Liverpool's Greatest XI v Spurs' Greatest XI: Who Wins?

Liverpool are favourites for this weekend's game against Spurs, but who would win in a game between the two club's all-time best teams?
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Liverpool are favourites for this weekend's game against Spurs, but who would win in a game between the two club's all-time best teams?

Liverpool's Greatest XI vs Spurs' Greatest XI: Who Wins?

Spurs head to Anfield this weekend looking for revenge after being thrashed 5-0 at home earlier in the season, in what proved to be André Villas Boas final game in charge of the club. It's a huge game for Liverpool as well, as the Reds have a genuine chance of winning their first league title since 1990 this year.

It's all set for a great game, but who would win in a clash between the two famous club's best ever sides?

Liverpool Greatest XI

GK: Pepe Reina

Plays like a sweeper at times, he improved greatly in the air, kicks off both feet, has a beautiful, perfectly smooth, round head and was the fastest keeper in our history to 100 clean sheets. Grob might have won more and Dudek danced us to victory in Istanbul, but neither touch Reina for sheer class. 9

RB: Rob Jones

If Rob Jones hadn’t had a back like a wet fence in Walton and a knee made of glass, that rat bag Gary Neville would have considerably less England caps. I loved watching ‘Chopsy’ Nicol as a kid, but it’s Jones for me. Could play on either side, knew how to defend with it, full of pace and great on the ball. That he retired at 27 made me weep. 7

CB: Alan Hansen

Although I could happily give him a right-hander for his vampiric performances on the MOTD sofa, Hansen was the first player I really, truly, loved. Couldn’t tackle or head but he was as continental as British defenders got in the 80s. The dictionary definition of ‘not a hair out of place,’ though I suspect he has been using creosote on it since 1977. 8

CB: Sami Hyppia

‘Oooohhh Sami Sami, Sami Sami Sami Hyyppppiiiaaaaaa…’ was the first song my stepson heard sung at Anfield for his first, and Hyppia’s last, game. Criminally underused by Rafa in his final season (who almost didn’t bring him on against Spurs that day, the t**) he memorably stepped in at the last minute for the sacking of Old Trafford and played like Beckenbauer. 8

LB: Jamie Carragher

Not his best position by a country mile, but there is no way I could leave Carra out. Has made more last ditch tackles than any footballer in the history of the game, deep thinker tactically and won’t stand for any bull. Anyone who saw him close up, bollocking Phillip Degen will agree. ‘Degen… DEGEN… DEEEEGGGEEEENNN you ******* ****, mark your man…” 8

RM: Steve McManaman

He might have looked like Rodney from Only Fools and Horses with a perm, but the ‘coltish’ (copyright Fleet Street, 1992) Macca breathed fresh air into our moribund midfield under Souness. Scorer of great goals – Celtic twice, Arsenal etc – our plan at corners when he played used to involve passing short to him and letting him dribble. What we’d give now for someone on the flanks who was as comfortable on the ball. 8

CM: Steven Gerrard

He might have the worst haircut in the history of football and he might, due to that Chelsea courtship, be difficult to like at times but christ can he play. Has dragged us out of the mire on so many occasions that his nickname should be ‘tractor’ rather than the rubbish Stevie G. People might scoff, but when he had the security of Alonso and Mascherano behind him there was no-one better in his position. 10

LM: John Barnes

You can keep your Barcelonas, your Milans and your Brazils, the team that Dalglish put together, featuring Beardsley and Barnes left such an indelible impression on a nine-year-old boy that whenever I’ve set a team up since, either coaching, on Fifa or Championship Manager, I play with two wide men and a number ten. Imagine what Barnes would cost in the modern game? Sid England and sod the fans who booed him, Barnes was a hero and was nearly as good in the middle of the park after his thigh injury. 9

CF: Kenny Dalglish

As much as I loved Beardsley, there is no way I could have him ahead of Kenny.  Technically perfect, not scared to put his head in, unparalleled with his back to goal and wearer of the most aesthetically pleasing number 7 shirt in history. Dalglish is to Liverpool what Maradona was to Napoli. And then some. 10

ST: Robbie Fowler

It was the 90s, the glory days had slipped away and we were all in a funk. Then a snotty nosed tyro with dynamite in his left-boot arrived and started ploughing goals in from everywhere. Still the fourth highest scorer in Premier League history with 163 goals (15 ahead of that turncoat Welshman Michael Owen) watching Fowler was joy unconfined. My favourite goal was when he Cruyff-nutmegged Steve Staunton at Villa Park and hit an exocet at the catflap. God indeed… 9

ST: Ian Rush

As devastating in the penalty box as anyone in the modern era, his work ethic was legendary. I was seven when he scored the iconic camera-toppling goal against Everton in the 1986 FA Cup final, and my four-year-old brother was so distressed when he left that he continued to call John Aldridge ‘Rushie’. 9

