Man City v Liverpool: David James names controversial combined dream XI

Liverpool travel to Manchester City on Sunday afternoon for a clash that could very well determine the destination of this season’s Premier League title.

At present, City sit just a point ahead of the Reds at the top of table – and so close is the race between the two rival sides that a win for either would be a massive step towards lifting the trophy at the end of May.

Both teams boast squads packed with world-class talent, meaning that picking a combined XI of Liverpool and City players is no easy task.

That assignment, though, was recently handed to former England goalkeeper David James, who played for both sides during his own decorated career.

Now, as always with these sorts of topics, the final outcome comes down to personal preference. The line-up James has selected is an outstanding one, but a few major names surprisingly don’t make the cut.

In fact, of the 11 available spots only four are filled by Liverpool players – the first of which is the Reds’ Brazilian shot-stopper Alisson.

MANCHESTER, UNITED KINGDOM – MARCH 18: David James, the Manchester City goalkeeper, gives instructions during the Barclays Premiership match between Manchester City and Wigan Athletic at the City of Manchester Stadium on March 18, 2006 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

“I’ve put Alisson above Ederson based on the fact that Alisson has had more to do. If you take into consideration how important Alisson has been in keeping clean sheets and stopping in the last few months,” James told Genting Casino. “I think in the last few games Ederson’s kicked the ball over the halfway line twice.”

In the left-back berth, Andy Robertson gets the nod over City’s Joao Canelo, based on his ball retention percentages.

“I’d have Robertson at left-back over Cancelo as he doesn’t shoot as much and therefore doesn’t give the ball away as much.

Can you name these UEFA Champions League final stadiums?

1 of 15

Can you name the team that plays in this UEFA Champions League final stadium from 2021?

“I’d have Luis Diaz and Virgil van Dijk,” continues James, naming the final two Liverpool players in his line-up.

Here, then, is where the controversy really begins. Trent Alexander-Arnold might lead the Premier League assist charts, but there’s no room for him in James’ hybrid XI.

“I’d go Kyle Walker and the reason being is that there’s going to be a lot of space and he’ll need to get back and defend. I love Trent Alexander-Arnold going forward and he’s a decent defender, but I’d just edge Walker over him.”

BURNLEY, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 13: Mohamed Salah of Liverpool looks oduring the Premier League match between Burnley and Liverpool at Turf Moor on February 13, 2022 in Burnley, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Fabinho, Keita, Henderson, Thiago? No member of Liverpool’s midfield gets the call from James, who opts from the City trio of Rodri, Kevin De Bruyne and Bernardo Silva.

“I’ll go with all of the City midfield, so Rodri, KDB and Bernardo Silva in midfield. I’d go Raheem Sterling, Phil Foden and Luis Diaz up front, so no Mo Salah!”

Given the electric start to his Reds career, it’s no surprise to see Diaz included by James, but to ignore both Mo Salah and Diogo Jota – who have a combined 34 Premier League goals this season is a bold call.

You can check out James’ team selection in full below.

David James’ combined Liverpool and Man City dream XI

Perhaps realising that he’d made a few questionable calls, James went on to joke: “If you ask me again in half an hour, I’d probably say a completely different team!”

James might have been shy about including representatives from Anfield in his fantasy XI, but is still backing the Merseyside outfit to win a second title in three seasons – if they can overcome City on Sunday.

Man City under investigation (Via The Football Terrace)

“I can’t say it’s a title decider because there are still eight games [to go].

“I think it depends who wins. On a simple basis that if Liverpool win, it’s difficult to see them losing the title.”

We don’t have long to wait to find out.

News Now - Sport News