Coral’s combined Manchester City and Bayern Munich starting XI
With Manchester City and Bayern Munich’s Champions League showdown coming up, Coral writers have compiled a combined starting XI of players from these two European giants.
The Sky Blues desperately need a win in this home clash (13/5 to do so), if they are to have any chance of qualifying from Group E (9/2).
Here is our pick of players when fit, available and at their peak. How many do you agree with?
Manuel Neuer – Goalkeeper
There is no doubt about it, sweeper keeper Neuer is the best current stopper in world football, and arguably one of the greatest of all time. He is now a World Cup and Champions League winner, and can be backed at 13/5 to help his side keep a clean sheet against Man City.
Pablo Zabaleta – Right back
The Argentine full back has become a key player both club and country since signing for City from Espanyol in 2008. Zabaleta is a World Cup runner-up, and we could simply not leave him out of this team.
Dante – Centre back
Brazil international Dante makes this side out of default, with neither club boasting an assured centre back, besides Vincent Kompany. The 31-year-old has played a big part in Bayern’s success the past couple of seasons, though, and gets in ahead of the likes of former City player and occasional liability Jerome Boateng, Martin Demichelis and Eliaquim Mangala.
Vincent Kompany – Centre back
One of the first picks for this XI, it is hard to believe that Belgium’s Kompany is still just 28-years-old. The City skipper is a rock at the back, and will give his all to ensure his side get the victory they need here.
Philipp Lahm – Left back
Bayern captain Lahm is one of the best, but most underrated, players in world football. The diminutive German, nicknamed the ‘Magic Dwarf’, is adept to playing in either full back position, as well as in defence midfield, but unfortunately misses out on this encounter due to a broken ankle.
Xabi Alonso – Defensive midfield
Former Liverpool star Alonso will relish returning to the northwest of England, and the ever-consistent player continues to highly impress for his new club, following his summer switch from Real Madrid.
Yaya Toure – Central midfield
Toure is another player who will miss out of this clash, this time due to suspension. The Ivorian superstar has not hit top gear this term yet, but there is no doubt about his ability when fit and raring to go.
Bastian Schweinsteiger – Central midfield
Inspirational midfielder Schweinsteiger has missed most of the season due to a knee injury, but his boss Pep Guardiola has confirmed he is in line to start against City. Another World Cup winner, he would surely get into any team on the planet, but has chosen to stick with the club he has played for since a junior.
Thomas Muller – Right wing
While Muller may not possess the skill, style or technique as most in this team, the German’s tactical awareness and positioning is amongst the best in the world. He has an eye for goal and is a born winner, so has to make this team. Muller is 6/1 to score two or more.
Arjen Robben – Left wing
Dutchman Robben, on the other hand, does own all those traits that Muller lacks, and his trickery can land even the most established defender onto his backside – although we have witnessed this player do so on his own accord many a time. The former Chelsea winger is still going strong at 30, and Manuel Pellegrini will hope his side can keep him quiet.
Sergio Aguero – Centre forward
Undoubtedly one of the best and most prolific strikers in the world right now, Aguero can turn anything to gold with his unmatched first touch and finishing abilities. The Argentine is on the same amount of goals in all competitions this season as compatriot Lionel Messi, and is 4/1 to strike last here. Robert Lewandowski is unlucky to miss out.