Manchester United vs. Liverpool: Who Makes The Cut in Our Star-Studded Combined XI?

Manchester United's trip to Anfield this Saturday is the most anticipated match of the Premier League this weekend. 

Jose Mourinho's joint league leader United takes on Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool on the week that marks two years since he was named manager at Anfield. With a vast array of talent in both teams, Newsweek takes a look at what a best combined XI would look like. Take a look:

Goalkeeper

David de Gea—Even without Klopp flip-flopping between Simon Mignolet and Loris Karius at Liverpool, De Gea would be certain to be first-choice in goal. Only Chelsea’s Thibaut Courtois can challenge him for the title of best in the Premier League.

Defense

Antonio Valencia—Although an unorthodox right-back, Valencia has thrived in the position under Mourinho. His brute strength and smart mind make him capable in attack and defense.

Eric Bailly—The most complete center back out of the two teams, Bailly is reminiscent of Nemanja Vidic in his abilities and athleticism. De Gea will have little to do. 

Dejan Lovren—Possibly a surprise inclusion given Liverpool’s defensive fragility, but a lot of that has been to do with the organization. Lovren has proven himself to be a capable defender; agile, instinctive, he would work well alongside Bailly.

Daley Blind—There are problems at left-back for both teams, but, as he has done for Manchester United, Blind will do the job for our combined XI. Although a natural midfielder, his versatility and defensive instinct makes him perfect to slot into the defense.

Midfield

Paul Pogba—The Frenchman remains the Premier League’s most expensive footballer, and justifiably so. His partnership with Matic at Old Trafford has been key to seeing United thrive this season.

Nemanja Matic—The type of player Klopp would desperately love to have in his team, Matic would prevent the team from falling over. He has already provided the balance for Mourinho, freeing up Pogba. It would be foolish to separate them.

Jurgen Klopp Jurgen Klopp at Old Trafford, Manchester, England, January 15. Mike Hewitt/Getty

Philippe Coutinho—He may prefer to have watched this game from Catalonia, but the Brazilian’s big-money move to Barcelona never materialized. Coutinho remains one of the most talented players in the Premier League and will pick out the passes in the combined XI’s prolific attack.  

Attack

Sadio Mane—Had Liverpool lost Coutinho, Klopp still had Mane—a player who was almost eclipsing Coutinho in his absence. Ever since joining Liverpool from Southampton, he has proved himself to be one of the Premier League's most dangerous players

Marcus Rashford—Few players in the Premier League have made such an impression at such a young age, and Rashford is thriving at the start of this season. He is scoring goals and playing with assured confidence. His speed on the left, with Mane on the right, would make a devilish partnership.

Romelu Lukaku—Although Klopp’s attack is his key attribute at Liverpool, a lethal component, Lukaku is the type of player he is missing. An out and out striker, as they say. Guaranteed 20 goals this season and a player with which you can have a plan B.

Manager

Jose Mourinho—Choosing between Mourinho and Klopp is like deciding between rhubarb crumble and pineapple cream cheese muffins. Today, we’ll stick with what we know: it may not be dreadfully exciting but we know there will be trophies. Even if it is a little sour at times. 

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