Which Man United Players Would Get Into Man City’s Team?

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Manchester United are set to visit the Etihad on Sunday afternoon, when another Manchester Derby will be on display. Pep Guardiola’s Man City will host the Red Devils in a match that will mean a huge deal to both sides. Not just because of it being a derby day, but also because of their current Premier League campaign. A loss or even a draw would for City mean Liverpool’s complete comeback in the title race, as two teams would be very close to each other. For Man United, any negative result could have huge implications for their race for top four, especially following their 0-0 draw against Watford last weekend.

But this Manchester Derby made us think. Man United are this season so far behind the league leaders, even more so with their performances rather than points, and we wanted to pose the question – which Man United players, based on their current season so far, could get into Man City’s starting 11? If we were to make a combined 11, which United players would be in it? Here is what we realised.

Statistics Say – Only Two Man United Players

To answer the first part of the question, we took a look at Whoscored and their advanced metrics. They use the Opta numbers for player performances and with them, they create their own Whoscored ratings. We took at the overall Premier League Whoscored ratings for both Manchester teams and merged them into one. From there, we excluded players who played much less football than the crux of the two squads and made a combined 11 based purely on numbers.

Surprisingly or not, only two Man United players were part of that 11 – Alex Telles at left-back and Paul Pogba in central midfield. We set up the team in a 4-3-3 formation, but even switching it to 4-2-3-1 would not have made results any different. Bruno Fernandes’ rating of 7.18 was not enough to make the team, while Pogba just about managed with 7.19.

The team looks as follows: Ederson – Cancelo, Laporte, Dias, Telles – Rodri, De Bruyne, Pogba – Bernardo, Jesus, Foden. Does this look right to you?

Combined XI Probably Similar

We wanted to think more about this and not just look at the numbers. If we are talking about the players entering this City team, then it’s obvious not many would fit the system. Pogba has the talents, as well as Bruno, but both would have to improve massively in order to fit Pep Guardiola’s strict and demanding system. But if we were to make a combined XI, then maybe a name or two would have been different. We know David de Gea would not make it into City’s team due to his lack of passing skills, but if we were to value more pure goalkeeping skills, then he would have been ahead of Ederson. Also, Cristiano Ronaldo surrounded by the likes of De Bruyne, Bernardo Silva and Phil Foden would have probably had more clear cut chances to make his season better in terms of goalscoring.

Whatever you think about all of this – the gulf in team quality is clear whether we liked to admit that or not. Man United will have a lot of work to do this summer in order to close that gap.

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