Manchester City – Liverpool is one of the biggest games of the season and it’s coming up this Sunday (watch live, 11:30am ET online via Peacock Premium).
With so many stars on both teams, the PST crew (yours truly, Nick Mendola and Andy Edwards) thought it would be fun to select our combined XI from Manchester City – Liverpool.
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In the video above we talk you through our selections, while below is a little more analysis of the choices.
Formation: We’ve gone with a 4-3-3 system because that’s the system which seems to suit both teams best. Man City at times play more of a 4-1-4-1, but even though we toyed with the idea of switching to a 4-2-2-2 to cram in as many attacking players as possible, we resisted the urge.
Goalkeeper: Well, with two Brazilian star goalkeepers, you can’t make a bad choice here. Alisson has a little more experience and perhaps takes less risks compared to Ederson, but the latter has more impressive distribution.
Defenders: It is clear that Liverpool are way ahead in the full back department with Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson, while Virgil van Dijk (he’s included, because this is the best combined XI assuming everyone is fit) is the best center back in the world. Aymeric Laporte is also a clear frontrunner to be in this XI, while Ruben Dias seems to be ahead of Joe Gomez and Joel Matip out of the other center backs.
Midfielders: This is a really tough area to select. Do you go with one holder? Two holders? Or three highly-skilled players and risk the balance of your team? Jordan Henderson, Fabinho and Rodri are in a straight battle for the more defensive position and we edged it to Henderson, while alongside him Kevin de Bruyne is a given. The other spot should probably go to Thiago Alcantara on pure ability, but we all know how impactful Georginio Wijnaldum and Ilkay Gundogan can be.
Forwards: I mean, come on. How are you meant to pick three forwards here!?! Sergio Aguero is the obvious choice as a central striker and, when fit, it’s hard to argue with that. Sadio Mane also seems like a nailed on starter at this point, so that leaves us with Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Raheem Sterling battling for the other forward slot. Salah probably gets it, but Sterling is so unlucky. If we talk about a formation change, 4-2-2-2 would see Sterling in this team and Thiago or Henderson out.
Manager: A fun one to finish one, and like the goalkeeper situation, you can’t go wrong. Jurgen Klopp would love having a central striker like Aguero in his team, while Pep Guardiola would love having full backs like Robertson and TAA. The simple answer is: Jurgen Guardiola. And hybrid of the two managers. It’s pretty high sat up here on this fence…