Janssen and Edwards axed: Best combined Liverpool and Tottenham Under-23 XI
COMMENT By Dominic Toner
Vincent Janssen and Marcus Edwards would both miss out on a strongest XI made up of Tottenham and Liverpool players aged 23 and under.
Spurs travel to Anfield on Tuesday night for the EFL Cup fourth-round match and both teams are expected to hand academy products and fringe players the opportunity to impress.
Senior players such as Christian Eriksen, Philippe Coutinho and Sadio Mane just fail to meet the criteria of this team, with the trio all aged 24.
Dutch international Janssen, 22, would fail to make the strongest side after a disappointing start to his Spurs career.
The forward has scored just one goal in his first 13 appearances for the club, with the strike coming from the penalty spot against Gillingham.
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Spurs’ wonderkid Edwards would also miss out as he has made just one senior appearance to date, but his manager Mauricio Pochettino has been full of praise for the 17-year-old following his recent injury.
Both Spurs and Liverpool possess several young talents and many of their regular first team players have been included in the side.
Liverpool’s current number one goalkeeper Loris Karius would be the clear candidate in goal, with Spurs’ on loan goalkeeper Pau Lopez yet to make a senior appearance.
Spurs would dominate the back four with three fringe players aged 23 and under, adding some experience to this youthful side.
Centre-back pairing Kevin Wimmer and Cameron Carter-Vickers have both featured in the first team this season, but are battling with experienced Belgian duo Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen.
Welshman Ben Davies and Liverpool’s Joe Gomez could talk up the full-back positions, with the latter capable of filling any anywhere across the defence.
The midfield trio of Eric Dier, Emre Can and Dele Alli all have international caps to their name and are regulars in the first team, meaning upcoming Liverpool star Marko Grujic would miss out.
Spurs’ first-choice striker Harry Kane would be an obvious option to lead the line, with Divock Origi and Georges-Kevin N’Koudou adding pace and power from the flanks.
Janssen does not have the mould to play on either flank and has not shown enough yet to dislodge Kane from the team.
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