EPL 2016/17: Manchester United vs Arsenal: Combined XI
Bringing the best out of the two giants of English football
After the end of another torturous international break comes a blockbuster Premier League encounter between the two giants of English football; Manchester United and Arsenal. Old Trafford awaits another classic encounter between the two as many times current form goes out of the window when these sides meet. Jose Mourinho has never lost a Premier League match against Arsenal and though the Gunners are in a better momentum than Wenger's old nemesis, one cannot just write away the Portuguese manager.
Both sides have their injury problems as Arsenal suffered a major blow in the form of Hector Bellerin who is expected to be out for a month whereas Antonio Valencia is still a doubt for the hosts. Arsenal have gone over a decade without a win at Old Trafford with their last win coming back in 2006.
It is a must-win game for United if they want to challenge for the title whereas the Gunners will have to prove to end their November curse. Let's take a look at the combined eleven from the two sides formed completely on the basis of their availability and current form :
Goalkeeper: David De Gea
Petr Cech has not done anything wrong this season but when you are up against one of the best keepers in the world, there is not much that Cech would have done. Though United have conceded 13 goals this season, De Gea is the reason they have not conceded more and the Spaniard is as always at his colossal best. His save against Coutinho will be one of the best in this season and he will have his work cut out against a supreme Arsenal attack.
Right back: Ashley Young
Young grabs the right back spot just because of a long-term injury to Arsenal's Hector Bellerin. United's Antonio Valencia is also doubtful because of a fractured arm he suffered last month. Valencia is back in training but is not expected to feature against the Gunners. Carl Jenkinson has not had much first team action and will not be helpful in this eleven.
Centre back: Laurent Koscielny
Inarguably the best centre back in both the sides as the Frenchman has started this season brilliantly. He also chipped in with some important goals at crucial moments which has enabled Arsenal to be in the reckoning of the top spot. With Eric Bailly out injured for two months, Koscielny will also captain this combined lineup with an immense experience of big games in his career.
Centre back: Shkodran Mustafi
Arsenal's new signing has settled in his new club well and can be said as the Gunners' answer to United's brilliant summer signing, Eric Bailly. Mustafi is a bold defender with a no-nonsense attitude and is the kind of player that Arsenal missed in the past. The duo has formed a solid pair and a settled centre-back pair is a major in any successful team.
Left back : Nacho Monreal
United have played a number of players in this position as not one of them has been able to cement his place. Monreal, on the other hand, has been solid for Arsenal as along with his defending, the Spaniard has improved his attacking output which is helping the Gunners on the left flank. United have used Daley Blind, Luke Shaw and Matteo Darmian as left back but has not yet decided on one.