Ray Parlour chose five Arsenal players as the Gunners legend named his combined XI ahead of this weekend’s clash with Liverpool.
Arsenal host Jurgen Klopp’s side on Sunday afternoon in what could be a defining game for both teams and their hopes this season.
Mikel Arteta’s side are flying at the top of the Premier League table after a glorious start to the campaign which has seen them claim seven wins from eight outings so far.
With Arsenal securing a win in the north London derby last weekend and a 3-0 win over Bodo/Glimt in the Europa League on Thursday night, there’s no doubt that confidence will be sky-high going into the contest.
For Liverpool, meanwhile, there’s a real need for domestic results to improve.
Despite securing a victory over Rangers in the Champions League midweek, the Reds currently sit ninth in the table, a full 11 points behind the Gunners, although they do have a game in hand.
A number of Liverpool’s star players struggling to recapture the sort of form that they’ve showed in seasons gone by, while club-record summer arrival Darwin Nunez has failed to find his feat at Anfield so far.
However, they say form is temporary and class is permanent, and that’s clearly something Arsenal legend Ray Parlour agrees with after naming SIX members of Klopp’s team in his combined XI for the weekend clash.
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Speaking on talkSPORT Breakfast, Parlour explained: “Aaron Ramsdale has had a brilliant season and career so far, but I’ve got to go with Alisson in goal.
“Right-back, Arsenal play Ben White but it’s a no-brainer really, I’ve got to go with Trent [Alexander-Arnold].
“My two centre-halves, William Saliba has been amazing. I said at the start of the season that if he starts well he’s going to be one of the players to watch, so Saliba’s in alongside [Virgil] van Dijk. Even though he’s not in great form, you’ve got to have him in the side.
“Andy Robertson, I would have him. I really love Robertson, I think he’s a superb player, but he’s injured, so I’m going with [Oleksandr] Zinchenko. He’s going to be my left-back.
“My two midfielders, [Granit] Xhaka has been superb for Arsenal but I’ve got to go with [Thomas] Partey because he was excellent against Spurs. The ball-player has to be Thiago [Alcantara] for Liverpool.
“In the wide areas, [Gabriel] Martinelli has been brilliant for Arsenal but I’ve got to go with Luis Diaz. I think that he’ll score you a few more goals. On the right side it’s got to be Salah. He’ll always get you goals.
“Gabriel Jesus, as Arteta says, has been a revelation for Arsenal, so I’m going to put him up front and just behind, as captain, is Martin Odegaard. He’s a really good lad and can make things happen.”
Parlour went on to hail Arsenal’s signings of Zinchenko and Jesus, comparing the Gunners’ new No.9 to club legend Thierry Henry.
Discussing the Brazilian’s display against Bodo/Glimt, Parlour said: “The third goal was brilliant from Jesus. He’s so lively, isn’t he?
“It’s the way he turns on the half-turn and once he’s got that turn of pace he goes past the defender, they can’t bring him down, and then his ball skills are so good in front of goal.
“He’s been unbelievable, but do you know what it is? It’s because he’s the main man now.
“At City he was a fringe player, he wasn’t playing on a regular basis but now he’s a centre forward. He drifts out to the left quite often, a little bit like Thierry Henry used to.
“I know he’s a completely different player to Thierry Henry but he’s been an absolute revelation since he’s been at Arsenal. So has Zinchenko.
“Recruitment is so important in football clubs, it’s been spot on!”