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Combined XI: Liverpool vs. Manchester United

Ahead of Sunday's Premier League showdown between Liverpool and Manchester United, Sports Mole selects its combined XI from both squads.

English football's biggest rivalry will enter its latest chapter on Sunday when Liverpool welcome Manchester United to Anfield.

The Reds know that victory will take them back to the top of the table, while they are also currently on their joint-longest unbeaten run in the Premier League era and so could make another slice of history this weekend.

However, for all of their success this season it is now eight matches since they beat United in the league and Jose Mourinho would relish the chance to dent Liverpool's title hopes in their own back yard.

Here, Sports Mole selects its combined XI from the two squads, using only players available for this weekend's clash.



Combined XI: LIV vs. MNU© Reuters

Liverpool go into this match sitting 16 points clear of their opponents in the table, so it is no surprise to see Jurgen Klopp's side dominate this XI.

Arguably the most contentious position is the goalkeeper, where there is intense competition between David de Gea and Alisson Becker. De Gea has for some time been an almost automatic pick having been United's outstanding performer of the post-Sir Alex Ferguson era, but this season Alisson has outperformed the Spaniard and played a huge role in turning Liverpool into title contenders.

At the back the main headache comes from injuries, but a clean sheet for Liverpool would see them set a new English top-flight record for fewest goals conceded after 17 games, whereas United are already only two goals short of the entire total they conceded last season.

Trent Alexander-Arnold is a doubt for this match but has an outside chance of featuring and so beats Ashley Young to a place at right-back, while even the much-maligned Dejan Lovren earns a spot above any of the United centre-backs in the absence of the injured Joe Gomez.

Virgil van Dijk's presence has transformed Liverpool into a fearsome defensive outfit, while Andrew Robertson completes an all-Liverpool back five ahead of Luke Shaw, who is a doubt for the game.

United's sole representative in the team comes in midfield as Paul Pogba narrowly beats the likes of Naby Keita, Jordan Henderson and Fabinho to a place alongside Georginio Wijnaldum and the evergreen James Milner in the trio.

Liverpool's front three have not won the plaudits they did last season so far this term, but United's own attackers have struggled to an even greater extent and so it is a fairly easy choice for Liverpool to enjoy a clean sweep in attack too.

Mohamed Salah has scored the first goal in a game on a league-high seven occasions this term - not to mention an unparalleled six winners - while Roberto Firmino's patchy form is still enough to earn a place ahead of Romelu Lukaku and Sadio Mane edges out Anthony Martial.

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Who will win Sunday's Premier League clash between Liverpool and Manchester United?

Liverpool
Draw
Manchester United
Liverpool
61.8%
Draw
12.2%
Manchester United
26.0%
Joel Matip in action for Liverpool in pre-season on July 19, 2018
Read Next:
How Liverpool could line up against Man United
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool22183150104057
2Manchester CityMan City22172359174253
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs22160646222448
4Chelsea22145340172347
5Arsenal22125546321441
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd22125544321241
7Watford229583232032
8Leicester CityLeicester229492625131
9West Ham UnitedWest Ham229493032-231
10Everton228683331230
11Wolverhampton WanderersWolves228592328-529
12Bournemouth2283113142-1127
13Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2275102430-626
14Crystal Palace2264122028-822
15Burnley2263132343-2021
16Southampton2247112339-1619
17Cardiff CityCardiff2254131941-2219
18Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2246121631-1518
19Fulham2235142049-2914
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2225151337-2411

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