MX23RW : Tuesday, June 15 00:25:45| >> :120:4355:4355:
Mar 8, 2020 at 4.30pm UK at Old Trafford
Attendance: 73,288
Man UtdManchester United
2-0
Man CityManchester City
Martial (30'), McTominay (90')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Combined XI: Manchester United vs. Manchester City

Ahead of Sunday's Premier League clash between Manchester United and Manchester City, Sports Mole select its strongest combined XI from the two squads.

Manchester United and Manchester City will square off on Sunday for the fourth meeting between the two sides already this season, with both teams having made the FA Cup quarter-finals in midweek.

United kept their dreams of a record-equalling 13th FA Cup triumph alive with a 3-0 win over Derby County, whereas City saw off Sheffield Wednesday 1-0 at Hillsborough.

Pep Guardiola's side travel to Old Trafford 15 points above their arch-rivals in the table, having won their last five games in a row.

Meanwhile, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side have enjoyed a nine-game unbeaten run in all competitions as they lie fifth in the table, and will be looking to emulate their 2-1 win over the Citizens at the Etihad Stadium back in December.

Here, Sports Mole has selected its strongest combined XI from the two Manchester rivals, using only players likely to be involved at the weekend.


Combined XI: MNU vs. MNC

The goalkeeping spot was a particularly tough choice for this fixture, with both Ederson and David de Gea up there with the best keepers in the world. However, the United number one has often been criticised for his performances this season, despite saving his side on many occasions throughout his Old Trafford career. Ederson's distribution and ability with the ball at his feet are unparalleled, and therefore the Brazilian edges out De Gea for this selection.

In the heart of defence, Aymeric Laporte would have been a shoo-in for this 11, however the France international faces up to another two or three weeks on the sidelines.

Fernandinho has often deputised as a centre-back in Laporte's absence, keeping out John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi in the process, and partners United captain Harry Maguire who gets the nod over Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof. Maguire is a minor doubt for the weekend's derby, but is unlikely to face a significant spell out injured.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka has proven his defensive capabilities at United since his £50m switch from Crystal Palace, but Kyle Walker's attacking contributions and improved performances have seen him keep Joao Cancelo out of the City team, and therefore the former Tottenham Hotspur man occupies the right-back role.

A similar story at left-back sees Benjamin Mendy edge out Luke Shaw and Brandon Williams for this selection. The United pair have impressed under Solskjaer, but Mendy has offered a bit more going forward as well as greater experience.

Rodri has been a consistent performer in the holding role for Guardiola's side this season, and has also contributed three goals and one assist for the current Premier League champions. Fred and Scott McTominay have performed well as a midfield duo for the Red Devils, but neither are quite at the level of Rodri.

It has been confirmed that Paul Pogba will miss Sunday's match, however January signing Bruno Fernandes has adapted to the Premier League brilliantly with two goals and two assists from four games.

The Portugal international's form sees him partner Kevin De Bruyne in the midfield, and while the Belgian is a doubt for the weekend, Guardiola has affirmed that the 28-year-old is feeling better and in training. Bernardo Silva and David Silva were both worthy mentions for this selection, but De Bruyne has registered eight goals and 16 assists for City and has arguably been the best player in the league this season.

With regards to the front three, Sergio Aguero remains in the hunt for the golden boot with 16 goals in the 2019-20 campaign, and gets the nod over teammate Gabriel Jesus and United loanee Odion Ighalo.

Alongside Aguero on the right wing is Raheem Sterling, who has seen his attacking contributions dry up recently, but has nevertheless notched up 11 goals this season to earn a spot over Riyad Mahrez.

Marcus Rashford's injury has led to Anthony Martial being tasked with scoring the bulk of United's goals, and the Frenchman has responded well to that responsibility with 10 goals and three assists from 22 matches to earn the final spot in this team.

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Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer celebrates their second goal scored by Odion Ighalo on February 27, 2020
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TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CManchester CityMan City38275683325186
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd382111673442974
3Liverpool38209968422669
4Chelsea381910958362267
5Leicester CityLeicester382061268501866
6West Ham UnitedWest Ham381981162471565
7Tottenham HotspurSpurs381881268452362
8Arsenal381871355391661
9Leeds UnitedLeeds38185156254859
10Everton38178134748-159
11Aston Villa38167155546955
12Newcastle UnitedNewcastle38129174662-1645
13Wolverhampton WanderersWolves38129173652-1645
14Crystal Palace38128184166-2544
15Southampton38127194768-2143
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton38914154046-641
17Burnley38109193355-2239
RFulham38513202753-2628
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RSheffield UnitedSheff Utd3872292063-4323

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