Southampton Greatest XI Vs Reading Greatest XI: Who Would Win?

Ahead of tonight's top of the Championship clash, we take a look at each club's all-time greatest players to see who would come out victorious.
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Ahead of tonight's top of the Championship clash, we take a look at each club's all-time greatest players to see who would come out victorious.

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Southampton’s Greatest XI:

GK: Peter Shilton

How can you put anyone ahead of the man who won 49 of his record-breaking 125 England caps at Southampton? The legendary shot-stopper’s international career spanned over 20 years and he helped Saints to a club record second place in the old First Division in 1984. 10

RB: Peter Rodrigues

Former Sheffield Wednesday and Cardiff full back Peter Rodrigues was best known for an incredible end to his playing career with Southampton – captaining the club to their only major trophy and lifting the FA Cup after a shock win over Manchester United at Wembley. 8

CB: Claus Lundekvam

Composed on the ball, solid at the back and a loyal servant to Southampton with 350 appearances, Claus was influential in many relegation escapes in the Premier League and maintained his place in the side that reached the 2003 FA Cup Final and qualified for the UEFA Cup as a result. He even makes the side despite taking around 300 appearances to score his first goal for the club. 7

CB: Jim Steele

The surname fits his nature on the pitch, as the Scotsman’s steely determination helped Saints survive an onslaught against the much-fancied Manchester United in the 1976 FA Cup Final. He made 177 appearances for Saints and featured in Dundee’s remarkable UEFA Cup run in 1971/72. 7

LB: Wayne Bridge

A hugely talented attacking full back who made his name on the South Coast, earning England recognition and battling with Ashley Cole to be England’s first choice left back. Bridgey was a key figure in the club’s success in the early noughties under Glenn Hoddle and Gordan Strachan, helping the club to a Premier League best position of 8th in 2003. Chelsea made a big money move for him that summer. He was hard done by to not get much first team football from then on after a great start at Stamford Bridge. 7

“Le God” is one of the most naturally gifted players to grace the Premier League – so much so that Barcelona captain Xavi idolised him as a youngster.

RM: Terry Paine

Terry Paine is the club’s record appearance holder, with an incredible career spanning over 18 years, where he notched 160 goals from right wing and allowed prolific strikers Ron Davies, Derek Reeves and Mick Channon to shine. Paine’s pace, flair and fantastic natural fitness shone through as he helped Saints from the Third Division to the fringes of top flight football and featured in England’s 1966 World Cup squad. 9

CM: Matt Le Tissier

“Le God” is one of the most naturally gifted players to grace the Premier League – so much so that Barcelona captain Xavi idolised him as a youngster. His ability to almost single handedly win games and help Southampton avoid relegation was great, but his ability to score wondergoals on a regular basis was incredible. A one-club man, he scored 101 Premier League goals and fittingly scored a brilliant left-footed volley in the last game at Southampton’s 103-year-old stadium, the Dell, in 2001. 10

CM: Kevin Keegan

Kevin Keegan was voted the European Footballer of the Year in 1978 and 1979, so it was a shock to world football when First Division minnows Southampton called a press conference to announce his signing. He won 66 caps for England and scored 37 goals in 68 games for Saints. World class. 10

LM: Alan Ball

World Cup winner Alan Ball spent two successful spells on the South Coast, making nearly 200 appearances and helping the club to the 1979 League Cup Final. Ball also had great success at the likes of BlackpoolEverton and Arsenal throughout his career, and he earned 72 caps for England. 9

ST: Mick Channon

Channon is Southampton’s all-time leading goalscorer and was arguably the most high profile player in Southampton’s FA Cup winning side and promotion to the to flight twice in the same decade. He banged in 227 goals for Saints and scored 21 goals in 46 England internationals. 10

