Using Dream Team points to determine an Arsenal & Man City combined XI ahead of tonight's pivotal clash | The Sun

IT would be naive to downplay the significance of tonight's top-of-the-table Premier League clash.

Having played one game fewer than Manchester City, Arsenal are currently three points ahead of Pep Guardiola's side but defeat this evening would drop them down to second on goal difference.

The safety net of a game in hand means the Gunners' fate will remain in their hands as long as they avoid a total thrashing but there's no telling how a loss to their title rivals, and subsequent fall to second, would impact them psychologically.

Conversely, victory would likely provide a massive morale boost that may be enough to carry them over the line throughout the final third of the campaign.

Should the Citizens lose, they may well feel the Premier League is something of a lost cause and focus their attention entirely on their quest for European glory.

Such decisive fixtures invariably provoke a torrent of combined XIs and we too shall oblige but only on the condition that we use this season's Dream Team points to solely determine the selected players.

GOALKEEPER: Aaron Ramsdale (£4m)

Arsenal's custodian edges out Ederson (£4.4m) by three points.

The England international's overall total of 69 is bettered by five other assets in his position but Man City's No1 is not among them.

Goals have flowed freely for the top two teams but clean sheets have been harder to come by then many would expect.

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Ramsdale narrowly edges out Ederson in the Dream Team rankings ahead of tonight's gameCredit: GETTY

DEFENDERS: Ben White (£4.5m), Gabriel (£4m), Nathan Ake (£4.1m)

Neatly, this back three would function very well should they ever combine in reality.

Both White and Ake have played the majority of their minutes at full-back this season (right and left respectively) but are centre-backs by trade.

The former is four points off a century, something achieved by just eight defenders at this stage, while the latter sits on 76, one ahead of Ruben Dias (£5.9m), though the Portugal international boasts a superior points-per-game average.

Gabriel reigns supreme at the back among these teams with 101 points to his name.

It's worth noting that Joao Cancelo would have been included in this XI had he not left the Etihad to join Bayern Munich on loan – he amassed 99 points before his unceremonious January exit.

MIDFIELDERS: Riyad Mahrez (£5.7m), Kevin De Bruyne (£6.7m), Martin Odegaard (£3.2m), Bukayo Saka (£4.2m)

The real-world viability of this team takes a hit here but who cares, this is Dream Team and it's an incredible quartet!

Bruno Fernandes (£5.9m) is king among midfielders right now but these four names make up the rest of the top five as the only other centurions.

  • De Bruyne – 135 points
  • Mahrez – 113 points
  • Saka – 108 points
  • Odegaard – 104 points

City's brilliant Belgian has endured something of a lean streak of late (by his standards) but 16 assists in all competitions is a formidable tally at this stage of the season.

As for the Algerian winger, he's been on a tear of late, posting 70 points across the last seven Game Weeks.

Arsenal's captain has scored eight goals and provided five assists in 20 league appearances so far while the Gunners' homegrown No7 has 16 goal involvements in all competitions.

Phil Foden (£4.7m) is unlucky to miss out here given that he's Dream Team's seventh-best midfielder at the time of writing with 96 points to his name.

FORWARDS: Erling Haaland (£8.8m), Gabriel Jesus (£5.3m), Gabriel Martinelli (£3.2m)

Norway's apex predator is the first name on the team sheet in this hypothetical exercise.

With 31 goals under his belt already, it's not inconceivable that Haaland may reach 50 before the end of term; hence his obscene Dream Team points tally of 261, which is 55 better off than that of his nearest rival among assets from all teams.

Jesus makes the cut despite his lengthy injury lay-off having plundered 88 points before the World Cup break.

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His team-mate and compatriot Martinelli is three points further back having endured something of a slump in recent weeks.

However, the 21-year-old's contribution of seven goals and two assists has helped put Mikel Arteta's side in pole position.

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