Liverpool’s recent slump means Sunday’s visit of Manchester City no longer looks the titanic title tussle it seemed like it might be a few weeks ago. With City seemingly relentless, Pep Guardiola’s men have become strong favourites to reclaim the Premier League title after missing out to the brilliant Reds last term. This game could still have a big impact on who lifts the trophy at the end of the campaign, with Liverpool one of the last remaining major hurdles in City’s path. But which players would make it into a combined XI from the two squads? Let’s take a look at our Liverpool vs Man City combined XI.
Liverpool vs Man City – Combined XI
The two Brazilians are broadly considered the best goalkeepers in the league, due to marrying reliable stop-stopping with outstanding ability on the ball.
But Ederson just about gets the nod in this season’s Liverpool vs City XI, with his 12 clean sheets way in front of Alisson’s five. The Liverpool stopper has missed a few games due to injury this term and has had to play behind a thrown-together back line due to injuries, so he has some mitigation, but we can’t leave Ederson out.
Full-backs: Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson
There is a strong case to be made for Joao Cancelo, with the full-back increasingly influential wherever he lines up for Guardiola. But even though both Alexander-Arnold and Robertson have seen their form dip this season, they still deserve to be included in this combined XI.
There are signs Alexander-Arnold is getting back towards his best after a mediocre start to the campaign, with his delivery from the right a crucial part of Liverpool’s attack. Robertson, meanwhile, dovetails perfectly with Sadio Mane down the Reds’ left wing. With City still not having a regular left-back despite huge investment in the position, this is a no-brainer.
Centre-backs: Ruben Dias and John Stones
With Virgil van Dijk and Joel Matip both expected to miss the rest of the season, this selection is made almost by default. But it should be noted that Dias and Stones have been tremendous so do get in on merit.
After splashing countless millions on defenders, City have finally found one worth the money in Dias, a granite rock in the heart of defence. Stones has also thrived alongside his new partner. A couple of months ago, Stones’ City career appeared to be over. Now, he is keeping Aymeric Laporte out of the team with ease, having cut out the mistakes that previously marred his game.
Midfielders: Ilkay Gundogan, Fabinho, Thiago Alcantara
Kevin De Bruyne’s absence makes this department a bit trickier to nail down, but Gundogan is a lock having become one of City’s most reliable goalscorers in the past couple of weeks.
Fabinho nudges out Rodri and his compatriot, Fernandinho, to feature at the base of the midfield trio in our Liverpool vs Man City combined XI, even though he mainly plays at the back these days. The Brazilian rarely has a bad game. Leadership alone is not quite enough to get Jordan Henderson into this midfield.
Completing the triumvirate in the middle of the park simply has to be Thiago. Even though the Spain midfielder has only played a handful of times for the Reds since signing from Bayern Munich last year, he already has a huge influence on their play when he is on the pitch.
Forwards: Raheem Sterling, Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane
It is curious that the two outstanding teams in the country over the last couple of years both lack a prolific central striker. Gabriel Jesus does not have the full trust of Guardiola and injury issues have set Sergio Aguero back, while Roberto Firmino is inconsistent in front of goal.
Firmino’s team-mates Salah and Mane demand inclusion in the combined XI, however. Mane has arguably been Liverpool’s best performer over the last 12 months, while Salah is the top scorer in the league this term. It is inconceivable that they would be left out and both players would make it into almost any team in world football right now, despite their recent struggles.
Wrapping up the team is a challenge, though, with Sterling just about earning the final spot. While the England international has not found his best form of late and has been sat on the bench a few times recently, when he is on his game he is truly unstoppable.
It says a lot that Sterling is widely thought to have been below-par this season but his returns have been solid and he would add even more pace and firepower to our Liverpool vs City combined XI.
Subs: Alisson, Joao Cancelo, Kyle Walker, Fernandinho, James Milner, Jordan Henderson, Phil Foden, Roberto Firmino, Gabriel Jesus.
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