Phil Thompson picks combined Liverpool-Man United XI

Published Add your comment

Football News

Sky Sports risked feeling the wrath of Manchester United supporters on Thursday by allowing former Liverpool player Phil Thompson pick a combined XI.

Jose Mourinho and Jurgen Klopp go head-to-head at Anfield on Monday night as the Premier League resumes this weekend. Man United-Liverpool clashes are usually fiery affairs anyway but there's no doubt both managers' personalities will make it an even more exciting tie.

The home side have certainly made a better start to the campaign and are now considered second-favourites - behind Manchester City - to win the title by most bookies.

Nevertheless, form is often thrown out the window on such occasions and the result is worth far more than three points to both sets of supporters.

So of all pundits that work for Sky, letting Thompson, who spent 13 years as a player at Anfield, decide a combined XI was always going to be a controversial call - regardless of who he included.

Unsurprisingly, seven of the 11 are from his former side and just four Man United players. Here is the full line up:

Goalkeeper: David de Gea

Thompson could have no excuses for not picking the Red Devils No. 1 here. Loris Karius and Simon Mignolet have both shown the tendency for a blunder in the past while De Gea is now regarded as one of the best goalkeepers in the world.

Defence: Nathaniel Clyne, Dejan Lovren, Chris Smalling, James Milner

Arguably the biggest omission from Thompson's back four is that of Eric Bailly. The Man United centre-back has been brilliant so far this season and some United fans may even believe he should be in the XI over Smalling.

Lovren's inclusion might be the first sign of Thompson's Liverpool bias and the debate over Milner vs Shaw is a close one but he admitted the United star might have got in if he was fully fit.

Central Midfield: Paul Pogba and Jordan Henderson

Henderson has easily been one of Klopp's most consistent performers so far this season so his selection is fully justified.

Pogba, however, has been on the receiving end of some heavy criticism for some of his displays this term. But, excluding the world's most expensive player is still likely to have caused more outrage among Man United supporters than any other decision.

Attacking Midfield: Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino, Philippe Coutinho

Thompson has elected to go for an all-Liverpool attacking midfield and yet arguably the most surprising omission is another Anfield-based star in the form of Adam Lallana, who has impressed.

Sadio Mane's good start to life on Merseyside meant he was a shoo-in while Juan Mata and Marcus Rashford both miss out and less surprisingly, Wayne Rooney isn't even considered in the discussion.

Striker: Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Of course, with Firmino picked in a deeper role, there was only one choice to lead the line.

Ibrahimovic has proven what few doubters he has wrong with four goals in the Premier League so far.

Daniel Sturridge is no longer Liverpool's main man and Thompson thinks Zlatan's ability to 'peel off onto the far post against the likes of Clyne and Milner from set-pieces will be a real area of concern'.

Despite most of United's big stars being included, their fans and understandably unhappy with some of Thompson's choices and reacted on Twitter.

Wayne Rooney
Steven Gerrard
Premier League
Manchester United
Jose Mourinho

Article Comments

Read more

Report author of article

Please let us know if you believe this article is in violation of our editorial policy, please only report articles for one of the following reasons.

Report author


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

Want more content like this?

Like our GiveMeSport Facebook Page and you will get this directly to you.

Already Subscribed to Facebook, don't ask me again

Follow GiveMeSport on Twitter and you will get this directly to you.

Already Following, don't ask me again