Didi Hamann picks his combined Merseyside Derby XI

We won’t lie there’s some divisive picks in here

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In the lead up to Monday night’s Merseyside Derby we sat down with the great man himself, former Liverpool midfielder Didi Hamann and asked him to pick combined eleven choosing players from the red and blue halves of the city.

The players had to be from the Premier League era and it’s fair to say there’s some controversial choices in his 4-4-2!

We’ll just say there’s one or two players missing that will have you arguing worse than who gets the last chocolate from the tin of Christmas Celebrations.

Let’s give the man time explain himself! Take it away Didi.

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First off I’d have Pepe Reina in goals. He’s a cracking goalkeeper, very calm in everything he does so he’s between the sticks.

Seamus Coleman at right back, the Irishman is great going forward and nicks a few goals – like he did against Arsenal in midweek. He’s come on leaps and bounds!

Leighton Baines is my left back. He’s just solid isn’t he? Scores goals from set-pieces as well, which is an asset you need to have to get in my team.

Sami Hyypia and Jamie Carragher are the centre half pairing. Hyypia was one of the best buys Liverpool’s had in years, he was just great in the air and a fantastic all-round footballer. ‘Carra’ was the heart and soul of any team he’s was in with the way he played the game.

Xabi Alonso is my conductor in centre midfield. He’s a tremendous player who went on to win Champions Leagues and other trophies. He’d set the tone and pace of the match.

Tim Cahill partners him at centre midfield. A phenomenal goal scorer, very dangerous in the air and in front of goal. His record speaks for itself.

Steven Gerrard on the right. I don’t think I need to say anything, so good he could play anywhere…

John Arne Riise taking up the left hand side. He had such a great engine, would run hard for 90 minutes and going forward he was always a treat. John could score from anywhere.

Fernando Torres up front. For me, he was ‘the’ Liverpool striker of the last 15 years. When he came to the Premier League he took the game to a different level.

Finally, he joined at striker by Duncan Ferguson. ‘Big Dunc’ it’s always good to have a man of his size on your side in a derby.

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We know, we know! The likes of Michael Owen, Luis Suarez and Robbie Fowler are not in the eleven, so we put that to our German legend and here’s his response:

“I just think Torres took it beyond any one before him, Owen would have been my first sub. I wanted to go Torres and Owen, but ‘Big Dunc’ just edged it for me with his bulk and power;” said Didi.

“Micheal was unlucky to miss out, but he’s not a bad sub either. We had to have some Everton players too.”

There you have it, plenty for you to debate on the barstool tonight. Don’t @ us!

What do you think?