Liverpool vs Manchester United: Combined XI
Who makes the team when two most successful teams in English football are combined?
The world awaits a mouth-watering clash between the two English giants in Liverpool and Manchester United as the bitter rivals resume their rivalry for the 197th time on Monday night at Anfield with the first clash between these two sides happening 122 years ago in 1894. The Reds are in better form going into this encounter as they trail league leaders, Manchester City by just two points whereas United are three points behind Liverpool going into this game.
Jurgen Klopp faces an anxious wait over the fitness of Adam Lallana and Georginio Wijnaldum ahead of United's visit while Jose Mourinho will be pleased as the duo of Luke Shaw and Henrikh Mkhitaryan have been declared fit ahead of Monday's match. This is the first time these two sides since Mourinho took over the reigns from Louis Van Gaal as a hotly contested affair is on the cards on Monday. We select a combined eleven from the two probable lineups in a 4-2-3-2 formation :
Goalkeeper: David De Gea
The Spaniard is undoubtedly Premier League's no.1 keeper right now and only Manuel Neuer can keep him out of a combined lineup. Liverpool, on the other hand, have to make a tough choice with new signing, Loris Karius looking nervous in coming out of his line against Swansea City with Simon Mignolet waiting for his chance on the bench.
Right back: Nathaniel Clyne
Clyne has proved himself as Liverpool's Mr. Consistent as his tremendous work rate and rampaging runs forward proving to be immense to the Reds' success. His resolute defending is the reason why he edges out Antonio Valencia from the combined lineup. Though Liverpool have conceded way too many goals this season, their fullbacks have offered an extra dimension to their ability to change transitions quickly.
Centre back: Eric Bailly
The 22-year-old has settled well in his new club as his strong presence at the back had been crucial in United's strong start to the season in August. The Ivorian is good in the air, tackles well and has a no nonsense way of playing which sets him apart from Liverpool's Joel Matip although the Cameroonian himself has had a brilliant start to his Liverpool career.
Centre back: Daley Blind
Blind was said to be on the list to be offloaded by United this summer but with a string of influential performances, the Dutchman has proved his worth in this United team. His set piece delivery was brilliant against Leicester as he produced two assists against the champions. Blind has been decent at left back too and with Liverpool still not improving their leaky defence, having United's defenders in the combined lineup makes more sense.
Left back: James Milner
This can be said as a Jurgen Klopp masterstroke as Milner has effectively settled in his new position as a left back and has also notched up four goals this season. His overall contribution has been immense for the Reds and he is keeping Alberto Moreno out of the starting lineup with his inspired performances. As Luke Shaw has just returned from another injury, Milner takes up the left back position.