Stoke City vs Watford combined XI: Who cuts the mustard?

With both teams in a good run of form of late, both Stoke City and Watford's players have been among the most impressive in the league.

However, when it comes to joining the strongest members of both together, who would make the cut?

Goalkeeper: Jack Butland

Despite suffering an ankle injury last March on international duty with England, Butland claims the number one jersey. The 23-year-old is a class above competitors Lee Grant and Heurelho Gomes.

The ex-Birmingham City shot stopper thrived for The Potters prior to the misfortune he endured last Spring. Eager to again prove his worth and showcase his ability, the player may soon find he is required at a club possessing more stature.

Right-back: Glen Johnson

Experience and leadership are to crucial elements when sourcing talent to construct a strong team. Stoke City’s Glen Johnson possesses both these traits making him the clear choice to fend off any left-wing threats.

The 32-year-old has made more than 300 appearances in England’s top flight for sides including: West Ham, Portsmouth, Chelsea and Liverpool. Additionally, the player has 54 caps for England and unlike any of his selected teammates has a Premier League winners medal.

Centre-back: Ryan Shawcross

Ryan Shawcross, probably England’s most underrated centre-half. Typically overlooked when it comes to international selection, the Stoke City skipper thrives at the heart of his defence. His height and physical presence make him an ideal candidate for any manager hoping to quell creativity and goals in the final third.

The Potters legend may not have speed, but he makes up for such with his ability to read the game. Despite injuries hampering his last two seasons, Shawcross is a worthy of inclusion on this team sheet.

Centre-back: Miguel Britos

Miguel Britos is debatably Watford’s best central defender. Since his arrival from Italy in July 2015 the Uruguayan international has featured regularly for The Hornets. Having made 99 appearances for his last side Napoli, Britos sought after a new challenge in his career.

Life in the English capital has been no walk in the park for the 31-year-old. Funnily enough his first game in the English top flight was against Stoke City, in which he aided his side in keeping a clean sheet. His inclusion in this eleven was an easy decision.

Left-back: Jose Holebas

Having received October’s ‘Player of the Month’ award voted for by Watford fans, Jose Holebas is the clear choice to take the sides left-back position. The Greek international played a crucial part in helping his side keep three consecutive clean sheets last month, and additionally scored a stunning match winner against newly promoted Middlesbrough.

He offers a great overlap, great delivery and great defensive awareness making him an essential part to this eleven piece puzzle.

Central midfield: Etienne Capoue

The Frenchman has notably improved since failing to impress fans at Tottenham Hotspur upon his arrival to English football. Following his transfer to Watford in the summer of 2015, it was anticipated the player would grow in stature and confidence.

Hornet supporters have witnessed week in week out this season why the holding midfielder earned himself Ligue 1’s ‘Young Player of the Year’ award in 2013. The ex-Toulouse star offers a physicality unlike those alongside him in this formation, meaning he is a pivotal selection.

Central midfield: Joe Allen

A midfield maestro and legend in his own right; Joe Allen claims one of three spots in central midfield. The ex-Liverpool and Swansea City player, referred to by some as the Welsh Xavi, is a crucial part of this eleven.

Shockingly let go by Liverpool despite featuring in UEFA’s Euro 2016 ‘Team of the Tournament’, the 26-year-old has hit the ground running under Mark Hughes. The player has already scored four goals for Stoke this campaign, and his ability to pick a pass renders him an important part of any team.

Central midfield: Roberto Pereyra

The ex-Juventus man is the creative spark in the middle of the pitch. Roberto Pereyra has a wicked right foot and is held in high regard by Watford boss Walter Mazzarri. It is said fitness and skill hold equal importance in today’s modern game and the Argentinian has an abundance of both.

The 25-year-old featured nearly seventy times for Juventus in two seasons, and to represent a club of that magnitude so frequently earns him inclusion.

Right wing: Xherdan Shaqiri

Arguably Mark Hughes’s best piece of business as a manager was securing the signature of Xherdan Shaqiri. The Swiss international was often linked with clubs who offered European football including Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur. Nevertheless, the 24-year-old opted to leave German giants Bayern Munich to continue his life in Stoke-on-Trent.

Shaqiri is an explosive forward who offers pace and power. His left foot has produced several wonder strikes and he can boast to other professionals that he is one of few players to ever score a hat-trick in the history of the World Cup. All these points justify his spot in this joint eleven.

Left wing: Marko Arnautovic

An impressive campaign last year for Stoke City saw Arnautovic linked with several top clubs throughout Europe. His eagerness to inflict frustration on opponents via his commitment to made him irreplaceable. Despite a poor start to this season the Austrian is beginning to find his way.

The 27-year-old joined The Potters from Bundesliga side Werder Bremen for £2 million in 2013, making him an absolute steal. He is the perfect winger and trumps anything Watford have to offer in wide positions, hence his spot in this combined team.

Striker: Troy Deeney

It was a difficult case to argue in favour of any Stoke forward considering their barren run in front of goal. Wilfred Bony, Peter Crouch and Jonathan Walters are names which offer little excitement when spoken. Troy Deeney however, musters performances that see bums lifted from seats with excitement.

The Watford captain wears his heart on his sleeve and puts 110% into every match he plays. His eye for goal and his commitment to chase down lost causes make him an ideal fit for this side.