Ahead of Sunday’s highly-anticipated showdown between Manchester United and Manchester City, Calcio Insider looks at a combined lineup featuring players from both sides based on their current form.
Goalkeeper – David de Gea:
Manchester City’s Ederson has been solid since his summer arrival from Benfica, but David de Gea has stood out as the league’s best shot-stopper with a couple of stellar performances this campaign. Most recently, the Spaniard made a record-tying 14 saves in the top-flight to keep Arsenal at bay in a 3-1 win.
Defence – Kyle Walker, Phil Jones, Vincent Kompany, Ashley Young
There is very little to pick between Kyle Walker and Antonio Valencia at right-back, but we are going for the former, who is more of a threat in the forward department. Unlike Valencia, Walker has had the freedom to romp forward with City’s dominance, and he could have the edge over Valencia in the weekend clash.
Meanwhile, Ashley Young is our pick on the left side of the defence after having shone under Jose Mourinho this term. The England international has excelled in the makeshift similarly to Fabian Delph for City, but he has recently turned out with crucial goals for the United’s cause.
In central defence, Phil Jones is a sure selection as long as he remains fit. The England international has not featured for United since the last international break, but he is in line to take part in the Manchester derby. Likewise, Vincent Kompany has had persistent injury issues at City, but he could be key towards restricting Romelu Lukaku with space in the box.
Midfield: Kevin de Bruyne, Nemanja Matic, Fernandinho
Fernandinho has been the rock in the Citizens’ midfield. The Brazil international has often gone unnoticed with the creative talent up front, and he remains crucial to cutting out any threat from the opposition.
Similarly, Matic has performed the job for United, and he most recently made a last-ditch block versus the Gunners, where Aaron Ramsey was pretty much clear on goal. The Serbian may have additional duties with Paul Pogba suspended.
Kevin de Bruyne has made more of an impact from a deeper role this campaign, and his ability to make precise long-range passes is something which has captured the eye of the neutrals this term. The Belgium continues to earn praise from Guardiola, who regards him as one of the best in the world.
Attackers: David Silva, Raheem Sterling
David Silva has been short of goals this campaign, but his efforts on the attack front cannot be ignored. The Spain international has recently recovered from a ‘little problem’ as described by Guardiola, and his interchange of play with the forward players could be key to unlocking the league’s tightest defence.
A month ago, one of Marcus Rashford or Anthony Martial would have made our list, but Raheem Sterling has stolen the show with his knack of netting late goals. Raheem Sterling has saved City’s blushes with late winners versus Southampton and Huddersfield Town, and he is regarded as one of the first names in the teamsheet.
Striker: Sergio Aguero
Romelu Lukaku has been on a rough streak with just two goals since the start of October. As a result, we are going with Sergio Aguero up front who is comfortable in the big games, unlike Lukaku whose recent record is awful to say the least. Aguero has notched seven goals for the Citizens in the same period.
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