As if it were even possible, the Manchester derby has taken on yet more significance this season as Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola resume their long rivalry on English soil.

City will make the short trip across to Old Trafford on Saturday lunch-time where the two wealthiest and strongest clubs in the Premier League will go head to head in a titanic battle.

Here’s a look at who would make it into a combined XI ahead of the big kick-off.

1. David de Gea

United appearances: 227

After yet another top class season, David de Gea has broken into the top 10 overall players on the new FIFA game. Only Bayern Munich’s Manuel Neuer is now considered better.

This derby will also see Claudio Bravo make his City debut.

2. Antonio Valencia

United appearances: 252

Antonio Valencia has finally convinced people that he has what it takes to be a right-back after an incredible start to the new campaign – his form even resulted in a nomination for the Premier League’s August Player of the Month award.

His participation is slightly in doubt, however, with a late scheduled return from international duty with Ecuador.

3. John Stones

City appearances: 4

John Stones didn’t have the best of seasons with Everton last term, but City still saw fit to make the talented England international the most expensive Premier League defender ever over the summer. So far, he’s been proving the doubters wrong.

4. Eric Bailly

United appearances: 4

Eyebrows were raised when United paid £30m for Eric Bailly, previously largely unknown. Mourinho even admitted the Ivorian defender was a raw talent that required polishing before he was ready. And therefore his excellent start in the opening few weeks of 2016/17 has been somewhat unexpected.

5. Luke Shaw

United appearances: 32

Luke Shaw’s career was at risk this time last year when he suffered a horrific double leg break in a Champions League game. Now, nearly a full 12 months on, the United left-back is getting stronger and fitter by the week as he returns to his pre-injury form.manchester-combined-xi

6. Fernandinho

City appearances: 142

There were a number of players Guardiola didn’t consider ideal when he first arrived at the Etihad Stadium – Joe Hart being a prime example. But the new boss took an instant shine to Fernandinho, the team’s midfield engine and beating heart.

7. Paul Pogba

United appearances: 9

Paul Pogba began his second spell at United with a fine performance against Southampton last month. That followed an £89m move from Juventus and barely any training with his new colleagues. The derby is the kind of stage that should be made for the Frenchman.

8. David Silva

City appearances: 265

Even now as one of the older generation of City players, David Silva still remains as important as ever. The Spaniard has won it all, domestically, since moving to England in 2010 and goes into Saturday’s game fresh off the back of an international brace.

9. Kevin De Bruyne

City appearances: 45

City struggled when club record signing Kevin De Bruyne was injured last season and his ability to stay fit will be crucial to any success in 2016/17. The Belgian simply makes things happen, even more so than Silva, and could command a place in any team in the world.

10. Raheem Sterling

City appearances: 51

The Raheem Sterling that has started this season is a totally different player from the one that failed to suitably justify a £49m price tag in his debut campaign with City and then endured a nightmare Euro 2016 with England. Renewed confidence has been the solution.

11. Zlatan Ibrahimovic

United appearances: 4

Cynics thought Zlatan Ibrahimovic would find English football too challenging following his summer move from Paris Saint-Germain. The Swede has so far blown the doubters out of the water with four goals in his first four appearances and a general positive impact.


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