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Manchester City v Tottenham Hotspur: Combined XI

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Ahead of the crunch Premier League tie at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday with three massive points at stake; GiveMeSport writer Lloyd Gitonga takes a look at how these sides would look in a combined starting line-up.

One of the league’s deadliest strike partnerships and the meanest defensive pairing are both on show, but who else would force his way into this combined XI?

Don't forget that players unavailable through injury or suspension will not be included, thus the likes of Vincent Kompany and David Silva miss out, whilst Spurs’ Christian Eriksen will also not feature as well.

Formation: 4-2-3-1

Goalkeeper: Hugo Lloris

With Joe Hart still looking for form, this was not much of a contest in truth. Costel Pantilimon is yet to convince me (and many others I’m sure) of his ability to play at the highest level, and did not stand much of a chance against French number one Hugo Lloris.

Defence: Pablo Zabaleta, Michael Dawson, Jan Vertonghen, Gael Clichy

It was certainly a close call between Spurs’ right-back Kyle Walker and his opposite number Pablo Zabaleta. Walker has grown leaps and bounds over the past two seasons, and has even forced his way into the first-team set-up for England, but the Argentine has been the personification of consistency for club and country and just edges this battle for me.

The centre-back pairing of Spurs’ skipper Michael Dawson and Jan Vertonghen easily walks into my line-up, with City’s centre-backs struggling for form without Kompany.

Gael Clichy at left-back may not be entirely convincing, but he is the lesser of the two evils between himself and club team-mate Alexander Kolarov. Spurs have no real option at left-back with the exception of Kyle Naughton, who has been sparingly used by manager Andre Villas-Boas. I admittedly toyed with the idea of playing Vertonghen at left-back, but decided against it as I (and the player himself) feel he is a better centre-back.

Defensive Midfield: Yaya Toure, Moussa Dembele

Two-time and reigning African footballer of the year and FIFA Ballon d’Or nominee Yaya Toure was a no-brainer and needs no justification really. The midfield general is having yet another stellar season for the Citizens and the only real question here was who would partner the Ivorian at the base of my midfield.

Three options were available; Fernandinho, Paulinho and Moussa Dembele. Despite Fernandinho having a superior work rate, superior tackling rate and making more passes per game, I preferred Dembele over the Brazilian due to his ability on the ball.

Neither Brazilian is quite as good a ball-carrier as Dembele, and the Belgian's dribbling qualities reign supreme here. He is able to drive the ball forward from a deeper midfield position and for me that's a vital component for the dynamism of a team.

Attacking Midfield: Samir Nasri, Sergio Aguero, Andros Townsend

Now here is where the players’ form comes into question. Spurs’ goal-shy tendencies are already widely documented, and the same reflects in my starting XI. I preferred Nasri over Gylfi Sigurdsson and Townsend over Aaron Lennon and Jesus Navas as he appears to be the man in form at the moment.

Sergio Aguero sits pretty atop the league’s top-scoring charts and he sits pretty in behind my main man in that free role that he revels in.

Striker: Alvaro Negredo

City’s summer signing Alvaro Negredo has an uncanny ability to drift in and out of matches but he has definitely been in amongst the goals this season, finding the net four times in seven league appearances.

His movement and positioning is second to none, and he is always at the right place at the right time to put it in the back of the net. Spurs again miss out with Roberto Soldado and Jermaine Defoe (when given the opportunity) looking quite off-colour and off the pace.

How does your combined XI of these two teams compare to mine?

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Topics:
Football
Premier League
Manchester City
Tottenham Hotspur

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DISCLAIMER

This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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