Chelsea Greatest XI v Arsenal Greatest XI - Who Would Win?

Chelsea and Arsenal are two teams who have brought a great deal of classy, exciting players to the Premiership in recent years, many of whom will be on display at Stamford Bridge this weekend. But who would win in a tie between their greatest line ups?
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Chelsea and Arsenal are two teams who have brought a great deal of classy, exciting players to the Premiership in recent years, many of whom will be on display at Stamford Bridge this weekend. But who would win in a tie between their greatest line ups?

Chelsea's Greatest XI- (Compiled by Laurence Ettridge)

GK: Petr Cech – Granted he has spent most of his time working behind one of Chelsea’s best defences but he has consistently pulled off superb saves when called upon – not to mention coming back as good as ever after that horrific head injury. 10

LB: Ashley Cole – Despite perhaps being one of the most hated men in football, Cole’s contributions down the left have been outstanding for Chelsea. Reliable in defence and always making strides to get forward - he probably puts in a harder shift than any other player. 10

CB: John Terry – Captain and talisman. What JT maybe lacks in agility these days he makes up for with his experience and reading of the game. A great presence on the pitch and has successfully marshalled one of the best defences the Premier League has seen to three league titles. 9

CB: Marcel Desailly – Often known as “the rock” Desailly provided a formidable strong presence in the heart of the Blues defence for six years and won an FA Cup in the process. 8

RB: Ron “Chopper” Harris – Just a little before my time but the recommendations of my dad have been duly noted to include a few Chelsea legends. Chopper appeared just shy of 800 times for the club, which is obviously a great service. He was often noted for his physical approach – particularly in the FA Cup final in 1970. 8

CM: Claude Makelele – He made the defensive role his own under Mourinho. In recent years the formation with a holding midfielder has by far worked the best for Chelsea and none have taken on the role as well as Makelele. He rarely ventured forward of the halfway line but achieved a 100% shots to goals ratio in the 06-07 season (one shot, one goal). 10

LM: Gianfranco Zola – Not many will ever look as good in a Chelsea shirt as Gianfranco Zola. Anchored by Makelele I can see him cutting in from the left at will, both creating and scoring in my hypothetical mangasm of a team. An absolute boyhood hero, he was incredible - on the ball, from set-pieces, everywhere. The best.  10

CM: Dennis Wise – An almost purely nostalgic choice here. Wise was a little terrier of a player who Sir Alex Ferguson once described as being able to start a fight in an empty house. But seeing Dennis lift the FA Cup in 1997 as captain is a joy of a childhood memory. 8

RM: Alan Hudson – Another dad recommendation here. Hudson was an Osgood-era playmaker and played in every game in the lead up to the final in 1970 – in this diamond formation no doubt he would have been able to create great service to the front. 9

ST: Peter Osgood – It doesn’t even take my old man to point me in the direction of this Chelsea legend. Peter Osgood – “The King of Stamford Bridge” and the only player to have a statue erected at the ground, he won the FA Cup and European Cup Winners’ Cup and scored over 150 goals for the club. 10

ST: Jimmy Greaves – Yes, Torres has just missed the cut – would you believe it? I’ve decided to complete my 11 with another Chelsea legend. Although he won no trophies in his time at the Bridge he still holds the club record for the most goals scored in a season with 41. 9

Manager: Jose Mourinho – A man referred to by certain pockets of Chelsea fans quite casually as “God”. Other than maybe Zola and Osgood this was the easiest decision to make in selecting this team. Back to back Premier League titles, an FA Cup and two league cups were an amazing record at the Bridge. He is still The Special One. 10

Arsenal's Greatest XI

GK: David Seaman – Forget his leaden footed displays at the tail end of his career. During most of the 1990s, Spunky’s peerless displays between the sticks made him the ultimate big game stopper for the Gunners. 8

RB: Lee Dixon – Feisty, sharp in the tackle and unfussy in his approach, Dixon was just the man you wanted in your back line, especially back in the days when you could boot the opposition winger into the stand without punishment from the ref. 7

CB: Tony Adams – His transition from George Graham’s hard drinking, blue collar lieutenant to Arsene Wenger’s poetry loving free thinking, roving skipper was remarkable. What didn’t change was his undimmed will to win. Fergie admitted he couldn’t wait for him to retire. 9

CB: Martin Keown – This grizzled warrior certainly came good during his second spell at the Gunners. Later combined an indomitable desire for combat with much improved distribution at the back. His clash with Van Nistelrooy in 2003 may not have been pretty, but you’d always want him in your team. 8

LB: Ashley Cole – Whatever Arsenal fans think of “Cashley” these days, it cannot be denied that during his six year first team career, he provided excellent service, with his surging runs down the left. His link play with Pires in the “Invincibles” season was a joy to behold. 8

LM: Liam Brady – Arguably the cleverest play maker of his generation in the 1970s, he would glide past opponents with unerring ease, and hit shots with minimal backlift. A genius. 10

CM: Patrick Vieira – A titan of Arsenal’s midfield for nearly a decade, the Frenchman appeared to relish clashed with United more than anyone, if his “fire and brimstone” clashes with rival skipper Roy Keane both on the pitch and in the tunnel are anything to go by. 9

CM: Cesc Fabregas – There is little that the Spanish diamond couldn’t do, and in the Premiership, there was no one who can match his artfulness, vision and creativity. 9

RW: Robert Pires – A goal scoring wide player, defences simply had no answer to the Frenchman’s direct running and setting up of chances for the likes of Henry and Bergkamp during the noughties. 8

CF: Ian Wright – Quite simply the most natural goal scorer seen at Highbury since Bastin in the 1930s. Aggressive and self centred on the pitch, the team’s reliance on his goal poaching under GG effectively made it “Ian Wright FC” for several years. 9

CF: Thierry Henry – “We’ve got the best player in the world” chanted Arsenal fans when Henry (more often than not) was on song. The Gunners’ record goal scorer was, on his day, quite simply unplayable. 10

Manager: Arsene Wenger - The boss would have to be Arsene, given the way he has revolutionised the club and the playing style. However, at the moment, I’d want George Graham in charge. He’d stifle United and go and hit them on the counter. 9

The Result:Chelsea 111 - 104 Arsenal

Chelsea pinch it. The combined talents of Osgood and Greaves would be just too much for Adams and Keown to deal with. A midfield battle between Wise and Vieira, and the inclusion of two Ashley Coles would ensure that this would be a tasty match though, and both teams finishing with eleven men is highly unlikely.

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