Football

Combined XI: Manchester United v Arsenal

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Both of these managers would love to take charge of this side (©GettyImages)
Both of these managers would love to take charge of this side (©GettyImages).

Manchester United and Arsenal are set to face each other in the pick of this weekend's Premier League ties. This is surely going to be a blockbuster match, with United trying to maintain momentum and climb up the table, and Arsenal trying to overcome years of waiting to challenge for the title again.

Down the years, Manchester United and Arsenal have owned some of the world's top talent, and despite not challenging on Europe's top stage in the past few years, both teams are still packed with superstars.

Manchester United have managed to keep hold of all of their title-winning stars from last season, while Arsenal have strengthened with the signings of Mesut Ozil and Mathieu Flamini. An in-form group featuring the player of the season Aaron Ramsey and Spanish wizard Santi Cazorla have made Arsenal table toppers at this stage of the season.

Here's a combined XI featuring the best of these two Premier League giants.

Formation: 4-2-3-1

Goalkeeper: Wojciech Szczesny

The Polish goalkeeper takes his place between the sticks in front of the Manchester United's shot stopper for his better all-round performance and his 3 clean sheets from 10 games, one clean sheet more than David De Gea. United's Spanish goalkeeper has kept just 2 clean sheets from the same number of matches. Szczesny has also made more saves than the Spaniard, conceding fewer goals in the process.

Left Back: Patrice Evra

The 32-year-old has lost some pace over the years, but is still one of the best left backs in the premier league. Kieran Gibbs will become an exceptional left back in the future, but at this point in time, Patrice Evra's experience and his ability to assist from the wings sees him over the line.

Centre Back: Per Mertesacker

Arsenal sit on top of the Premier League because their defence has been spot on, conceding just 9 Premier League goals. The German international centre-back Mertesacker is an imposing, dominant and accomplished player. He is much quicker than Rio Ferdinand, and more reliable as well.

Centre Back: Nemanja Vidic

He has not hit his best, ever since his injury against Basel in 2011. But no one can question his talent and his ability to drive the back-line superbly. Fans can see the difference he brings to United's defence. Laurent Koscielny is an amazing defender, but Vidic's leadership capability and his no-nonsense style, sees him partner with the German in the centre of defence.

Right Back: Bacary Sagna

The French international's ability was never in question, it was his form. He has been in exceptional form this season, with his experience and his consistency. He is becoming his old self again, threat down the wings and stable in defence. Manchester United have not had a consistent right back this season, with Rafael suffering from small injuries.

Central Midfield: Aaron Ramsey

Aaron Ramsey has been in stunning form so far this season, scoring  6 goals and making 4 assists in the 10 games he has played in. Wenger's continuous belief in him has paid off. Ramsey is one of the best midfielders at the moment. The Welshman does his defensive duties with ease as well, and he is one player to keep an eye in the months to come.


Central Midfield: Michael Carrick

Last season was one of the best for Carrick, it was the player we all wanted to see. Inventive, versatile and two-footed. He isn't your spectacular midfielder, but a very important one. A true defensive midfielder. He stabilizes the midfield and covers the back line with finesse. He is finally living up to the expectation.

Right Wing: Mesut Ozil

Ever since his transfer from Real Madrid, Arsenal have looked like champions. He has brought something to the club that no previous transfer has been able to do in recent years. He has rejuvenated the Arsenal squad, and has scored 2 goals and has 4 assists in his 7 appearances for the London club. If he keep this form or if he can become better, Ronaldo and Messi will have more competition for the Ballon d'Or.

Centre Attacking Midfield: Wayne Rooney

The centre forward is known to play behind the striker these days, due to his phenomenal talent and his ability to involve himself through out the pitch. Wayne Rooney is hitting all the right notes at the moment. The Englishman is getting his form of a couple of seasons ago back, and is becoming his lethal best. Rooney has scored 5 goals and has 3 assists already this season. This may be the resurgence of the old Wayne Rooney.

Left Wing: Adnan Januzaj

To only a few will this selection come as a total surprise, Januzaj has been the player with the difference this season for Manchester United. His performance against Sunderland made the world sit up and take notice. After his performances this season, the fans urged United to tie the youngster to a 5-year deal. He has been brilliant this season, especially his passing. The only weakness is that he gets a bit tired as the game progresses.

Center Forward: Robin van Persie

The only player on this list to have played for both the teams. Van Persie had a stellar 2011-12 season, and in the summer of 2012 he was swooped up by Alex Ferguson. Van Persie went on to have an amazing year, winning the golden boot and lifting the Premier League trophy. He has not been playing to his best this season, but he has still scored 6 goals and set up 2 this season. He is starting to regain his lost form. On his day, this man can tear apart any defence.

Substitutes: Olivier Giroud, Santi Cazorla, Antonia Valencia, Jack Wilshere, David De Gea, Laurent Koscielny and Phil Jones.


 

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Topics:
Football
Manchester United
Arsenal
Robin Van Persie
Wayne Rooney
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