This Sunday has all the ingredients required to live up to its billing as a Super Sunday, with the meeting of Liverpool and Everton at Anfield followed by Manchester City’s visit to Old Trafford to face neighbours Manchester United.
These occasions create a buzz of excitement and anticipation, with fans hoping they can head to work on Monday morning with the bragging rights.
Pep Guardiola’s men lead the way in the Premier League, eight points clear of Manchester United in second place. Jose Mourinho will be hoping his side can narrow the gap, but he also faces the possibility that City will have an eleven-point cushion come Sunday evening.
Some think the title race is already over, should City win on Sunday they might start to believe it themselves.
As we eagerly count down the days to Sunday’s showdown between the Manchester pair we paint a picture of what a City – United combined XI might look like, a picture that will undoubtedly cause great debate
Players that will not take part on Sunday and will be watching on like the rest of us will not be considered for selection.
David de Gea equaled the record of fourteen saves in a Premier League game against Arsenal last weekend and deserves to be recognised as one of the world’s best, if not the best.
Manchester City’s Ederson has not put a foot wrong and is unlucky to miss out to the Spaniard in the combined XI. The Brazilian goalkeeper has shown his worth and is an upgrade on Claudio Bravo.
At right back Antonio Valencia has been nothing short of a revelation for Manchester United. Kyle Walker meanwhile has been in fine form for Manchester City since his summer move from Tottenham, who themselves are missing his attacking intelligence. However, Valencia gets the nod.
John Stones and Phil Jones have been in fine form and should start as a centre back pairing for England at next summer’s World Cup. They should both be selected for the combined XI as well, given their form so far this season.
However, with Jones injured again, it may be more sensible to go with Marcos Rojo, who has returned to fitness.
Vincent Kompany is a man for the big occasions, as he has proven in the past. Thus, he takes the place of John Stones, who is injured and out, but whose fine form this season would have otherwise seen him a certain starter.
Benjamin Mendy is a real character at Manchester City and his long-term injury, while not halting their progress, has been unfortunate. Ashley Young is enjoying an excellent run at full back for Manchester United and deserves all the recognition he is getting. He deserves his place at full back with Luke Shaw gradually earning Mourinho’s trust.
Paul Pogba is a massive loss for Manchester United and will be missed on Sunday. His teammate Nemanja Matic has been crucial to his new club so far this season and lines up alongside David Silva and Kevin de Bruyne in a midfield three. The Manchester City pair have been in excellent form with eight assists each and are rated by many as two of the best in the league.
While Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford are two huge prospects for Manchester United, both Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sane have been pivotal to Manchester City’s success this season.
Up top Gabriel Jesus, Romelu Lukaku and Zlatan Ibrahimovic are all quality strikers in their own way but Manchester United defenders will not relish facing Sergio Aguero on Sunday. The Argentinean is arguably one of the greatest strikers to grace the Premier League.
The Manchester combined XI:
Damien McEvoy, Pundit Arena