Coutinho and Baines axed: Liverpool and Everton best combined XI ahead of showdown
COMMENT by Amir Mir
Philippe Coutinho and Leighton Baines would be axed in a combined Liverpool and Everton XI ahead of their showdown.
The Reds are set to welcome their neighbours to Anfield for a mouth-watering Premier League encounter on Saturday afternoon.
Here, Football Insider debates which players would make the combined XI from players who are currently fit and available.
Between the sticks, Joel Robles would get the nod ahead of Liverpool’s number one, Simon Mignolet.
This area is perhaps the weakest of both teams with no standout shot stopper between the two, but because Robles is less erratic than his counterpart, he gets picked.
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At the back, Nathaniel Clyne is ahead of the injured Seamus Coleman with Joel Matip and Ashley William partnering one another at the heart of defence.
Furthermore, the underrated James Milner is picked ahead of Baines who has not been at his best this season mainly because of injuries.
The back four will be protected by the best defensive-minded player of both teams, Idrissa Gueye, who is magnificent at breaking up play.
England international Jordan Henderson would complement the Senegal international with his ability to pick out a long range pass.
In the final third, the powerful Sadio Mane is streets ahead of any wide player from Everton with the versatile Roberto Firmino also picked to play as a wide midfielder.
Playmaker Ross Barkley gets to play in behind the striker with boyhood Toffees fans outperforming Coutinho and the injured Lallana since the turn of the year.
Romelu Lukaku is perhaps the most obvious choice to lead the line with the Belgium international currently the top scorer in the division.