The eagerly anticipated Manchester derby takes centre stage on matchday 12 at Old Trafford as Manchester United host arch-rivals Manchester City, with both eyeing to solidify a spot in the top four by the end of the weekend. Both managers will have plenty of options as ExtraTime Talk pick their Manchester derby combined 11.
Ole Gunnar Solksjaer’s side suffered a humiliating end to their UEFA Champions League venture to RB Leipzig who despite a late United retaliation ran out 3-2 winners. It comes after United lost to Paris Saint-Germain in matchday five, leaving a straight shoot-out between both sides in Germany. The English side was three-nil down after 70 minutes before a Bruno Fernandes penalty and Paul Pogba header offered hope.
The visitors, on the other hand, had already secured their place into the last 16 of the Champions League and eased to a 3-0 victory over French outfit Marseille. A goal for Sergio Aguero on his comeback from injury will surely be an exciting sight for Pep Guardiola.
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Both sides have shown their inconsistencies so far this season, with no one knowing which United will turn up whilst City has failed to convert draws into wins; which was a key aspect of their play for the last two seasons.
Manchester Derby Combined 11
Ederson and David De Gea are in the top five goalkeepers in the world in anyone’s list but the recent dip in the latter’s form edge Man City’s Brazilian shot-stopper into the team. Despite Ederson also showing a dip in form he has still managed eight clean sheets to the Spaniard’s three.
Kyle Walker has been a stalwart for a modern-day right-back with output in going forward and defensively. His crossing and last-ditch tackling have taken the limelight but it’s his assists and reliability that pips him ahead of Aaron Wan-Bissaka. Defensively the Manchester United defender is astute but he is yet to master the attacking proposition of his game.
Aymeric Laporte is a certain starter as the best defender between both sides but it’s his partner in this team that is difficult to decide.
England’s Harry Maguire leads new Man City boy Ruben Dias in clearances 40 to 24, aerial battles won 44 to Maguire and 16 to Dias and the interception go the United player’s way 20 to 5. But the goals conceded by Manchester United are also over triple to what their rivals have whilst Dias also has one more clean sheet to his name.
Just based on defensive qualities, Maguire will partner Laporte in our team.
United new boy Alex Telles takes the left-back spot as he has quickly become the number one at Old Trafford. The likes of Luke Shaw and Benjamin Mendy have regularly been hampered with injuries and largely inconsistent.
You can see the holes Fernandinho and David Silva have left in this Manchester City midfield which is why we are going with no defensive midfielder in our squad. Rodri has been impactful but not to the degree the hierarchy at City would have liked or anywhere near as close as to Fernandinho.
We have gone with both Kevin De Bruyne and Bruno Fernandes in the midfield, with the work-rate so ever-present. Fernandes was named the Premier League Player of the Month for November after scoring four times and providing one assist. It is the third time he has won the award since joining in January and is one behind Cristiano Ronaldo.
The Belgian attacking midfielder is as world-class as his opponent, already registering six assists this season in the league plus four in Europe. De Bruyne’s creativity has been unmatched in the league assisting in 72 goals in 164 games.
Guardiola has turned Raheem Sterling into a goal machine and his overall influence on the English international has turned the winger into a world-class player. A certain starter in most top European sides, Sterling had a hand in both goals last weekend against Fulham.
His opposite winger is teammate Riyad Mahrez who clinically put Burnley to the sword with a sublime hat-trick but the complicated choice between him and Marcus Rashford is why we have opted for such an attacking line-up.
The English forward has been in conquering form on and off the pitch including a 27-minute hat-trick against Leipzig in the Champions League. Rashford has scored or assisted in the last three out of four games in the league this season and will be one to keep an eye out for if United are going to bounce back from the defeat in Germany.
City’s record goalscorer makes into the team despite his manager confirming he will start the game on the bench as he nears full fitness. He has been prolific in derbies, becoming one of the top goal scorers alongside Wayne Rooney.
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