Manchester United vs Liverpool is always one of the biggest games of the season in the Premier League, but this one looks like one of the most important in recent times. The resurgent Red Devils come into it in fine form under interim boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and they'll be absolutely desperate to land a major blow in their opponents title hopes. The Merseysiders make the short trip to Old Trafford knowing that a point will take back to the summit of the top flight ahead of Manchester City, so there's plenty of motivation for them to claim what would be a monumental victory.
With City in action in the Carabao Cup Final on Sunday, victory over United would send out a massive statement to the rest of the division regarding their title credentials. So all-in-all we're set for some contest in Manchester, in what has all the potential to be one of the most entertaining games of the campaign. There'll be some top players on display and in the build up to the clash we've tried our hand at building a combined XI. It wasn't an easy task this with so many contenders for each position to take a look below at who's made the cut. Agree or disagree with our decisions? Tweet us your selections @FootyAccums!
Alisson Becker has made a magnificent start to life in the Premier League but there was only one man to take this position in our side - David De Gea. The Spaniard is regarded by many as the best goalkeeper in world football and it's a tag that's difficult to disagree with after a magnificent 8 years in Manchester since making his £19m move from Atletico Madrid in 2011. The 28 year-old has developed into the ultimate big game player, with his reflexes and instinct saving the Red Devils on many occasions during his time at Old Trafford. The club are currently locked in contract talks with him and it's absolutely imperative that they tie him down for the best years of his career as he's only going to get better.
We've gone for a back four and the first player to feature in it is Liverpool youngster Trent Alexander-Arnold, who's developed into one of Jurgen Klopp's key men over the last couple of seasons. The academy graduate initially broke into the team following an injury to Nathaniel Clyne and he's grabbed that opportunity with both hands, which has led to him becoming one of the first names on the team sheet. Alexander-Arnold's pace and engine make him the perfect fit in Klopp's system and he's struck up a great understanding with Mo Salah down the right which has led to a lot of goals and it's crazy to think that he's just 20 years-old.
Next up is arguably the best defender in the Premier League, Virgil van Dijk. The impact that this man has made since making his record £75m move from Southampton is absolutely incredible, with him playing a big part in Liverpool's transformation into Premier League title contenders. There's always been criticism surrounding The Reds' defensive record since Jurgen Klopp took over back in 2015 but the improvement since the Dutchman's arrival is quite incredible, with them conceding the least goals and keeping the most clean sheets in the PL this season - a superb signing.
The second Manchester United player to feature in our team is Victor Lindelof, who's recovered from a difficult first season in the Premier League to become one of the Red Devils' leading performers. Much has been said about the defensive situation at Old Trafford but since the arrival of Solskjaer there's been a massive improvement, with Lindelof one of the biggest beneficiaries. The Swede has developed into one of the most consistent members of the United side and he's likely to have a big say over the remaining weeks as they big to end the campaign on a high.
The final part of our back four comes in the form Andrew Robertson, who's been another revelation for Liverpool at the back. Arriving from Hull City for a modest £8m, there wasn't as much publicity surrounding his transfer like van Dijk's but he's been a magnificent addition to the squad. Robertson really epitomises everything that Klopp wants from a player, with his gut-busting runs making him a firm fans favourite. There's not many players in the top flight who work harder than the Scotland skipper and he's developed into one of the finest left-backs in European football - a real bargain.
We've gone for two central midfield players and there was a fair bit of competition for these spots, but one man who simply couldn't be left out was Paul Pogba. Manchester United's club record signing is always under huge pressure to deliver and after an underwhelming start to the campaign under Jose Mourinho, he's really come alive. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has relieved him of his defensive duties and allowed him to get forward and do what he does best - with the results devastating. 11 goals and 8 assists in 22 starts in the Premier League represents his most productive campaign to date and he's made himself the main man at Old Trafford - he's certainly one to watch on Sunday.
Partnering him in the middle is Liverpool man Georginio Wijnaldum, who's quietly matured into one of the best box-to-box midfielders in the Premier League. There was a few eyebrows raised when the Reds shelled out £25m to secure his services from relegated Newcastle United back in 2015 but it looks like an extremely shrewd addition. Wijnaldum is one of the key cogs in how this Liverpool side works, with him the perfect link between defence and attack. At points in his career on Merseyside he's found it difficult to get in the side but this season he's really become a key man, with his absence really felt when he's out the team.
The first part of our attack was an absolute no brainer, with Mohamed Salah the only option for our right side. Since arriving back in England from Roma the Egyptian has taken his game to unparalleled new heights, with him producing world class statistics. Last seasons Golden Boot win saw him hit 32 goals which set a new Premier League record - something no one thought he'd be capable of after his previous stint in the top flight. Whilst he hasn't been as prolific this time around, he still tops the scoring charts with Sergio Aguero on 17 goals which shows just how dangerous he is. He's now a marked man whenever he plays for the Reds and he'll be their biggest threat at Old Trafford on Sunday.
There was a few options for the no.10 position in our side, with Juan Mata a worthy candidate, but we've gone for Liverpool man Roberto Firmino. The Brazilian is one of the players who've improved the most since Jurgen Klopp took over Liverpool, becoming one of the clubs most productive players in terms of goals contributed. Often playing as the central striker, Firmino's work rate and creativity makes him a vital part of the Reds' attack & there's not many other players in world football who can perform in that role. He hasn't been as prolific in terms of goals scored this season but last years return of 27 was the best of his career, proving his class.
The left side was definitely our toughest decision yet, with Anthony Martial missing out by a whisker to Sadio Mane. The Senegal international was another signing made by Jurgen Klopp that initially surprised people, paying Southampton £34m for his services but again it's turned out to be something of a bargain. The pace of Mane gives the Reds a fantastic out ball and he weighs in with plenty of goals - only Salah (17) has netted more in the league than him (12) this season. And much like the Egyptian on the right with TAA, Mane has a fantastic relationship with Robertson on the left side with the pair really complimenting each other. He has 4 goals in his last 5 appearances and he'll be a handful for the United back four on Sunday.
Spearheading our attack is Manchester United & England forward Marcus Rashford, who's absolutely loving life as the clubs no.1 striker. He's scored 9 Premier League goals this season which is the most prolific campaign of his career and with 12 games left to go, there's plenty of opportunities left to improve on that. There's been several players who've really improved since Solskjaer arrived at Old Trafford but Rashford is certainly one who's benefitted greatly from his advice, with the United legend a big believer in his abilities. His pace makes him an absolute nightmare for defenders and it's scary to think that he's just 21 years-old.
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