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Tottenham vs Arsenal: Who gets into our combined XI?

Tottenham vs Arsenal combined XI
(Image credit: Getty)

Were you to build a combined XI of Tottenham vs Arsenal players for real, you'd probably have a few fights to break up.

In the last few years, scuffles have broke out on the pitch between these two, red cards have been brandished and penalties awarded, as the power struggle in north London shifted firmly from Arsene Wenger's Gunners into a much more even contest between this pair. 

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And though Spurs have finished above Arsenal for the last few seasons, it looks as if Mikel Arteta's side are on the up once more. So who wins out from our combined sides?

Tottenham vs Arsenal combined XI; Goalkeeper: Aaron Ramsdale (Arsenal)

Aaron Ramsdale

(Image credit: Getty)

In recent seasons, there's been no question as to who the best keeper in north London was. 

Hugo Lloris has been a true Tottenham legend: a world-class custodian who's been hugely reliable and stayed at the club through thick and thin, even winning the World Cup. But at 35, his best days are behind him, while Aaron Ramsdale is only on the ascendency. 

Arsenal's much-maligned summer capture has been arguably the standout no.1 in the Premier League this season, displaying impressive shot-stopping to accompany that otherworldly passing range. Rambo wins this round – but it's close.  

Right-back: Takehiro Tomiyasu (Arsenal)

Takehiro Tomiyasu

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Both Arsenal and Tottenham made summer acquisitions at right-back – but both have had contrasting fortunes over the season. 

While Emerson Royal has floundered in the Premier League, Takehiro Tomiyasu has been a revelation, demonstrating excellent defensive nous and giving the Gunners steel at right-back that fans haven't seen since the days of Bacary Sagna. 

Matt Doherty is a solid enough wing-back but has only featured on the left for Antonio Conte, while Cedric Soares and Calum Chambers of Arsenal are both fringe options at best. Tomiyasu is a shoo-in, here.

Centre-back: Ben White (Arsenal)

Arsenal defender Ben White

(Image credit: Getty Images)

At centre-back, let's pick one ball-playing defender and one more solid leader type, just to be fair to the range of defenders at each club – really, though, there's only one option for defenders good with the ball. 

Ben White came with a big price tag and has had his moments where he's been a little rash or his lack of physicality has let him down. Overall, however, the England defender has looked assured and calm at the heart of the Gunners' backline and is perhaps the best centre-back that either of the two north London sides have to offer.

We will get some Spurs players in this team, promise…

Centre-back: Eric Dier (Tottenham)

Eric Dier

(Image credit: PA)

The second centre-back slot in our team is a tough choice with a number of decent defenders to choose from. Rob Holding has become a solid choice at Arsenal after difficult start to his career; Davinson Sanchez isn't bad, Japhet Tanganga and Joe Rodon promising and Cristian Romero looks like a good player – though it's early days for him.

Really, it's between Eric Dier and Gabriel. While Gabriel has had a solid season, the Brazilian is still young and has a mistake in him; Dier may not be the colossus he felt like he was for Mauricio Pochettino but his experience is still key to Tottenham, so he takes the leader's role in this defence. 

Left-back: Kieran Tierney (Arsenal)

Arsenal's Kieran Tierney

(Image credit: PA)

Both Tottenham and Arsenal have good options at left-back. Sergio Reguilon has been decent enough since arriving from Real Madrid, while Arsenal's recent back-up signing Nuno Tavares has impressed despite his young age and rawness.

But really, no one is getting in this side ahead of Kieran Tierney, who is one of the best in the position in the league. Recently, Tierney has been back to his best after a slight dip too, varying his crossing delivery and being the reliable presence that Arsenal have come to expect. 

Central midfield: Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (Tottenham)

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg

(Image credit: Getty)

Midfield is arguably the weakest areas of both of these two sides. While Arsenal's centre lacks a bit of bite and grit, Tottenham's lacks creativity – so our combined XI's double-pivot, it makes sense to pick one of each, right?

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg is the enforcer in the middle for Spurs and since arriving from Southampton, he's become a reliable performer. A good all-rounder, he's getting into this team ahead of his teammates Tanguy Ndombele and Oliver Skipp, while Arsenal's Thomas Partey, Albert Sambi Lokonga and Granit Xhaka all miss out either through inconsistency or inexperience. 

Central midfield: Martin Odegaard (Arsenal)

Martin Odegaard

(Image credit: PA)

In terms of more creative players in midfield, there isn't a lot to pick between in north London. Since the clocks went back, however, there haven't been many midfielders better than Martin Odegaard in England.

The Norwegian has been central to the Arsenal resurgence over the past few weeks, dropping deeper, while becoming an output machine in terms of chances created. He's still young and developing but he gets in this team ahead of the likes of Giovanni Lo Celso and Dele Alli.

Right-wing: Bukayo Saka (Arsenal)

Arsenal midfielder Bukayo Saka applauding

(Image credit: PA)

Who else?

Bukayo Saka has been nothing short of extraordinary since his Euro 2020 heartbreak. The 20-year-old has unbelievable decision making, intelligence and the ability to turn a game on its head – he's crucial to how Mikel Arteta wants to play and there aren't many forwards better than him in the world right now. 

Attacking midfield: Emile Smith Rowe (Arsenal)

Emile Smith Rowe

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Tottenham's argument for this spot in the team, Lucas Moura, has provided his fair share of memorable moments in a white shirt. But it's hard not to choose Emile Smith Rowe judging by this season's form. 

The England international has knitted Arsenal's play together nicely since coming into the team last season and hit his preseason target – 10 goals and assists – just months into his campaign. He's probably been the Gunners' player of the season and he's spent the last few weeks coming off the bench: still scoring while he does so. 

Left-wing: Son Heung-min (Tottenham)

Top active Premier League scorers

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Gabriel Martinelli has been in stunning form in recent weeks – but when Son Heung-min is on form, there aren't many forwards in world football you'd rather have. 

The South Korean is lethal with either foot, has supercar-like acceleration and a bite to him that has made Tottenham dangerous even despite the dip they've had post-Poch. Conte will be building around his talents and Arsenal still fear him, despite the improved solidity of their defensive unit. 

Striker: Harry Kane

Harry Kane

(Image credit: PA)

He's unlikely to be competing for a golden boot this season but Harry Kane is still the most complete striker in world football – and still the one that got away for Arsenal. 

Kane has picked up a little under his new manager, too. The England captain is an excellent link-up player, a penalty box predator and physically commanding, too. He's still the most important cog in the Spurs machine and however disappointing he's been this season, fans are still glad he stuck around. He has to take the last spot in our team.

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Mark White

Mark White has been a staff writer on FourFourTwo since joining in January 2020, writing pieces for both online and the magazine. He is a keen player of the Football Manager series and creates Twitter accounts for his Fantasy Premier League team every year, before losing interest in his team every September.