Combined United / City XI – Pogba In, De Bruyne Out?

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Joining in the theme of late, we pick a combined United / City XI ahead of the Manchester derby.

In goal there is really no decision to make. David De Gea is the best goalkeeper in the world and has reinforced that general opinion this season, so he gets the nod.

In defence Antonio Valencia is selected at right back – his form over the last few years has been very consistent and Jose Mourinho described him as the best around last year. United’s defensive record speaks for itself this campaign so it’s just a matter of who makes the cut there – and with Victor Lindelof’s recent form, we feel he is the right man to partner Eric Bailly. On the left Ashley Young, with those two stunning goals against Watford in recent memory, has a place.

Nemanja Matic and Paul Pogba are the midfield pair after establishing an axis which brings out the best of both of them. Match’s stability in his own role has enabled Pogba to demonstrate his talent, as surely the best player in the league.

United have an embarrassment of numbers in the role behind Romelu Lukaku (who just gets the nod on account of Zlatan Ibrahimovic being yet to score since his return) and while Jose Mourinho struggles with who to pick from Rashford and Martial, we have no such issue so we can pick them both. The remaining place goes to the only locally born player to have scored a trophy-winning goal for either Manchester club in years; Jesse Lingard’s certainly the man for the big occasion, and his movement could help create space for his team-mates to create big problems.

Our combined side then, looks like this:

… well, come on. You didn’t expect us to really pick any City players, did you?

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