COMMENT By Will Butcher
Leeds have been handed a difficult task in their League Cup run after being drawn against high flying Liverpool in the quarter finals.
The two sides were the closest of rivals as they looked to dominate the Premier League ahead of the likes of Manchester United, Newcastle and Arsenal throughout the nineties and early noughties.
But Leeds’ dismal financial collapse ended their search for a top-flight title, as they capitulated into the third tier of English football.
In a combined Leeds and Liverpool XI of the Premier League era, from 1992 to the present day, which players would get the nod? And who should just miss the cut and make it on the substitute’s bench. Here, Football Insider makes some tough choices.
Subs: Paul Robinson (GK), Sami Hyypia, John Barnes, Olivier Dacourt, Michael Owen, Mark Viduka, Fernando Torres.
With Liverpool lasting in the Premier League since it’s birth in 1992, the Reds have a distinct advantage over the Yorkshire giants.
Nevertheless, six former Leeds players would line up in a side that would dominate the Premier League during their prime. Of those six, three played for Liverpool, too.
Pepe Reina would start in goal, with Nigel Martyn, Robinson and Jerzy Dudek all coming very close. But Reina’s 115 clean sheets in 237 league appearances is hard to overlook.
Set-piece specialists Gary Kelly and Ian Harte start at full back, after starring in Leeds’ Champions League side that reached the semi final against AC Milan.
Rio Ferdinand, who made his name at Elland Road before moving to rivals Manchester United, sits alongside scouse legend Jamie Carragher following his 508 Premier League appearances for the Reds.
Gary McAllister, Harry Kewell and Robbie Fowler all make the side after starring in the Premier League for both Leeds and Liverpool.
Midfield duo Steven Gerrard and Xabi Alonso remain as one of the best central midfield partnerships in Premier League history to date, while the sensational Luis Suarez squeezes into the side past fellow front men Mark Viduka, Michael Owen and Fernando Torres.
Commanding defender Sami Hyypia, winger-turned-central-midfielder John Barnes and enforcer Olivier Dacourt all make the bench, while the likes of Gordon Strachan, Dom Matteo, James Milner and Alan Smith all came close but fail to make the final cut.
The two English giants do battle under the lights of Anfield on the week commencing November 28, with a place in the semi finals up for grabs.
In other Leeds news, Garry Monk has given his verdict on Leeds showdown with Liverpool.