Monday evening hands us the biggest Premier League fixture of the season, as rivals Liverpool and Manchester United clash in Anfield- in a game where there is everything to play for. Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool are right up there in the title frame, whilst United have stuttered this season but a victory here could kick-start their season.
Both sides are full of talent, particularly in attack, but they could do with some slight improvements in defence. Overall though, choosing a combined XI between two of the finest sides in the Premier League was certainly not easy- and we’re sure you’ll disagree on a few positions!
We stuck to a traditional 4-4-2 formation for this selection, which perhaps sees some players play a little bit out of position, but we’re left with an extremely talented squad.
In goal the choice of David De Gea was an easy pick, as the Spaniard is significantly better than Liverpool’s duo of Loris Karius and Simon Mignolet. Arguably the best goalkeeper in the Premier League, De Gea has gone from strength to strength in recent years and has taken Spain’s number one jersey, after years of Los Rojas sticking with Iker Casillas.
On the left-side of defence, it’s again an easy decision to go for Manchester United’s Luke Shaw, ahead of Alberto Moreno and James Milner. We’ve also gone with United’s first-choice defensive partnership of Eric Bailly and Chris Smalling, electing to choose them ahead of Liverpool’s options.
Our first Liverpool player coming into the squad is on the right-side of defence though, with Nathaniel Clyne getting the nod ahead of Antonio Valencia. Matteo Darmian was another option but, given the fact he’s failed to establish himself in the side this season, it was another fairly easy decision.
Moving into the midfield, Henrikh Mkhitaryan features on the right. This isn’t down to his form this season, where he’s been a bit-part player since arriving from Borussia Dortmund, but the Armenian international tore the Bundesliga apart last season. As the saying goes; form is temporary, class is permanent.
On the right, another summer signing joins the team in the form of Sadio Mane. He has established himself as a key-player for Jurgen Klopp’s side this season, scoring three goals in six Premier League appearances this term, and he’ll be crucial in Liverpool’s push back to the Champions League.
In the centre, it’s another case of positions that pick themselves. Paul Pogba and Philippe Coutinho are the obvious choices and the ones we go with. Pogba, having arrived for a world-record fee from Juventus, has started to perform in the Premier League after a slow start, whilst Coutinho at times looks a class ahead of his team-mates at Anfield. With both of these players in midfield, any side would find them difficult to break down.
Finishing off the squad in attack, it’s one from each side once again. Zlatan Ibrahimovic, one of the best striker’s in world football, is another obvious choice and the Swedish international has settled into English football quickly; scoring four goals in seven games.
The last spot goes to Roberto Firmino, a player who arrived from Germany last summer and started off quite slowly, before finding his feet in the second-half of the season. Now, under the guidance of Jurgen Klopp, Firmino has grabbed three goals in six appearances and has created a deadly partnership with the likes of Sadio Mane.
Squad wise, there is quite a few quality players that miss out. Wayne Rooney, Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Juan Mata are notable absentees from Manchester United, whilst Liverpool see the likes of Georginio Wijnaldum, Daniel Sturridge and Adam Lallana miss out.