With Manchester United and Manchester City set to face-off in the 172nd and perhaps the biggest Manchester derby in recent years, on Saturday, we pick the best combined XI – on current form – from both title rivals.
GK – David De Gea (Manchester United)
Who else? Even if Pep Guardiola hadn’t shipped Joe Hart out to Torino, De Gea would be starting between the sticks. The Spaniard is the best keeper in the Premier League, though new signing Claudio Bravo is expected to challenge for the honour.
RB – Antonio Valencia (Manchester United)
Has anyone benefitted more by Jose Mourinho’s arrival at Old Trafford than the Ecuadorian? Months ago, Valencia was a forgotten man. Now the winger looks reborn at right-back and is forging out an integral role in Mourinho’s defence.
CB – Eric Bailly (Manchester United)
United have spent a lot of money this summer on headline buys like Paul Pogba, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Henrikh Mkhitaryan. However, Eric Bailly has looked mighty impressive in defence and gets the nod in the team ahead of Nicolas Otamendi.
CB – John Stones (Manchester City)
£47m is a lot of money for any player, let alone one who has come off the back of a poor season but Guardiola and City thought he was worth the investment and he’s proving them right thus far. Sorry Daley Blind, the England international gets our vote.
LB – Luke Shaw (Manchester United)
The left-back has only returned to action after almost a year out recovering from a double leg break, but you wouldn’t know it judging by his form. His City counterpart, Gael Clichy has also made an impressive start to the season, but Shaw edges this battle.
RM – Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City)
There are a lot of players with De Bruyne’s qualities – incisive passing and killer final ball – but very few that consistently deliver in the final third like the Belgium international. Capable of playing across the front line, KDB’s flexibility makes him a certain pick.
CM – Paul Pogba (Manchester United)
We have only had a taste of what the megastar is capable of before the international break, but once he is up to full speed we are all in for a treat. You don’t become the world’s most expensive player for no reason. Leave all that aside, he gets in this team on his hairstyle alone.
CM – David Silva (Manchester City)
Arguably City’s greatest player of all time, the pint-sized magician makes the game look simple and drifts effortlessly into the side. The Spanish star has been enjoying himself under Guardiola in a deeper role this season and will line up alongside Pogba in the middle of the park.
LM – Raheem Sterling (Manchester City)
‘Reborn’ has become the buzzword concerning Sterling recently and there’s no denying that Guardiola has reignited the 21-year-old’s spark. Some thought his City career could be over following a dreadful performance at Euro 2016. However, with two goals and three assists, it’s been quite the opposite.
ST – Sergio Aguero (Manchester City)
He is simply one of the best strikers in world football and has started the new season in fine form, scoring six goals in four games. However, he is suspended after elbowing Winston Reid and will be a big miss for City in the derby.
ST – Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Manchester United)
The Swede has hit the ground running in England, with four goals so far and he might have added more away at Hull City. He is perhaps the only striker in the league who could dare to challenge’s Aguero’s dominance in the scoring charts.
This article is written by Shantanu Ambekar, you can follow him on Twitter at @ShantanuAmbekar. What are your thoughts? Let us know by dropping a comment via our comments box below. Make sure you follow us on Twitter, Google+, Instagram and like us on Facebook.