EPL: Manchester Derby - Combined United-City XI this season
The Manchester derby is less than 36 hours away, and has probably become the most important game of the season, thanks to Liverpool and Manchester City sharing the top two places in the Premier League table, only separated by a single point.
If Manchester United manage to beat City tomorrow evening, they will hand the Premier League title to Liverpool if the Reds manage to not slip up in the remaining four fixtures.
If United continue their bad run in the Premier League against Manchester City, it will be yet another blow to the Red Devils, who are fighting for the Champions League spot, but currently sit at the sixth position on the table.
With all these said, today we take a look at a Combined City-United XI this season. Have a look at our picks:
With David De Gea seemingly out of form for the past two months, and Ederson being consistently excellent as the stopper for Manchester City, the Brazilian gets a nod in our combined XI for this season. Ederson has 16 clean sheets this season in the Premier League, and has conceded only 22 goals in the 34 matches that City has played.
Kyle Walker has not been at his best this season for City, like he was last season, but still the England full back has managed to perform well for Pep Guardiola's side, thus earning a spot in the combined XI. Luke Shaw is our pick for the left back position. Despite missing some crucial games in the last few weeks due to injury, the Southampton academy graduate has been brilliant for United this season in all the games that he has played.
Aymeric Laporte and Victor Lindelof are our picks as the two best centre-backs from the two sides. Laporte who was signed last season from Spain, has thrived under the guidance of Pep Guardiola, and turned into one of the best defenders in the Premier League in just less than two seasons. On the other hand, Lindelof has been the only good thing about United's central defence this season. The Swede has been showing improvements in his game since the beginning of this season under Jose Mourinho, and has continued his excellent form under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. There is no doubt that if United are to revamp their defence next season, Lindelof is the player to build the defence around.
Pogba started the season well under Mourinho but after his falling out with the United ex-boss, his performances started to drop and soon he was dropped from the side in some important games. But, since the appointment of Solskjaer, the Frenchman has played creditably well in every competition and is reportedly attracting interest from Real Madrid as Los Blancos begin to revamp their post-Ronaldo squad.
Fernandinho is one of the senior players in the City squad who haven't lost their form with age, and that is exactly why the 32 year old is still the most favoured central defensive midfielder in Guardiola's camp. Fernandinho has mostly been involved in controlling the tempo of the game and being a support to both the attack and defence, and the Brazilian has done an amazing job with that.
Bernardo Silva has been phenomenal for City this season, with the 24 year old nominated for both the PFA Player of the Year and the PFA Young Player of the Year awards. The Portuguese has six goals and seven assists this season, contributing to almost 15% of all City goals this season. He has established himself as the perfect replacement for an ageing David Silva.
Raheem Sterling probably will win the PFA Player of the Year award, as well as the PFA Young Player of the Year for this season, thanks to his splendid performances for the City side. There is no player in the squad who has improved as much as the English winger under Guardiola since the Spaniard's arrival. With 17 goals and nine assists to his name, he has probably won way too many matches for City this season to not be in our combined XI.
Sergio Aguero still remains loyal to the blue half of Manchester even after seeing his Champions League dream go up in flames against Tottenham Hotspur last week. Aguero has 19 goals and eight assists for City this season in the Premier League making him the most effective attacking player on the pitch, and that is exactly why he takes up the spot as the striker in our City-United combined XI ahead of the derby.
Last but not the least, Marcus Rashford is the third United player to make it in this season's combined XI. The English youngster has really stepped up this season for the Manchester side, which has failed to impress with almost every player turning in average performances week in, week out. The 21 year old has an astonishing 34 shots on target this season for his club, and scored the penallty that ensured the club's shocking win over Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League round of 16.
(All Statistics: Premier League Official Website)
Who do you think will take home the spoils after the Manchester Derby tomorrow evening? Will United hand over the title for Liverpool to lose, or will City slip up in the most important game of the season? Do drop your comments below!