Manchester United vs Liverpool Combined XI

Manchester United vs Liverpool Combined XI
Image result for alexander arnold and rashford
Image from The Mirror
It was the loss at Anfield that turned United's season around and it's the reverse fixture that could determine United's league position. Another big game in a short period of time for Manchester United as they host second place Liverpool in a vital game for both teams as Liverpool aim to nick ahead of Manchester City whereas United know a win will boost their chances of top four with Chelsea and Arsenal both struggling for form. Liverpool are without both Dejan Lovren and Joe Gomez but Virgil van Dijk is set to return with Fabinho likely to move back to the midfield. Once again, Manchester United will be without the quartet of Anthony Martial, Jesse Lingard, Antonio Valencia and Matteo Darmian and means Solskjaer has a deficiency of pace in the front line. Nevertheless the game will be an excellent one to watch with both teams looking to attack and earn three points and complimenting eachother as Klopp and Solskjaer are likely to use a 4-3-3 formation as shall be used for this combined XI:

GOALKEEPER: DAVID DE GEA
Alisson is a good goalkeeper but very overhyped. Don't get me wrong, he's a significant improvement on Karius or Mignolet but he isn't a world class goalkeeper yet. David de Gea is the best in the world and will probably remain as such for the foreseeable future. He is an oustanding goalkeeper that has saved United too many times to count whether using his hands, his feet or even his shoulder once and should return in goal for Romero against Liverpool.  

RIGHT BACK: TRENT ALEXANDER-ARNOLD
He is a true talent. Trent Alexander-Arnold was sorely missed while he was injured and is now the only natural right back at the club with Nathaniel Clyne on loan at Bournemouth. He delivers an excellent cross whether he's bombing down the right or taking a corner or freekick. Ashley Young still doesn't fill me with confidence, especially since he'll be up against the lighting pace of Sadio Mane and when he's up against good wingers, not only does he tend to struggle defensively, but he resists the urge to get up the pitch and delivers the crosses that United need as he fears being caught out. 

CENTRE BACKS: VIRGIL VAN DIJK (c) AND VICTOR LINDELOF
The main reason Liverpool are finally performing well at the back is their £75m defender who has been a massive success since moving to Anfield. He is a natural leader, a warrior of a defender and can play out of the back with ease. Liverpool have finally got a replacement for Jamie Carragher. At United, Victor Lindelof stuttered at first but has become the Iceman he was predicted to be. He was solid again against Chelsea and will need to be at the top of his game when facing the deadly front three of Liverpool.

LEFT BACK: ANDY ROBERTSON
While Luke Shaw has been one of United's most consistent players all season, Andy Robertson has been even better. The Scot has been a sensation at Liverpool and for a bargain price of £8m and had Hull City known how well he would turn out, they would have asked for a lot more. Robertson has as many league clean sheets as the number of goals conceded while he's in the team (13 in 24 matches) and has already notched six assists so far, one more than last season. At the age of only 24, he can only improve more and you can see why the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona and PSG are linked with him.

MIDFIELD THREE: NEMANJA MATIC, ANDER HERRERA AND PAUL POGBA
Image result for HERRERA MATIC POGBA
Image from Manchester Evening News 
This is going to be United's key to beating Liverpool. The midfield three United have thrived since Solskjaer has come in and compliment eachother perfectly:
Matic holds the fort, breaks up attacks and now plays more balls forward to the attacking players, Herrera's high intensity pressing and selfless play allows him to harrass the opposition, protect the team from any slip-ups and create chances when attacking and finally, Pogba who has been freed and allowed to be the world class player he is. I would not swap a single Liverpool midfielder for these three at this moment in time as they are all a bit too similar at the moment and Liverpool could really do with Coutinho right about now.

WINGERS: SADIO MANE AND MOHAMMED SALAH
29 league goals between the pair of Liverpool wingers and Anthony Martial's injury make this an easy decision. These players have been sensational for Liverpool since signing in 2016 and 2017 respectively and were pivotal in their road to the Champions League final last season and their title bid this season. They may have been frustrated against Bayern but Young and Shaw will need to be ready for a tough 90 minutes on Sunday.

STRIKER: MARCUS RASHFORD
Rashford has been on another level since Ole has come in and his stats show it. Six goals and two assists in the league under Solskjaer has made his stats level with Roberto Firmino with nine goals and five assists. While Firmino plays as a trequartista, Rashford will stretch the defenders with his raw pace and works well in a fluid front three as Mane and Salah are used to playing in. Form favours United's no.10 and so leads the line in this combined XI.

Image from buildlineup.com

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