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Chelsea vs. Manchester United: Combined XI | Premier League 2020-21

Does Bruno Fernandes make our combined Chelsea and Manchester United XI?
Does Bruno Fernandes make our combined Chelsea and Manchester United XI?
Scott Newman
SENIOR ANALYST
Modified 26 Feb 2021
Feature

This Sunday sees a huge game in the Premier League, as Chelsea play host to Manchester United at Stamford Bridge.

The last time Chelsea and Manchester United faced off, the match ended in a dire 0-0 draw. But with new Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel overseeing a real resurgence, his Blues side have climbed into fifth place in the table.

And a win over Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Red Devils would likely move them into the top four and put them just three points behind United.

With millions spent on big-name players, Chelsea and Manchester United clearly have two of the Premier League’s best squads.

So if we were to put together a combined XI of players from those squads, who would be selected?

For the purpose of this article, we’ve lined our side up in a 4-3-3 formation, despite Tuchel currently favoring a 3-4-3.


Goalkeeper: Edouard Mendy (Chelsea)

Edouard Mendy has enjoyed a strong start to his Chelsea career.
Edouard Mendy has enjoyed a strong start to his Chelsea career.

This was a tricky choice, but in the end, we’ve gone with Chelsea’s new #1 Edouard Mendy over Manchester United’s long-time goalkeeper David De Gea.

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Signed from Rennes for a fee of around £22m last summer, Mendy has contributed hugely to a stronger Chelsea defense this season.

The Senegal international has already kept 10 clean sheets this season, conceding just 16 goals in the process. Mendy looks a much better bet than his Blues rival Kepa Arrizabalaga.

De Gea, meanwhile, has appeared in 23 of United’s 25 games, with understudy Dean Henderson covering the other two.

The Spaniard hasn’t done badly, but he’s only kept eight clean sheets to Mendy’s 10 and has conceded 29 goals.

De Gea has made more saves than Mendy – 49 to 34 – but this is more likely because he’s played three more matches than the Senegalese.

It is worth noting, though, that neither keeper is infallible. Both Mendy and De Gea have made an error leading directly to a goal this season. And last season saw the Spaniard make three such errors.


Right-Back: Aaron Wan-Bissaka (Manchester United)

Aaron Wan-Bissaka is one of the Premier League
Aaron Wan-Bissaka is one of the Premier League's strongest right-backs.
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Right-back is a tricky spot to fill in this team largely because Chelsea have struggled to choose between Cesar Azpilicueta and Reece James during the current campaign.

However, despite both men's talents, Manchester United’s Aaron Wan-Bissaka is the most logical choice here.

In terms of defensive statistics, Wan-Bissaka outshines his two Chelsea competitors quite comfortably.

The 23-year-old averages more tackles, interceptions, and blocks per game than either Azpilicueta or James, with his average of 3.1 tackles per game being truly outstanding.

But more surprisingly, for a player who often comes under fire for his lack of attacking intent, Wan-Bissaka has done well in that department this season too.

While his attacking statistics lag behind James’, Wan-Bissaka has actually scored two goals and registered two assists – more than either of his Chelsea counterparts.

Therefore, Manchester United’s #29 deserves a spot in this side.

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Published 26 Feb 2021, 19:33 IST
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