Liverpool Total: 95

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Tottenham’s Greatest XI

GK – Ray Clemence

The curtain was coming down Ray’s career around the same time I realised that professional football was not like school where goalkeepers were chosen because they were the worst on pitch. When I think of Tony Parks, Erik the Viking, Walker, Robbo, Gomes et al I’ve got clear memories of them throwing one in over their shoulder at some point. All I remember about Clemo was that he had massive hands. 8

RB – Steven Carr

Like a milky Roberto Carlos, Carr saved, made and scored goals. He was Tottenham Hotspur’s best player for a period in the late 90s and was gearing up for the inevitable exodus to Man U until he damaged his knee in 2001. Was never the same player after that and went on to be rubbish for Newcastle, which was nice. 7

CB – Ledley King

For over ten years I tried to instigate a chant to the tune of 10cc’s ‘Dreadlock Holiday’ that goes ‘I don’t like Ledley, oh no, I LOVE HIM’. For some reason it never caught on, but that doesn’t make it any less true. If knee transplants were available at the beginning of the century, Deadly Ledley would have 50 England caps and we would’ve lost him to a European giant. In reality, having Ledley at the back has convinced Tottenham Hotspur fans you can stick Sol Campbell up your bum, which can’t be easy. 9

CB – Graham Roberts (C)

If I’d made this list on July 1st 2001 it would be big Sulzeer partnering Deadly. I didn’t though, so Roberts gets the nod. A man made of granite with an iron will, Roberts lead by example during our most successful period of my lifetime. He played like a fan in a Spurs shirt and was a nutcase. What’s not to like? 8

LB – Gareth Bale

Gareth Bale obviously isn't a left-back anymore, but for the purposes of this, that's we're sticking him. At Spurs, Bale grew into one of the world's very best players, so good that Real Madrid made him the most expensive player in history. He is unstoppable at his best, rampaging through defences like they weren't even there. He was named the PFA Player's Player of the Year Award twice during his time in North London and fully deserved the recognition. Another forward-thinking player in this attack-minded dream team, which would adopt the rarely used 1-0-10 formation. 10

RW – David Ginola

With Gallic flair and that head of hair David was born to play for Tottenham Hotspur. During the dark days of the late 90s when a decent cup run and good performance against Ars*nal is all most Spurs fans wanted out of a season (and still never got) Ginola was a rare beacon of hope. It was a horrible time, with double agent Graham in the dug out serving up turgid, functional football. Ginola’s flamboyant style off the pitch and PFA player of the year performances on it were our only connection to our ‘Glory Glory’ past. 9

CM – Paul Gascoigne

In April 1991, on a sunny afternoon in Wembley, Gazza made Barry Davis say, “Is Gascoigne going to have a crack? He is you know. Oh I say that is…schoolboys own stuff” as he smashed in the best free kick the old stadium had ever seen past David Seaman. He obviously did loads of other stuff that makes him worthy of a place but the joy I felt after that swing of his right foot is more than enough. 9

CM – Glenn Hoddle

A magician who was more dexterous with his feet than most people are with their hands, Hod Almighty is the reason I support Spurs. Bags of skill, flair to burn and an eye for the spectacular; Glenn was the archetypical ‘Spurs player’. Put simply he’s the most naturally gifted Englishman to play in colour. Despite looking like a lesbian Desperate Dan and coercing Waddle to do Diamond Lights, Hoddle will forever be the ‘King of White Hart Lane’. 10

LW – Chris Waddle

Revered by Marseille fans as much those at Spurs, the Waddler is an absolute hero. The enduring memory of the lad who used to work in a sausage factory in Gateshead is of him always looking tired, marauding down the wing, dropping his shoulder and ghosting past defenders with his magnificent mulleted mane billowing in the breeze. If Aslan improved his touch, put on a Geordie accent and donned a Hummell shirt he still wouldn’t look as majestic as Chris in his pomp. 9

CF – Gary Lineker

There’s a generation who only know Gary as the jug eared crisp thief who ruined the golf. Yeah? Well they can jog on because Lineker was a goal poacher without equal. A great ambassador for us who always did the biz in the big games, Lineker consistently reproduced his England exploits in the lilywhite shirt of Tottenham. 8

CF – Jurgen Klinsmann

This was a tough one between Jurgen and Teddy Sheringham. Both had two stints at the club, played with the first three yards in their head and lit up the Lane. Teddy played more than one and a half seasons for us, but Klinsmann invented the diving celebration, which gets my vote. Part of the first wave of genuine world superstars to join the Premiership as it was then known, Jurgen had me believing that the mid 90s were the beginning of a Spurs renaissance. It wasn’t. The most decorated footballer in my team. Also drove a Beetle. 9

Spurs total: 96

Result: Liverpool 95 - 96 Spurs

Despite Liverpool's far superior history (they've won five European Cups, you know), Spurs surprisingly just edge this match-up. There's every chance Luis Suarez will join the Liverpool side in the very near future, which would even things up. Though with Liverpool on the verge of major success, right now in the present, their fans probably won't worry too much about this result.

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