Gary Neville picks a Liverpool Premier League XI

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Liverpool and Manchester United just love to hate each.

The Merseysiders dominated English football in the 80s before they were ‘knocked off their perch by United.’ The Red Devils have since overtaken Liverpool in terms of league titles and the rivalry is greater than ever.

United may have dominated Liverpool during the Premier League years, but there have been several almighty battles between the two sides and competing in those matches, have been numerous world-class players on both sides.

From Cristiano Ronaldo to Luis Suarez, both United and Liverpool have been able to boast top quality talent in clashes between the two heavyweights.

And, ahead of this Monday’s titanic encounter, Gary Neville was tasked with picking a Liverpool XI that he played against for Sky Sports. It must have been tough for Neville to remember all of Liverpool’s quality players but the former right-back has picked a pretty impressive side.

However, you’ll probably see the two controversial players he’s picked to play up-front in the absence of a certain Suarez. 

Goalkeeper | Pepe Reina

"I don't think Liverpool ever had a goalkeeper I've liked that much to be honest with you, but I'll go for Reina."

Defence | Markus Babbel, Stephane Henchoz, Sami Hyypia and Jamie Carragher

"I don't think Liverpool have had may good full-backs and I always remember that around that time, it felt like they had this tall, narrow back four and it was a nightmare to play against. There were no gaps, every time you crossed it, they headed or playing down the side, they had someone covering it.

"To me, this was Liverpool's strongest back four, otherwise I can't think of a great right-back or left-back. I think putting Carragher at left-back, just to get him in first and foremost, then it gets Henchoz and Hyypia in as well."

Midfield | Steven Gerrard, Javier Mascherano, Xabi Alonso and John Barnes

"With Mascherano and Alonso in midfield, it's the only time in my career where I thought 'they're actually good here.' Gerrard was a number 10 and Torres was up front, with Carragher and Hypia in the centre of defence and with Reina in goal, I thought 'another signing or two here, and they're going to win the league or they're close'.

"I played against Barnes three or four times and played with him for England and although when I played against him around 1995/96, he was just coming to the end, I think just for his ability and skill, he was a brilliant player. With him just tucked in on the left, it's a good midfield four."

Strikers | Michael Owen and Fernando Torres

"These two were lightning quick. Owen in his early years was electric and for those two or three years at Liverpool was devastating, especially on the left channel where I played and it was tough.
Torres for me was probably a world-class centre-forward. I didn't play against Luis Suarez or I would have had him in front of Torres, but for two or three years at Liverpool, Torres was outstanding and one of the best strikers in the world.

"Owen and Torres were the same in that once they lost that pace, Liverpool lost their main threat whereas other players can adapt, they weren't technically wonderful players but to play against them in their peak, you wouldn't want to because their pace was the one that kills you as a defender.
The team I've picked is one I wouldn't like to play against actually. The back four is solid, there's a midfield that can pass, can run, can cross and they could feed the front two."

Earlier this week, Carragher was tasked with picking a Premier Liverpool XI and left out both Torres and Owen in favour of Suarez and Robbie Fowler.

His reason? "One went to Man United and one went to Chelsea – so f**k them!”

We have a feeling Neville is just trying to wind a few Liverpool fans up.

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Wayne Rooney
Steven Gerrard
Gary Neville
Luis Suarez
Premier League
Paul Scholes
Manchester United
Jamie Carragher
Fernando Torres
Ryan Giggs

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