Manchester derby combined XI | Virgin Media
Manchester derby combined XI

Manchester derby combined XI

09/09/2016Sport

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Premier League football returns on Saturday after the first of this season’s international breaks and look no further than the Manchester derby for the biggest game of the weekend.

Both clubs are under new management in Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola and have made 100% winning starts to the new campaign.

Given the pair’s frosty past, their appointments have given this derby meeting an extra edge with more than just points up for grabs.

But out of all the stars on show, who makes it into our a combined Manchester XI based on form and fitness?

Goalkeeper: David De Gea (United)

Arguably the best goalkeeper in the country, De Gea will certainly be a key man for Mourinho this season as he looks to guide the club back to the pinnacle of English football. The Spaniard has kept a clean sheet in each of his last two appearances for United and wasn’t beaten in any of the derby meetings last term.

Right-back: Antonio Valencia (United)

The Ecuadorian seemed to be surplus to requirements until the appointment of Mourinho and he has certainly repaid the Portuguese tactician’s faith by delivering a string of consistent performances.

Think you know better than Jose? Pick your United XI with the Virgin Media Lineup Builder!

Centre-back: Eric Bailly (United)

He has already been compared to United favourite Nemanja Vidic from sections of supporters and that’s a big indication of how impressive he has been since arriving from Villarreal during the summer.

Centre-back: John Stones (City)

The England international playing under Guardiola is a match made in heaven and there have been encouraging signs during his three Premier League appearances for City since arriving from Everton last month.

Left-back: Luke Shaw (United)

If there were any fears that Shaw wouldn’t be the same following his horrific leg break which cut short his season last September, the first three games of the current campaign should dispel such fears.

Defensive-midfield: Fernandinho (City)

The Brazilian has been integral to Guardiola’s tactical set-up so far this season as he often drops into the backline to make it a three-man defence that allows the full-backs to tuck in and act as central midfielders. It will be interesting to see if he can hold on to his place at the base of City’s midfield once summer signing Ilkay Gundogan is fully fit.

How would you fit Gundogan in? Create your City XI with the Virgin Media Lineup Builder!

Centre-midfield: Kevin De Bruyne (City)

Eyebrows were raised when De Bruyne was named in a central midfield role on the opening day of the season but he’s performed extremely well in his new found position and has registered more assists (two) in the Premier League than any other City player.

Centre-midfield: Paul Pogba (United)

The world’s most expensive player was majestic on his homecoming against Southampton, admittedly less so against Hull City, but on his day he can be a match-winner and often produced the goods in big games for Juventus.

Right-wing: Raheem Sterling (City)

Probably no other player has benefitted more so from Guardiola’s arrival that Sterling. He has looked a completely different prospect altogether this season and is beginning to show why the club splashed out £49 million to secure his signature last summer.

Left-wing: David Silva (City)

Is there a Premier League player better to watch when he’s in full flow than Silva? The Spanish magician has been excellent for both club and country so far this season and, along with De Bruyne, he has created the most chances (eight) for City.

Striker: Zlatan Ibrahimović (United)

Three goals in as many Premier League games and the winner in the Community Shield against Leicester. Who said Ibrahimovic would have any problems adapting to life in England? The 34-year-old, despite his age, is crucial to United’s attack and the likes of Anthony Martial, Juan Mata, and Pogba should benefit from the Swede’s willingness to drop deep, hold up the ball and allow others to run off him.

 

This XI was compiled by Tashan Deniran-Alleyne at Squawka.