The best Manchester United and Manchester City combined XI
The most eagerly anticipated game of the season so far takes place at Old Trafford this weekend, with Pep Guardiola bringing his new-look Manchester City side to the Theatre of Dreams. So far, both clubs have a 100% winning record from their three fixtures, but this will be the toughest task both managers have faced to date.
Ahead of the game, we’ve decided to compile the best possible starting line-up of the players that are available to both Jose Mourinho and Josep Guardiola at the current time. It is worth stating that the XI does contain a couple of notable absentees due to injury and suspensions (Vincent Kompany and Sergio Aguero).
David de Gea – The goalkeeper slot was made rather easy to fill thanks to Joe Hart’s departure. That said, David de Gea has earned his position in the side with some outstanding performances over the last twelve months.
Antonio Valencia – Coming in at the right-back slot we have Ecuadorian international, Antonio Valencia. He managed to beat out stiff competition from Bacary Sagna thanks to the form he is in at the start of this season. The 30-year-old is playing out of his skin defensively, and also chipping in with a few assists when going forward.
Eric Bailly – The man from Villareal was a relative unknown until about a month ago, but now he has firmly established himself on the Manchester United line-up. He’s aggressive in his defending which is something United have been lacking recently, and although it wasn’t easy leaving out Daley Blind, I simply had to include the Ivorian.
John Stones – Like Bailly, Stones is a new signing in Manchester, and has taken to life at the Etihad like a duck to water. He suits Guardiola’s style down to a tee. The confidence is flowing, and so far, it seems as though he has ironed out those basic mistakes he started to make last term.
Luke Shaw – What a great story Luke Shaw is. He has battled back from a double leg-break to reclaim the left-back slot in this side with relative ease. He is a diligent defender and seems to be forming a nice partnership with Anthony Martial out on that left-hand wing. Including him in this line-up was pretty straightforward, with Guardiola yet to settle on either Clichy or Kolarov in City’s back four.
Fernandinho – Without doubt one of the most underrated midfielders in the country, but definitely one of the best. The Brazilian powerhouse has really established himself in City’s XI over the last twelve months, and is brilliant on both sides of the ball.
Paul Pogba – Alongside Fernandinho we have the most expensive player in the world. Although he has only played a couple of times since his return to United, it would’ve been criminal to leave him out for Ilkay Gundogan who hasn’t played at all. The 23-year-old is one of the best midfielders on the planet, and the Red Devils will be expecting big things from him this season.
Kevin de Bruyne – 25-year-old De Bruyne is one of the most glorious players to watch in full flow. The way he drifts past his marker with relative ease is a joy to behold, and the City fans absolutely love him. He creates chances aplenty and scores sensational goals too.
David Silva – On his day, Silva is the best #10 in the league, and despite him approaching the latter years of his career, he’s still the best in Manchester. United have so many options in this position but the likes of Henrikh Mkhitaryan haven’t been utilised yet. The silky Spaniard David Silva more than justifies a spot in this side. He loves an excellent Manchester derby performance, too.
Raheem Sterling – This was a straight shootout between Anthony Martial and Raheem Sterling and based on current form I simply had to plump for the City man. The 21-year-old is tailor-made for a Pep Guardiola side and my he is showing that at the moment. He looks like a man reborn with confidence flowing, and he has a big twelve months ahead of him.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic – With Aguero suspended, Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s inclusion was a must. The influential Swede has already scored four goals in his first four competitive fixtures for United and he’ll be looking to add to that this weekend. This is a man who has won the league in almost every season of his career, and he has a good chance of achieving that again.
Check out the full Manchester combined XI here:
Featured image: all rights reserved by Rachel.
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