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Manchester derby: The combined XI

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Rashford and Haaland.
  • Manchester United hosts Manchester City at Old Trafford this weekend, resuming the City’s Premier League rivalry.
  • We’ve attempted to create a combined Manchester Team ahead of their latest Derby.

Manchester United hosts Manchester City at Old Trafford this weekend, resuming the City’s Premier League rivalry.

It promises to be an exciting match between the two rivals, with Manchester United in fine form after nine consecutive wins in all competitions. On the other hand, City has been the division’s dominant force in recent seasons, scoring ten goals in  the last two Manchester Derby.

We’ve attempted to create a combined Manchester ahead of their latest Derby.

Goalkeeper: Ederson – Manchester City

Ederson

Manchester City’s goalkeeper Ederson.|PHOTO: Getty Images|

Ederson’s contribution to Manchester City’s modern success cannot be overstated, with his distinct style of goalkeeping a key component of Pep Guardiola’s strategy.

His comfort on the ball gives City another option in their possession-dominant approach. He is widely regarded as the best goalkeeper in the world with the ball at his feet. His kicking is his most powerful weapon, with the Brazilian possessing a booming kick with pinpoint accuracy.

RB: Kyle Walker – Manchester City

Walker had a strong start to the season, going unbeaten in City’s first eight Premier Le. Still, hees, but he needed surgery after rupturing his groin in their derby win over United.

Despite this, Gareth Southgate took a chance on the 32-year-old for the 2022 World Cup, and after missing England’s first two group games, hecrucialayed a crucial role in their run to the quarter-finals.

Walker was named man-of-the-match in the Three Lions’ narrow loss to France in the last eight, and he has carried that t form to club level since returning from the international break.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka has also had a mini-resurgence at United, but Walker is one of City’s most important players at the moment, especially given Joao Cancelo’s recent d…ip in form

CB: John Stones – Manchester City

On a personal level, the 2021-22 season was frustrating for John Stones because he was second fiddle to Aymeric Laporte, but he has managed to change that dynamic this term.

The 28-year-old is finally living up to his full potential and has surpassed Laporte in the squad pecking order, frequently starting alongside Ruben Dias or summer signing Manuel Akanji.

CB: Raphael Varane – Manchester United

 Raphael Varane

Raphael Varane’s solid defending puts him in the team.|PHOTO: Getty Images|

From one elegant centre-back to another, Raphael Varane is the first Manchester United player to break up Manchester City’s dominance in this XI.

Varane joined the Red Devils with a stellar reputation following a decorated career at Real Madrid, where he won three La Liga titles and four Champions League trophies.

Fitness issues hampered his Premier League debut season, but he has proven his worth this time, forming an excellent partnership with Lisandro Martinez.

LB: Luke Shaw – Manchester United

Based on form, Luke Shaw was the obvious choice, with the Manchester United star thoroughly deserving widespread recognition for his post-World Cup performances.

Ten Hag asked Shaw to fill in at centre-back in United’s victories over Nottingham Forest and Wolves, and he did so admirably, assisting De Gea in recording back-to-back clean sheets.

The city will face a difficult task preventing Shaw from making an impact in the final third, and he could be a nightmare for them.

CM: Casemiro – Manchester United

Casemiro Man Utd midfielder TEAMtalk

Casemiro .|PHOTO: TEAMtalk|

Manchester United have a midfielder capable of stamping his authority on games for the first time in a long time.

Casemiro arrived in the summer with a considerable reputation, though there were initial concerns about the £60 million fee and the contract length for a player who will turn 31 next month. The Brazilian has dispelled any doubts with a string of standout performances, demonstrating the ability that has seen him shine as one of the world’s best enforcers over the last decade.

CM: Kevin De Bruyne – Manchester City

Kevin De Bruyne continues to cement his place among the Premier League’s all-time greats, with his body of work supporting his case as one of the league’s best midfielders.

De Bruyne has been one of the pillars upon which Pep Guardiola has built one of the most successful Premier League teams in history.

He has four league titles, two PFA Player of the Year awards, and a staggering 95 assists in just 227 Premier League appearances – only four players have ever managed more.

LW: Jack Grealish – Manchester City

Grealish has only contributed 14 goals in his first 59 appearances for City. Still, he is seeing more regular minutes ahead of Phil Foden in Guardiola’s starting lineup, and his overall game has improved by leaps and bounds.

Guardiola is now being rewarded for his patience with Grealish, who almost single-handedly turned the tide in City’s favour when he came on in the 60th minute of their Premier League win over Chelsea on January 5.

If he can keep up his current pace, his initial £100 million fee will be forgotten.

RW: Riyad Mahrez – Manchester City

Riyadh Mahrez

Riyadh Mahrez scored a brace.|PHOTO: Sky Sports|

If anyone can put City’s Algerian maestro Riyad Mahrez on the back foot, it’s Mahrez, who has been in a bad mood since regaining favour in Guardiola’s squad.

Earlier this season, City manager Pep Guardiola challenged Mahrez to rediscover his “love for the game,” He has certainly looked like a man having fun in recent matches.

Mahrez has four goals and one assist in his last five appearances for City, with his most recent performance propelling them to a 4-0 FA Cup third-round victory over Chelsea.

The 31-year-old opened the scoring with a stunning free-kick and scored a penalty as he tormented Chelsea’s defence for 90 minutes, and he should be back in Guardiola’s starting lineup at Old Trafford.

ST: Marcus Rashford – Manchester United

fbl eng facup man utd everton

Rashford Scores to seal United Win against Bournemouth.|PHOTO: FA|

Rashford is just one player who benefited from Ten Hag’s arrival in Manchester.

The Englishman had a difficult couple of seasons, but he is now back to his best, scoring seven goals and assisting three in 17 league appearances.

ST: Erling Haaland – Manchester City

Erling Haaland

Erling Haaland. Photo/ Planet Football.

The former Borussia Dortmund marksman is the fastest man to break the 20-goal mark in the competition’s history, achieving the feat after 14 games.

His hat-trick against United made him the first player to score three in three successive home Premier League games, after previous trebles against Crystal Palace and Nottingham Forest.

Haaland is a natural force and the most lethal striker of his generation. It will be interesting to see if Ten Hag can devise a plan to stop him after learning the hard way.

 

I am an ardent sports enthusiast interested in writing about football, motorsport and athletics.

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