This Saturday’s Manchester derby is easily the most-talked about meeting between the two clubs for years. It’s a match-up between two clubs who are expected to battle it out for the Premier League title this season, with both Manchester United and Manchester City both spent upwards of £100m this past summer in order to give themselves as good a chance of sealing domestic glory as possible. Saturday’s derby also sees the renewal of hostilities between Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola, who will do battle for the first time since their famously fiery stints in charge of Real Madrid and Barcelona respectively.
Plenty of people have wondered who will feature for both sides this weekend, with Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Marouane Fellaini both hopeful of being fit in time to start the game on Saturday. This game will see the start of Sergio Agüero’s three game ban for elbowing West Ham United’s Winston Reid. leaving Guardiola a little light up front. But what would a combined starting XI of the two clubs look like, based on recent form? We’ve tried to envisage what it would be like here:
No surprises in goal: David de Gea is easily one of the best goalkeepers on the planet, and easily starts ahead of Willy Caballero and Claudio Bravo.
Defence is a little trickier to pick, given that United’s back four have shipped only one league goal this season, with City conceding two. John Stones and Eric Bailly would be the best duo on current form, with Luke Shaw and Bacary Sagna either side of them.
In midfield, we’re working on the assumption that İlkay Gündoğan is fit, as the German’s skill in the centre of the park would be of huge benefit to City. Paul Pogba is his logical partner in that duo.
In attack, both clubs are blessed with young, vibrant players capable of magical moments. In this team, we’ve gone for Anthony Martial on the left, Raheem Sterling on the right and Kevin De Bruyne behind the striker. It might not be the most tactically astute approach, but seeing the skill and pace that the three offer combined would be some experience.
The lone striker was a little more difficult to choose, with Sergio Agüero such a key component in City’s success over the last five years. In the end, it was close, but we went for Zlatan Ibrahimović. The Swede has more experience, strength and size and has notched three goals in three games already in his first Premier League campaign.
What do you think of our combined XI? Do you have one of your own? Let us know in the comments below!