Combined XI: Man City v Liverpool Ahead of Huge Title Clash

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Early Kick-Off Challenge

Liverpool are again the victims of an early kick-off after an international break this week, as they travel to Manchester to face Man City on Saturday. The Reds currently sit in second place in the Premier League table, just one point behind Man City.

Both sides come into the clash in fantastic form, with Liverpool unbeaten in their last five Premier League games and the Citizens holding the same record over their last four.

Creating the Ultimate Combined XI

Today we’re going to be looking ahead to Saturday’s game and creating a combined XI from two of the most talented squads in world football.

Goalkeeper: Alisson Becker

Both goalkeepers have kept four clean sheets across the 12 opening league games this season, but Liverpool have conceded two fewer goals in total. Despite Manchester City’s Ederson seemingly being Brazil’s first choice keeper, I believe Alisson Becker is comfortably the better of the two. For me, Alisson is not only the best keeper in the Premier League but also the best keeper in the world.

Right Centre-Back: Kyle Walker

For this combined XI, we’re going to be using the three-box-three formation that both sides have opted to deploy over recent months.

Therefore, Kyle Walker is going to slot into the defence as my first of the three central defenders despite the fine form of both Joel Matip and Ibou Konate this season.

Walker has been phenomenal for City so far this season, putting any departure rumours on hold for the foreseeable.

Centre-Back: Ruben Dias

Due to the current injury to City’s John Stones, Ruben Dias comes into the back three. To be brutally honest, I haven’t been too impressed with the Portuguese defender this season but his experience puts him just above Ibou Konate currently. Although, I back Konate all the way to become one of the best defenders in the world over the next couple of years.

Left Centre-Back: Virgil Van Dijk

The third central defender is the best defender in the world, Virgil Van Dijk. Van Dijk has been back to his best this season since becoming the club captain following Jordan Henderson’s departure in the summer. His dominance both on the ground and in the air, followed by his world-class ability on the ball, makes him an absolutely sensational player.

Right Defensive Midfielder: Trent Alexander-Arnold

The argument between Trent and Walker was so tight, I had to find a way to include both in this combined XI. The Liverpool star has become an integral part of Jurgen Klopp’s new system at the base of the midfield.

His creative influence alongside another strong defensive midfielder would be a joy to watch, as seen in his recent performances for England alongside Declan Rice.

Left Defensive Midfielder: Rodri

As one of the best midfielders in the world at the moment, Rodri walks into this combined XI with ease. Liverpool’s lack of a natural defensive midfielder makes this decision even easier, but it’s hard not to admire the Spaniard’s all-round game either way.

Right Central Midfielder: Dominik Szoboszlai

The Hungarian has already become one of the best midfielders in the Premier League since arriving on Merseyside in the summer. His immense work rate mixed with his undeniable world-class ability on the ball makes him one of the most exciting players in world football at the moment.

Left Central Midfielder: Phil Foden

Although it’s not his natural position, Foden’s current form and obvious world-class talent rightfully earns him a place in this XI. Injury doubts over the likes of Kevin De Bruyne, Ryan Gravenberch, Mateo Kovacic, and Matheus Nunes left just the choice of Curtis Jones, Alexis Mac Allister, Bernardo Silva, and Foden. On current form, I think Foden is comfortably ahead of the other named options.

Right-Wing: Mo Salah

Not much needs to be said on this one, in all honesty. The Egyptian King has been sensational so far this season, scoring 12 goals and assisting a further four, proving once again why he is comfortably the best winger in world football.

Photo: IMAGO

Striker: Erling Haaland

Again, this is a pretty straightforward choice to make. Despite Darwin Nunez’s brilliant form this season, the Norwegian already has 17 goals and four assists to his name this season. Partner Haaland’s goalscoring ability with Salah’s creative brilliance and that’s an abundance of goals guaranteed.

Left-Wing: Jeremy Doku

The likes of Diogo Jota and Luis Diaz may feel hard done by here, but what a start Jeremy Doku has made to his debut Premier League season. The Belgian was constantly linked with a move to Anfield but it never materialised and the Reds may have missed out on a top talent. With three goals and six assists, Doku’s numbers and current form have just been more impressive than Jota and Diaz’s so far this season.

Combined XI: Alisson, Walker, Dias, Van Dijk, Alexander-Arnold, Rodri, Szoboszlai, Foden, Salah, Haaland, Doku

Bench: Ederson, Konate, Gvardiol, Akanji, Mac Allister, Silva, Diaz, Jota, Alvarez

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