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Who would be in a Manchester City and Liverpool combined XI?

Who would be in a Manchester City and Liverpool combined XI?
© Reuters
Liverpool are in control of the title race and could move 10 points clear with victory over Manchester City.

Manchester City host Liverpool at the Etihad Stadium on Thursday in a match which will have a huge bearing on the Premier League title race.

City boss Pep Guardiola has already admitted their defence will be over if they lose to Liverpool, who are seven points clear at the top.

Ahead of the game, Press Association Sport looks at the combined XI of both sides.

Combined Manchester City and Liverpool XI
Combined Manchester City and Liverpool XI (PA Graphic)

Goalkeeper

Alisson beats Brazil team-mate Ederson to the number one jersey based on this season’s performances.

He has conceded just eight goals in the Premier League so far and has adapted to English football exceptionally well since a £66million switch from Roma in the summer.

Ederson is a title winner and has excelled at City but Alisson just edges him in this case.

Defence

Wolverhampton Wanderers v Liverpool – Premier League – Molineux
Liverpool’s Virgil Van Dijk has been exceptional this season. (Nick Potts/PA)

Virgil Van Dijk is an automatic pick given his outstanding form this season. He has been imperious and looks every inch a £75million player.

He is joined by Aymeric Laporte in central defence. The French defender – who is surprisingly yet to earn a senior international cap – has been central to City’s title challenge this season.

Andrew Robertson takes the left-back berth. The Scotland international has been an £8million bargain and with Benjamin Mendy always injured and Oleksandr Zinchenko yet to establish himself at City, it is an obvious choice.

Kyle Walker takes the right-back slot just ahead of England team-mate Trent Alexander-Arnold owing to his added experience in a title race with little to pick between the pair.

Midfield

Perhaps the hardest selection, but it is an all Manchester City midfield.

If Fabinho had played more rather than being eased in to life in England he may have edged Fernandinho but the Manchester City man gets the nod to provide the steel and defensive cover. They both average the same amount of interceptions per game but Fernandinho makes more tackles.

Kevin De Bruyne’s injury-hit season does not erase his quality and a fully-fit De Bruyne would make any team in the world.

It may be a deeper role for Raheem Sterling but the England international also needs to be in the team.

He has taken his game to a new level under Pep Guardiola, scoring nine top-flight goals and claiming six assists – with an average of 4.2 dribbles per game.

Forwards

Wolverhampton Wanderers v Liverpool – Premier League – Molineux
Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah (right) has netted 13 times in the Premier League this season. (Nick Potts/PA)

At one time it would have seemed improbable to omit Sergio Aguero but Manchester City’s all-time top scorer misses the cut as Liverpool dominate the front line.

The trio of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino cannot be ignored.

Firmino’s hat-trick in the 5-1 win over Arsenal were his first league goals at Anfield this season as he adapts to a deeper role but his work rate has been outstanding.

Salah’s inclusion is obvious, he is the Premier League’s joint 13-goal top scorer and his form since the start of last season has been phenomenal.

Nine-goal Mane continues to raise his game with the 26-year-old providing an excellent foil and supply line for his striking colleagues.


Click here for more stories about Mohamed Salah

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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool23193154134160
2Manchester CityMan City23182362174556
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs23170648232551
4Chelsea23145440192147
5Arsenal23135548321644
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd23135546331344
7Watford239683232033
8Wolverhampton WanderersWolves239592731-432
9Leicester CityLeicester2394102929031
10West Ham UnitedWest Ham2394103034-431
11Everton238693433130
12Bournemouth2393113342-930
13Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2375112532-726
14Crystal Palace2364132332-922
15Southampton2357112540-1522
16Burnley2364132343-2022
17Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2356121931-1221
18Cardiff CityCardiff2354141944-2519
19Fulham2335152151-3014
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2325161340-2711

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