Combined Manchester derby XI: More City or United stars?
Holly Thackeray | October 22. 2015
Coral’s magnificent mixed Manchester derby XI
As Old Trafford prepares to host the first hotly anticipated Manchester derby of the Premier League season, Coral experts come up with a combined XI of Manchester United and Manchester City stars which would surely soar to the title.
Which such an array of talent strutting around the Rainy City, is it the Red Devils (31/20 to take all three points) or Sky Blues (17/10) who edged our picks? Read on to find out which fit and able players made our pride of Mancunia cut…
Goalkeeper: David de Gea (Manchester United)
Joe Hart has his moments, but superbly flexible Spain stopper De Gea has the likes of Real Madrid chasing his signature for a reason. The cat-like custodian, arguably United’s only world class player, is creative with his saves and tends to bring out his show-reel of sensational stops for the biggest of games.
Right back: Matteo Darmian (Man Utd)
Pablo Zabaleta’s campaign has been disrupted due to injury, and diligent Darmian has meanwhile emerged as a contender for most reliable right back. Al excellent all-rounder, the Italy international has taken to the English top-flight like a duck to water and goes about his business incredibly effectively.
Centre back: Chris Smalling (Man Utd)
Strong and with spades of speed, Smalling’s exceptional progress under Louis van Gaal is no secret. Now one of the finest centre halves in the Premier League, City will need something special to push past the powerful Englishman.
Centre back: Vincent Kompany (Manchester City)
Citizens captain Kompany is expected to be fit enough for the upcoming derby, and should really start after returning to his best this term. Against Sevilla, the Sky Blues’ backline looked lost without the bullish Belgian.
Left back: Aleksandar Kolarov (Man City)
With Luke Shaw sidelined this spot was easily crafty and creative Kolarov’s to lose. An attacking and set-piece threat in his own right, the Red Devils will be wary of the Serbian rampaging down the wing.
Defensive midfield: Morgan Schneiderlin (Man Utd)
The difference between Man Utd’s Everton victory and Arsenal defeat was arguably Schneiderlin’s savvy shielding of the defence, snappy tackles, fresh legs and exuberance. City would surely be happy not to see the fierce Frenchman start.
Central midfield: Yaya Toure (Man City)
Inconsistent at times this term, perhaps, but the inspirational Ivorian illustrated just what he is about last time out, as his pitch-long sprint created the Sky Blues’s winner versus Sevilla.
Right wing: Juan Mata (Man Utd)
Another big game player, Spanish playmaker Mata is Louis van Gaal’s main string-puller. Four goals and five assists across all competitions is a more than respectable return from the Red Devil, who scored in this fixture last season and is 10/3 to do so again anytime.
Central attacking midfield: Kevin De Bruyne (Man City)
In the absence of Sergio Aguero and David Silva, brilliant De Bruyne has stepped up to be City’s main attacking threat. Determined and deadly, the Belgian is already a proven match-winner in sky blue.
Left wing: Raheem Sterling (Man City)
Sterling easily beats out competition from the likes of Ashley Young and Memphis Depay, having adapted excellently to his new Etihad environment. Five goals and three assists in 12 outings is incredibly impressive.
Centre forward: Anthony Martial (Man Utd)
With Aguero unavailable, young poaching prodigy Martial is the next most potent marksman in Manchester. Having dazzled since joining the Red Devils, this French forward looks the complete package.
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