Two cities dominated the top five of the Premier League this season, with Manchester United and Manchester City taking the two top positions in the league for the second season in the row.
The next three teams all hailed from the nation’s capital, with Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham representing a strong London contingent that will have designs of a title challenge next season.
But what if the unthinkable happened and cities could only have one team in the league?
How would the first XI of Manchester match up against the first XI of London?
Although there are five London teams in the top flight, we have chosen to pick from just the top three.
Goalkeeper: Joe Hart | Manchester City
Right-back: Pablo Zabaleta | Manchester City
Left-back: Patrice Evra | Manchester United
Centre-back: Vincent Kompany | Manchester City
Centre-back: Nemanja Vidic | Manchester United
Centre-midfielder: Michael Carrick | Manchester United
Centre-midfielder: Yaya Toure | Manchester City
Centre-midfielder: David Silva | Manchester City
Forward: Wayne Rooney | Manchester United
Forward: Sergio Aguero | Manchester City
Forward: Robin van Persie | Manchester United
Goalkeeper: Petr Cech | Chelsea
Right-back: Branislav Ivanovic | Chelsea
Left-back: Ashley Cole | Chelsea
Centre-back: David Luiz | Chelsea
Centre-back: Jan Verthongen | Tottenham
Centre-midfielder: Juan Mata | Chelsea
Centre-midfielder: Jack Wilshere | Arsenal
Centre-midfielder: Santi Cazorla | Arsenal
Forward: Gareth Bale | Tottenham
Forward: Eden Hazard | Chelsea
Forward: Fernando Torres | Chelsea
Looking at the two line-ups you can see that both teams are class compositions, and it isn’t hard to get excited at some of the play that would be on show.
Arguably the Manchester team have the stronger attack, with three of the best strikers in the division split between the two red and blue of Manchester.
On the flip side, London lack a genuine world-class centre forward, with both Theo Walcott and Fernando Torres vying for the central role. What this London team do have though in abundance is skill and goal threat from midfield, and Torres has been selected to be a targetman that can bring in these players and make the most of their ability.
The match would likely end 3-2 to the Manchester club: David Luiz scoring a ridiculous free-kick to give the lead to the Londoners, only for top scorer Robin van Persie to equalise just before half-time with an over-the-shoulder volley from a David Silva pass.
In the second half Yaya Toure would burst through the opposition defence to find the bottom corner, after long spells of London possession, only for Gareth Bale to equalise as the clock ticks to 90 with a 25-yard thunderbolt.
Just as it looks like the match will end in a draw, Michael Carrick would slip a pass onto Sergio Aguero’s right foot, and he would drive the ball beyond Petr Cech with the last kick of the game.
What do you think? Would the London XI manage to beat their northern counterparts? And are there any players who would be disappointed not to make their city team?
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