The best Premier League XI never to play Champions League football

Ian Wright Arsenal
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Sub: David James

A pretty unfamiliar position for the Premier League’s fourth-highest appearance-maker, but Jamo would be ideal backup in the likely event that Big Nev stands as Labour MP for Knotty Ash.

UEFA Cup and Cup Winners’ Cup campaigns for Liverpool, Aston Villa and Portsmouth were as good as it got in Europe for the most famous person to come from Welwyn Garden City since Alesha Dixon. Or Lisa Snowdon.

Sub: Stan Collymore

At university, FFT used to spend more time than it cares to admit reading aloud sections of the chapter on dogging in Collymore’s 2004 autobiography Stan: Tackling My Demons to a Nottingham Forest-supporting friend. Such elite exploits, however, never saw daylight in the Champions League, despite UEFA Cup and Cup Winners’ Cup campaigns for Aston Villa and Liverpool. Loves Russia.

Sub: Trevor Sinclair

Every team needs a bit of flair coming off the bench to score overhead kicks from 25 yards. Sinclair had UEFA Cup sojourns for Manchester City and West Ham, but World Cup campaigns proved the limit of his international experience. Does anyone else think football needs more dreads these days?

Sub: Rory Delap

Bear with us. That throw-in is an utter menace, and one the greatest what-ifs in football was that the beautiful game’s most potent weapon was never delivered against Europe’s best. There’s no better game-changer. The YouTube video of Delap’s throw-ins set to I Need A Hero by Bonnie Tyler is proof of what might have been.

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