Ahead of Chelsea’s trip to Old Trafford this Sunday, in what could be a major game in the race for second place, we detail the combined XI of both Premier League giants.
GK David De Gea- One of the easier decisions of the combined XI, David De Gea is in most peoples view the best keeper in the world, and has been for the past few years. With no real weakness in his game, De Gea has vindicated the idea that to be a top team, you must have a top keeper.
RB Antonio Valencia- Valencia has been able to transition from an out and out winger, to one of the best fullbacks in the country seamlessly. The 32 year old is enjoying the best season of his career since becoming a defender, and is competent both defensively and going forward.
CB Cesar Azpilicueta- Spanish defender Azpilicueta has proven over the last few years that he can play and excel in any defensive position across the back four. A model of consistency for both club and country, he can genuinely stake a claim to being the best defender in the Premier League and the most versatile.
CB Phil Jones- Jones has had a tough time with injuries over his united career, and as a result has never really had an extended spell in the team with a consistent centre back partner. This season he has found top form in a defence that have conceded the least goals in the division, and he will be aiming to get into Gareth Southgate’s starting XI for the World Cup.
LB Marcos Alonso- Marcos Alonso is one of the most underrated players in the top flight, able to defend as well as contribute with goals and assists at the other end of the pitch. 13 goals over the past season and a half with Chelsea is a brilliant return for a left back, and his free kick ability has been used as a potent weapon for Chelsea.
CM Paul Pogba- On his day one of the best players in the world, his early season form had United fans excited that their £90 Million man was finally coming good. But after injuries and suspension stopped his momentum, Pogba has not been able to show the same form, and has even been dropped in recent weeks. But without question deserves a place in this team.
CM Nemanja Matic- Matic does the jobs nobody notices, and as a result doesn’t receive the same attention as the flair players. But without Matic, United would not be second in the league, and after his replacement at Chelsea has so far failed to impress, the decision to let Matic go seems a poor one. In the first half of the season Matic allowed Pogba to roam freely and steal all the headlines, but while Pogba’s form has dipped, Matic remains as consistent as ever.
CM N’Golo Kante- Everybody is well aware of what Kante brings to a team, his non stop work rate and tireless running has not gone unnoticed over the best two seasons. Kante very rarely has a bad game and is as consistent as they come, two Premier League titles in his first two seasons in England highlights his importance. He also has a knack of scoring against United, netting twice against them last season.
LW Eden Hazard- Sometimes deployed as a false nine but most comfortable on the left, Hazard is on course for his best goal scoring season in a Chelsea shirt this term. Now is the time for Hazard to move to the next level and become one of the best players in the world, something he is more than capable of doing. Whether he does that in London or moves on remains to be seen, but right now he is one of the best players in the country.
ST Romelu Lukaku- Despite receiving much criticism since his summer move to Old Trafford, Lukaku is not having a bad season by any means. The big Belgium has notched 21 goals so far in all competitions, but has at times failed to deliver in the big games. Compared to Chelsea’s number nine, Alvaro Morata who has only managed 12 goals, Lukaku is having a great season.
RW Willian- After his outstanding display in Chelsea’s first leg draw with Barcelona, it was very hard to not include the Brazil born winger. Willian is enjoying the best season of his career, already in double figures for both goals and assists, the winger has proven his world class credentials over the past 18 months. In the process he has gone from a flashy winger to a truly world class match winner.