Both Manchester United and Manchester City have been battling it out for the Premier League title all season.
Two teams at the top of the table boast a multitude of talented footballers, but who from each club would be selected in a combined Manchester team based on this season’s performances?
Goalkeeper: Joe Hart | Manchester City
This is a close call. Joe Hart has made some mistakes this season but equally he has made some fantastic saves for both Manchester City and England. His counterpart at Old Trafford, David De Gea, has improved this season and has established himself as Sir Alex Ferguson’s No. 1.
Despite the odd mistake this season, the Spaniard has proven many of his doubters wrong, but he still has work to do. Both keepers have many more years at the top level ahead of them but Hart just edges this head-to-head.
Right-back: Pablo Zabaleta | Manchester City
Pablo Zabaleta has been one of the most consistent players this season in the Premier League. He is a very strong and athletic individual who is more than prepared to add an attacking element to his play.
In contrast, United have not had a settled right-back during the season, using players such as Rafael, Chris Smalling and Phil Jones.
Centre-back: Rio Ferdinand | Manchester United
Rio Ferdinand has seemingly overcome many of his injury worries and has played more games this season than he has done for a while. He forced his way back into the England reckoning with a string of fine performances particularly against the likes of Real Madrid.
Centre-back: Vincent Kompany (Captain) | Manchester City
Alongside Ferdinand I have picked Vincent Kompany as his partner. The Belgium international has been missed by City when he has been out injured or suspended, not only for his leadership but also for his dependable performances. His influence on the City side is undoubted and he would probably be my choice of captain in this Manchester XI.
Left-back: Patrice Evra | Manchester United
The Frenchman has once again played a major part in the success of United this season. His agility and constant enthusiasm gives United a major threat down their left wing. He has been virtually an ever-present this season in a United back-four that has frequently changed.
Left-wing: Ryan Giggs | Manchester United
Ryan Giggs, when he has played, has always made an impact on games. His performances have earned him contract extension with United and one that he most certainly deserves.
Despite his age he is still one of the best midfielders in the country and is still capable of producing a defence-splitting pass in an instant. A prime example of this was his defence-splitting pass at West Ham in the FA Cup. He has also been used as a calming influence on games and his sheer presence gives United that extra edge in games.
Centre-midfield: Tom Cleverley | Manchester United
I wish I could have picked more than four midfielders as this has led to a lot of agonising. I would have liked to have included Yaya Toure for the driving influence he has at City but unfortunately I could not make room for him in my final four. Instead I have opted for Tom Cleverley, who has taken his United form one step further by becoming a firm favourite of England manager Roy Hodgson at international level.
Centre-midfield: Michael Carrick | Manchester United
Michael Carrick is often turned to in order for Manchester United to control possession in midfield and has been one of the club's most consistent performers this season.
Right-wing: David Silva | Manchester City
David Silva has been the one constant threat for City this season. He has played more games than most and is the key to City unlocking some often resolute defences. He has also weighed in with his share of goals and adds a bit of creation to this midfield.
Striker: Robin Van Persie | Manchester United
Robin van Persie’s signing has been one of the main reasons why the title will end up back at Old Trafford in the forthcoming weeks. City’s forward line, in contrast, have been nowhere near as prolific as last season and this has been partly to blame for their failure to retain the trophy.
Strikers: Wayne Rooney | Manchester United
Wayne Rooney has been as equally affective in the second half of the season as Van Persie was in the first, scoring goals and providing a number of assists. Credit must go to both players for adapting to each others styles of play as there were doubters before the season that they may not be able to play together.
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