There is something very interesting about making combined XIs. Fans both love them and hate them and plenty of discussion start with them, too. We at Stretford End made one for the match against Liverpool few months ago. This time, another big clash is upon us.
This time it is the Manchester Derby. Picking 11 players from two great teams is not an easy task. In this combined XI we will allow all players to come into this team, whether they will be available for the Sunday clash or not.
Goalkeeper – David De Gea
An obvious choice. The Spaniard is currently the best goalkeeper in the world. His display against Arsenal was unbelievable even for his high standards. Ederson is simply not at that level.
Right-Back – Antonio Valencia
Kyle Walker is an amazing right-back who fits Pep Guardiola’s team and system. However, Valencia’s experience, reliability and pure quality are enough to warrant him a spot in this combined XI.
Centre-Backs – Eric Bailly and John Stones
Bailly unfortunately will not play against Manchester City, but he is definitely the best of all possible centre-back options here. John Stones, on the other hand has made big improvements in his game this season.
Left-Back – Benjamin Mendy
Former Monaco player was unfortunate to get a serious cruciate ligament injury, but this place is his. Ashley Young is doing amazing things at left-back, but he is over a long-term limited and Manchester United lack more options on both positions on the left side of the pitch.
Defensive Midfielder – Nemanja Matic
Fernandinho does great in City’s fluid system, but Nemanja Matic is still ahead of him. Serbian is doing wonderfully ever since he left Stamford Bridge. He is one of the most important Manchester United players, giving them stability they often lacked.
Central/Attacking Midfielders – Paul Pogba and Kevin De Bruyne
So many great players in these positions, but these two are by far the best. Many think De Bruyne is currently playing like a Player of the Year in the making, while Pogba has been exceptional as well. The Frenchman has been injured and now will serve a three-match ban, but his performances this season make Manchester United tick like they have not for a very long time.
Right Winger – Raheem Sterling
The way in which Guardiola has improved Sterling is amazing. Former Liverpool winger has already proved to be decisive for Man City when they need him, scoring match-winning goals on several occasions.
Left Winger – Leroy Sane
German winger is playing in form of his life this season. Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford have both been great for Manchester United, but Sane is currently ahead of them. He is improving with every game, but Martial and Rashford have the potential to play at the highest level, too. They only need a little bit more of continuity.
Striker – Sergio Aguero
Romelu Lukaku started firing from all cylinders early into the season, but is now in poor form. His lack of confidence has been obvious recently and Sergio Aguero is constantly scoring goals for Man City. It would be tough, if not unimaginable, to put Lukaku ahead at this point of season. The Belgian needs to show more, especially against teams like Man City are, if he is to truly show he is a world-class potential.