Manchester derby combined XI: Do any Man Utd players make team?

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Manchester derby combined XI

Do any United players make the Manchester combined XI? The Sky Sports Football Weekend Preview podcast panel discuss...

Sky Sports' features editor Peter Smith, features writer Nick Wright and senior journalist Gerard Brand came to a consensus on a Manchester XI containing two players from Old Trafford, with Pep Guardiola's champions dominating.

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Goalkeeper: David de Gea

Image: David de Gea makes our combined XI ahead of Ederson

This was one of few moot points for the panel, with Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea getting the nod over Ederson, the consensus being that the Spaniard is still among the best goalkeepers in the world, and that Ederson's abilities are uniquely suited to Manchester City.

Defenders: Kyle Walker, Harry Maguire, Aymeric Laporte, Benjamin Mendy

Harry Maguire during the Premier League match between Bournemouth and Manchester United at the Vitality Stadium
Image: Harry Maguire is one of only two United players in our combined XI

The centre-halves were shoe-ins - Harry Maguire and Aymeric Laporte - and despite some debate over the full-back areas, the panel settled on Kyle Walker at right-back and Benjamin Mendy on the left, despite calls for Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Oleksandr Zinchenko.

Nick: "I think Mendy gives you a lot more than Zinchenko. Man City haven't lost a single game that Mendy has started since he joined the club; that's 22 games, 18 wins and four draws."

Gerard: "I'm not sure Pep Guardiola trusts either Joao Cancelo or Kyle Walker - neither have started three consecutive games this season, and it feels less like rotation and more like a lack of trust. I think Zinchenko is Mr Reliable for Guardiola, and do think he comes back into the starting XI when he is fit, but I'm happy to be overruled on Mendy two to one!"

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Midfielders: Kevin De Bruyne - Fernandinho - David Silva

Kevin De Bruyne of Manchester City celebrates victory at Crystal Palace with Fernandinho and Benjamin Mendy
Image: Kevin De Bruyne and Fernandinho also make the XI

Despite the arguments in defence, the midfield was unanimous, even if Fernandinho is now deployed in defence for City. He gets in alongside Kevin De Bruyne and David Silva, but was anybody else in contention? And how close was Paul Pogba to the XI?

Nick: "It's interesting that we'd touch on Scott McTominay before Paul Pogba, I think that says a lot about how Pogba is perceived at the moment, and just how good McTominay has been. Pogba is obviously an absolutely brilliant player, but I'm not sure he justifies a place in that midfield. When you look at what these three have achieved in the Premier League, it's no contest really."

Gerard: "What's funny is that we've put Fernandinho in midfield, and I think everyone you ask would, but Pep Guardiola places him in defence. Every game he's played this season have been at centre back. He doesn't trust Nicolas Otamendi and John Stones together, but you wonder what that takes away from City's midfield from having Fernandinho in defence."

Forwards: Bernardo Silva - Sergio Aguero - Raheem Sterling

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 22: Raheem Sterling of Manchester City celebrates scoring hi hat trick goal during the UEFA Champions League group C match between Manchester City and Atalanta at Etihad Stadium on October 22, 2019 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Visionhaus) *** Local Caption *** Raheem Sterling
Image: Raheem Sterling makes the XI alongside Sergio Aguero and Bernardo Silva, with no room for Marcus Rashford

Plenty of consideration for Marcus Rashford up front, but the three City men of Bernardo Silva, Sergio Aguero and Raheem Sterling get the nod as the champions register nine players to United's two.

Peter: "I really like Marcus Rashford, I thought he was fantastic in midweek, coming off that left side, he is so dangerous with 12 goals in 13 games for club and country, but you've got Raheem Sterling playing in that position, who has been so consistent for a number of years."

Nick: "I was pretty conflicted with Rashford, he's obviously been fantastic recently, but he doesn't really play off the right. Bernardo has a lot in the bank, he hasn't been as impressive this season, but I had to get him in there."

Gerard: "What's funny is that Mahrez could easily start ahead of Bernardo on Saturday. I really like him, whenever I've seen him he has match-winning qualities about him."

Combined XI

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