ST: Ted Bates

“Mr Southampton”, Ted Bates was a manager, director and player at Southampton and deservedly earned legendary status during his long association with the club, and a statue in honour of the man stands proud outside the club’s current stadium, St. Mary’s. He scored 63 goals and was a hugely influential player between 1937 and 1953, and pips the likes of Alan Shearer, Steve Moran and Derek Reeves because of his iconic association with Southampton. 9

Manager: Lawrie MacMenemy

He inspired Southampton to promotion to the top flight of English Football, the only major trophy in the club’s history so far and guided the club to a record-breaking second place behind a powerful Liverpool side in 1984, so he has to be the man who manages this team of Southampton all-stars. Ted Bates is a player/assistant manager for this one.10

Southampton Total: 104

Greatest Ever Reading XI

GK. Shaka Hislop

A former Nasa intern, Shaka was an absolute hero in goal. He was integral to our Division 2 winning side in 1994 and finally left for Newcastle for what was then a British record for a goalkeeper of 1.575 million. Although through the years he did earn the nickname of “Shaky” Shaka. 8

RB. Graeme Murty

When Reading went up in 2006, Murty was earmarked by many as someone who would not be able to step up to the level of the Premiership. They were wrong. He was magnificent. Murty was an assured leader and a great crosser of the ball. 8

CB.Dariusz Wdowczyk

Signed from Celtic near the end of his career Darius was a real class act. My main memory of Dariusz, is him coming up to take every free kick outside the area and whacking every single one into the wall. However I remember a really solid defender.9

CB. Adie Williams

Williams was one of the those few players who start off at a club, do well, get a move and then return a few years later only to be better than when he left. Another real leader at the back, he was part of two great periods for the club. 8

LB. Nicky Shorey

One of the classiest players to wear the hoops. A great left peg and cool under pressure. The only Reading player to represent England in my lifetime. Though has been unable to reproduce his fine form for Reading at Villa/Fulham/West Brom. His greatest performance was the 6-0 win over Reading where he controlled the game from left back. 9

RM. Glen Little

The White Pele. Little proved that you don’t always need pace in the modern game. He could and did take it past anyone and everyone. He created 14 assists in the 2006 season. Then Reading’s inability to replace him, due to injury, on the right in our second season in the Premiership was one of the key reasons for relegation. 9

CM. Phil Parkinson

Probably the least naturally talented player to make the XI, Parky was all heart and effort. He makes the team because of his tradition of sprinting out of the tunnel at the start of the game and his crunching tackles. 7

CM. Simon Osborne

The first truly skillful player I ever saw wear the shirt. When Osborne played the crowd applauded. He could spray cross filed passes that the Elm Park crowd had only ever dreamed of. Could take a mean free kick. 8

LM. Michael Gilkes

Gilkes was the classic football league winger; extremely fast and extremely inconsistent. He spent 13 years with the club and few things got the South Bank on their feet with a cry of “Go on Gilkesy” like one of his sprints down the wing after a ball from Dylan Kerr. He also had a gold tooth. 8

CF. Jimmy Quinn

71 goals in 182 appearances. Quinn represented a total of 18 clubs in his career but starred at Reading scoring 35 league goals in the 1994 Division Two winning season, the highest in the football league that season. Few supporters will forget him rising to head in the winner as Reading won the Division two title and the fans stormed the pitch in celebration. 9

CF. Robin Friday

I never saw him play. Few did. But it would be foolish to leave out the Greatest Footballer You Never Saw™. Clive Thomas, World Cup Final referee, witnessed his best ever goal. After the strike Thomas turned to Friday and said: "I have to tell you that that is the best goal I have ever seen." To which Friday replied. “Really? You should come down here more often, I do that every week." 10

Manager. Steve Coppell

Sir Steve is an interesting character with an amazing career. It would seem he either transforms a club such as he did with Reading or Crystal Palace or leaves in mysterious circumstances such as at Manchester or Bristol City. Either way, he managed the greatest ever Reading team to 8th in the Premier League. 10

Total: 102

Final score: Southampton 104 - 102

The Saints pip The Royals in this fantasy tie but who will win tonight's top of the table beef?

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