Ahead of Saturday’s crunch Premier League game between Liverpool and Manchester United, we look into the strongest possible lineup whilst considering the strengths and weaknesses of both squads.
Goalkeeper: David de Gea (Manchester United)
This selection is a typical no-brainer as De Gea is far superior in terms of technical ability to Reds’ first-choice Simon Mignolet. The Spain international has kept six clean sheets compared to Mignolet’s two.
Central defence: Eric Bailly and Phil Jones (Manchester United)
Liverpool worries have tended to start from their defence this term, and this takes their players out of contention for our lineup. In comparison, Jones and Bailly have stood firm in the United ranks, and they have secured five clean sheets whilst playing together.
Right-back and Left-back: Antonio Valencia and Ashley Young (Manchester United)
Antonio Valencia is regarded as one of the Premier League’s top right-backs, and he makes our cut ahead of Trent Alexandre-Arnold and Joe Gomez, who are still learning their trade.
A month ago, anyone would have preferred Moreno to Young, but the latter has become influential for United since mid-September, contributing two assists in all competitions.
Central midfield: Nemanja Matic (Manchester United) and Emre Can (Liverpool)
Had Paul Pogba or Marouane Fellaini been fit, we would probably have gone with another all United selection. Matic has done no wrong since his move to Old Trafford, and he makes our lineup alongside Liverpool’s Can, who can take up a Pogba-esque role.
The Germany international is capable of driving towards the opposition box on his day, and he makes the first XI ahead of James Milner and Jordan Henderson, who are less of a threat to the opposition box.
Attacking trio: Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool), Henrikh Mkhitaryan (Manchester United), Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)
Another selection which was pretty straightforward. Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial are in the form of their lives for United this term, but Coutinho gets the nod on the left wing for his overall contribution towards his side.
Mkhitaryan is another automatic choice after having contributed a flurry of assists in the opening exchanges of the campaign. The Armenian is back to his best form in the number 10 role.
Barring an injury, Sadio Mane would have slotted in on the right side of the attack. In his absence, Mohamed Salah makes the cut after contributing four league goals for the Reds. The Egyptian is a live wire on the pitch but needs to work on his finishing.
Centre-forward: Romelu Lukaku (Manchester United)
The eighth and final Manchester United player in our lineup. Lukaku is the Premier League’s top-scorer with seven goals, and he is a certain starter ahead of Roberto Firmino and Daniel Sturridge, who have been a hit or miss of late.
Image – Getty