Manchester derby combined XI: Just three United players make the cut ahead of Saturday’s showdown… but there’s no room for David de Gea as City No 1 Ederson gets the nod
- Manchester City host Manchester United in a derby clash on Saturday evening
- City go into the match in third place, 11 points clear of city rivals United in sixth
- Sportsmail selects a combined XI of players from both of the Manchester teams
- Players injured or suspended for Saturday’s match are not eligible for this side
Manchester City host Manchester United on Saturday hoping to hammer home their recent dominance of their derby rivals.
City have won back-to-back titles, beating United in three of the four Premier League matches in that time.
And despite sitting in third after losing three matches this season, City are still 11 points clear of United and will be expecting to win on Saturday evening.
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola celebrates their recent 4-1 win over Burnley
Still, United do possess some quality individuals, several of whom would challenge to get in Pep Guardiola’s first-choice XI.
With that in mind, Sportsmail has put together a combined derby XI of the two Manchester teams.
The one caveat is that the players selected have to be available for Saturday’s match, so that rules out the likes of City injury victims Aymeric Laporte, Leroy Sane and Sergio Aguero and Manchester United’s crocked record signing Paul Pogba.
Here’s the team…
Manchester City winger Raheem Sterling (right) is selected in our Manchester combined XI
GOALKEEPER: EDERSON (CITY)
Straight into the controversy then.
For many, David de Gea is the best goalkeeper in the Premier League, he’s United’s highest-paid player on £375,000-a-week and arguably their best player too. But Ederson’s arrival transformed City into title-winners, allowing Pep Guardiola’s side to build from the back while not losing anything in terms of shot-stopping and physical presence.
The same could be said of De Gea, but the Spaniard’s form has dipped in 2019 and for that he is left out.
Manchester City’s Brazilian goalkeeper Ederson gets the nod over United’s David de Gea
RIGHT BACK: KYLE WALKER (CITY)
There are three candidates here: Walker, his team-mate Joao Cancelo and United’s £50m summer signing Aaron Wan-Bissaka.
Walker is no longer a guaranteed starter at City with the arrival of the classy Cancelo, but he has upped his game to stay ahead of the Portuguese in both City’s side and this one.
Wan-Bissaka has had a solid start to his United career but doesn’t offer the same threat going forward as Walker.
Kyle Walker has increased competition this season at right back from Joao Cancelo
CENTRE BACK: VICTOR LINDELOF (UNITED)
Cue raised eyebrows. Firstly, let it be said that this is the weakest selection in the team.
Lindelof is consistent but looks like he’ll lack the one outstanding attribute needed – heading, passing, speed or strength – to ever be considered world class.
But with Laporte injured, John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi struggling and Fernandinho looking out of position at centre back for City, he gets in our team.
Victor Lindelof has emerged as a regular starter for Manchester United since signing in 2017
CENTRE BACK: HARRY MAGUIRE (UNITED)
A certain starter, given the aforementioned problems at centre back for City. If Laporte were fit, Maguire would still be starting alongside him.
Has been thrown in at the deep end at Old Trafford in a struggling United side but has shown the presence and composure that England and Leicester fans are so used to seeing. At 26, United will look to build their new side around him.
Harry Maguire joined Manchester United this summer from Leicester in an £80million deal
LEFT BACK: BENJAMIN MENDY (CITY)
On to another problem position. When he arrived at City two years ago, Mendy looked like the best left back in the world.
But serious injury problems have seen him play just 22 Premier League matches in nearly two-and-a-half seasons.
He is fit now though and while not up to full speed, there is no real challenge from within the United ranks with Luke Shaw having had injury problems of his own, leaving youngster Brandon Williams and veteran Ashley Young to fill in.
Benjamin Mendy (right) has had a run in the team of late after two injury-plagued seasons
DEFENSIVE MIDFIELD: FERNANDINHO (CITY)
The knock-on effect of City’s central defensive problems has been the loss of Fernandinho’s presence in midfield.
The wily Brazilian brings nastiness and nous – qualities they have missed with Fernandinho at the back and Rodri still adapting to the Premier League – to allow City’s more creative players to flourish.
Starting Lindelof and Maguire allows him to return to his natural position here, where he gets in ahead of Scott McTominay despite the United youngster’s fine season so far.
Fernandinho (centre) has been playing centre back for Manchester City this season
CENTRAL MIDFIELD: KEVIN DE BRUYNE (CITY)
City won the title last season despite missing their best player for long parts of it through injury and, ironically, he has returned to his peak form this campaign – see his goal against Newcastle – while other parts of the team have struggled.
That is pure coincidence though. De Bruyne is the most gifted playmaker in the Premier League and walks straight into this team.
Kevin de Bruyne fires home a superb goal against Newcastle at St James’ Park last weekend
CENTRAL MIDFIELD: DAVID SILVA (CITY)
If De Bruyne is the Premier League’s No 1 playmaker, then David Silva is not far behind.
It has to be said though that his powers are on the wane at the age of 33 and he may have struggled to get in this side were Paul Pogba fit and on form.
Still, you feel there’s more to come from the Spaniard in his final season at the Etihad and don’t bet against him playing a key role on Saturday.
Manchester City captain David Silva (pictured) is in his final season at the Etihad Stadium
RIGHT WING: BERNARDO SILVA (CITY)
That he won Player of the Season in such a talented Manchester City squad last season says all you need to know about younger Silva’s ability.
With De Bruyne back and Leroy Sane injured, he has been pushed further forward this campaign and has not been quite as influential, but still gets the nod ahead of Daniel James despite the Welsh youngster’s impressive start to life at Old Trafford.
Bernardo Silva has been playing mainly on the wing having played in midfield last season
CENTRE FORWARD: MARCUS RASHFORD (UNITED)
Sergio Aguero would definitely be selected here were he fit, but we’d still find room for Rashford though, so good has his recent form been.
Nine goals in his last 10 matches for United has been the perfect response to just three in his first 10 this season. Scored twice in Wednesday night’s win over Tottenham and United’s hopes of an upset on Saturday rest largely on his shoulders.
Marcus Rashford celebrates his second goal against Tottenham on Wednesday night
LEFT WING: RAHEEM STERLING
A shoo-in for this and City’s team, even with Aguero and Sane fit.
Has come on leaps and bounds under Guardiola and has 19 goals in 26 appearances for club and country this season, despite netting just one in his last six.
His progress has come in stark contrast to United’s Anthony Martial, who is likely to miss out on Saturday through injury but has not shown enough to be considered for this team regardless.
Sportsmail’s combined Manchester XI, featuring eight City players and three from United
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