roberto Mancini have both admitted he could be the difference in the title race.

Wayne Rooney, Chicharito, Danny Welbeck, Jermain Defoe, Emmanuel Adebayor, Demba Ba, Fernando Torres and Theo Walcott are amongst multiple other strikers who are battling just to get a spot on the bench for our combined XI.

Suggested combined Arsenal, Chelsea, Man Utd & Tottenham XI


Hugo Lloris


Bacary Sagna

John Terry

Nemanja Vidic

Ashley Cole

Michael Carrick

Jack Wilshere

Juan Mata

Santi Cazorla

Gareth Bale


Robin van Persie

Do you agree with our suggested best combined Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester United and Tottenham starting XI? If not, who should be there instead and which players should get the chop? Which way are Sunday's crunch matches going to go?

Let us know your views on the debate by posting a comment below or by engaging with us on Facebook and Twitter.

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