Coral’s combined Arsenal and Man United superstar starting XI
Arsenal (6/5 to defeat the Red Devils) and Manchester United (12/5 chances) have both been plagued by injury problems this season. So, as these two top teams prepare to do battle again, Coral writers put their heads together to come up with a combined best XI based on the old rivals having fully fit squads.
Goalkeeper: DAVID DE GEA
Knocking on the door to be Spain’s number one stopper, De Gea was crowned United’s best player last term, and has continued to save his side points this season. The agile keeper could do with being a tad more authoritative, but is still an easy choice over Arsenal’s custodians, and is 4/1 with Coral to keep a clean sheet against the Gunners.
Right back: MATTHEW DEBUCHY
Calum Chambers has shown real attacking intent whilst deputising for Debuchy. However, the Frenchman’s extensive experience would help to make this combined rearguard much more solid when on the back foot.
Centre back: PER MERTESACKER
The experienced German international has skippered Arsenal on numerous occasions and frequently leads by example. Key to the Gunners’ rearguard for his composure and aerial ability, we plumped for the 30-year-old to marshal this defence.
Centre back: LAURENT KOSCIELNY
Mertesacker’s partner brings stability and assurance to Arsene Wenger’s side, and has been much missed whilst out with injury, with his pace and anticipation providing balance to the backline.
Left back: LUKE SHAW
Shaw has endured a difficult start to life at Old Trafford, but has shown with former side Southampton that he has the potential to be one of the best in his position. Strong, quick and composed with the ability to deliver pinpoint crosses, if Shaw can stay fit he should be first choice for United for years to come.
Defensive midfield: DALEY BLIND
Blind quickly became a key man for United, and has impressed with his ability to anticipate and break up opposition attacks. Tactically astute and usually relied on for the simple pass, the Dutchman also has much more in his locker, occasionally popping up with a long-range stunner.
Right wing: ALEXIS SANCHEZ
Sanchez (6/1 to score two or more against United) has been simply sensational for the Gunners this campaign, often providing the drive to drag his stuttering side along. With explosive pace, dazzling dribbling, strength and the will to scrap, adaptable Sanchez has grabbed eight goals in 10 Premier League games.
Central midfield: AARON RAMSEY
Welsh wizard Ramsey has not been at his best this season after a bright start was hampered by injury. The two-footed 23-year-old is still a potent threat on his day, with his runs into the box and ability to score crucial goals making him the pick of the bunch.
Central midfield: JACK WILSHERE
Wilshere has proven with England that he has the ability to adapt and influence play from deeper positions, but is still at his best pulling the strings further forward. Able to deliver precision passes to feet as well as long balls over the top to unlock the best backlines, Wilshere must make this XI.
Left wing: ANGEL DI MARIA
Arguably at his best at the tip of a diamond, Di Maria has been moved out left recently, where the tricky Argentine has still been the Red Devils’ best outfield player. His trademark crosses and enviable vision have seen him pick out teammates with plumb passes and rack up five assists.
Centre forward: ROBIN VAN PERSIE
Ex-Arsenal striker Van Persie bests current clubmate Wayne Rooney, due to his fantastic stats for both the Gunners and United. Able to turn a game in an instant, the prolific predator has netted 152 Premier League goals.
Still possessing a sensational left peg at 31, Van Persie’s finishing ability will not diminish with age, despite a slow start to the season. The Dutch sniper is 6/4 to net anytime against his old club.