Collymore picks nine Arsenal stars in combined XI with Manchester United
Photo by Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images

Collymore picks nine Arsenal stars in combined XI with Manchester United

Stan Collymore has told the Sunday People (22/1; page 59) that he would only find room for two Manchester United players if he was forced to make a combined XI with Arsenal ahead of their Premier League meeting today.

After years away, Arsenal and Manchester United are contenders in the title race once again. Of course, it is Mikel Arteta’s men who lead the way right now, five points clear of the chasing pack.

Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

Manchester United are currently eight points back of the summit, and they have played a game more. However, they will hope that Arsenal’s lack of experience in the title race causes the Gunners to stumble at some stage.

Collymore picks nine Arsenal players in combined side with Manchester United

And they have the ideal opportunity to cut the gap on Sunday. The two meet at the Emirates this afternoon.

Photo by Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images

Arsenal have been formidable at home. But Erik ten Hag’s side have been flying of late. And they are the only team to have beaten the Gunners so far this season.

So you can understand why Collymore was torn over a combined XI ahead of the game. However, the pundit ultimately opted for a strong Arsenal contingent, with only Granit Xhaka and the likes of £45 million signing Gabriel Jesus and Eddie Nketiah missing out.

“Even though I could make a case for five or six players from both getting into a combined XI, in this afternoon’s battle, I have to go heavily in Arsenal’s favour with a nine-two split,” he told the Sunday People.

“In Arsenal’s preferred 4-3-3 formation, as they are top of the table, I can only find room for Casemiro and Marcus Rashford from United.”

Collymore picked Casemiro alongside Thomas Partey. Meanwhile, he chose Marcus Rashford up front, with Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli either side.

That is certainly an exciting prospect. But as Collymore suggests, it is hard to argue against a few other players getting the nod.

Arsenal will know that today’s game as a major test. They have cleared almost every hurdle so far this season. And a defeat today will encourage their rivals.

But should they win, many of their fans may be starting to believe that they could be approaching putting one hand on the trophy.

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