MY LIVERPOOL/ MANCHESTER UNITED COMBINED XI

As we look ahead to the weekend which ushers in the return of league matches after the international break, no fixture catches the eye more than that which comes up on Monday Night between two fierce rivals and two teams who have won The Premier league the most number of times. Manchester United with 20 titles takes on Liverpool with 18 titles but yet to win the league since 1990. It is one of those games that boils over the top most times, at-times ends up as a grudge explosive end to end encounter but on other nights a tepid, ‘fail to live up to the hype’ fixture. It is also one that has thrown many memorable moments and made some players legends in the eyes of their fans, with that in mind, we at Halftime have attempted a combined XI of Liverpool and Manchester United players thus far this season based on their form and contributions. It is a 4-3-3 formation deployed and the manager for the day is Jurgen Klopp of Liverpool.

Goal Keeper – David De Gea (Manchester United)

In goal, this is a no brainier really as outside his momentary lapse in the last round of games that granted Stoke City an equalizer, the Spaniard has been consistent and been one of the most reliable goalkeepers in the league. Whilst for Liverpool, this is a position that has been clouded with uncertainty as we have seen Mignolet lose his place recently to Loris Karius.

De gea save

Antonio Valencia (Manchester United)

At right back is the Ecuadorian who many doubted his ability to retain that position under Jose Mourinho but he has not only gone ahead to solidify his place starting all seven games, he also has a high number of 21 tackles, one of the most by any player in the league.

James Milner (Liverpool)

How he ended up as the left back in this line up is one of the wonders of this world, drafted to the position to cover for the unimpressive Alberto Moreno, the Englishman who has largely played in midfield or on the wings for a larger part of his career has put up impressive performances and has earned his place ahead of the likes of Luke Shaw who has been plagued by injury and poor form.

Eric Bailly (Manchester United)

From arriving at a huge price from Villarreal during the summer window, the Ivorian is proving his doubters wrong with every game. Calm, decisive, reads the game pretty well and his ability to play the ball out of the defense is one feature that has been tagged with modern day top defenders. Bailly is ranked fourth among the players who have made the most tackles/ interceptions in the league thus far and for the 22 year old, things can only get better.

Dejan Lovren (Liverpool)

Pairing Bailly at the heart of the defense will be Dejan Lovren, a player who has seen his game improve under Klopp and adds the occasional goal like the one against Chelsea to take his place in this team.

Editorial use only. No merchandising. For Football images FA and Premier League restrictions apply inc. no internet/mobile usage without FAPL license - for details contact Football Dataco  Mandatory Credit: Photo by Michael Zemanek/BPI/REX/Shutterstock (5505365bc)  Jurgen Klopp manager of Liverpool looks on   during the Barclays Premier League match between West Ham United and Liverpool   played at Boleyn Ground on 2nd January 2016 in London  Barclays Premier League 2015/16 West Ham United v Liverpool Upton Park, Green St, Upton Park, London, United Kingdom - 2 Jan 2016

Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool)

Though not one of those players that I fancy especially for his inconsistency, Philippe Coutinho is enjoying a good start to the season and has been one of the key players for Liverpool in their free flowing attack this season, the Brazilian has three goals and two assists to his name already and possesses the ability to do the spectacular in big games.

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Jordan Henderson (Liverpool)

For the player who became the 11th Liverpool player in history to captain the Three Lions in their barren draw at Slovenia on Tuesday night, Hendo as he is called has become a fixture in the middle of the pack averaging more passes per game than any other player in the league already and his beauty of a strike against Chelsea is one that the gaffer will be willing gets reenacted come Monday night.

Paul Pogba (Manchester United)

Being the most expensive player in the world comes with a lot of pressure and after some below par performances, Paul Pogba seems to be gradually wearing the tag with some panache, opened his account against Leicester City where he also dominated the game, his confidence has since grown and his influence on matches more evident, unlucky not to have scored against Stoke and also created some good chances for his teammates. Like his changing hairstyle, the Frenchman has the ability to change and win games which he proved with his belter for France against Holland and in this game where he will be up against Henderson and Wijnaldum, Pogba will have to bring his intensity to the fore.

Sadio Mane (Liverpool)

He has been one of the steals of the transfer window, been absolutely brilliant for the team, ever busy, skillful, possesses power and pace, contributes not just goals but assists and is a handful for opposition defenders.

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Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Manchester United)

The Big man takes his place as the number nine in this team, adjusted to life in The Premier League like a house on fire with four goals in his first five games and defenders struggling to cope with his physicality, his form has dipped a little in recent games and this game provides a perfect opportunity for him to regain his scoring form.

Roberto Firminho (Liverpool)

I thought about going with Adam Lallana or Rashford in this position but whilst the former is finally settling into life as a Liverpool player despite a slow start and the latter not having enough games but being influential every time he is called upon. Firminho gets the nod for his dynamism, unpredictability, passing ability, opening up spaces for his teammates and also adding goals of late to his bag of tricks.

Ehis Ohunyon
Ehis Combs Ohunyon lives in Lagos but breathes Manchester. Realtor. Music and Football Writer, also on Radio at times.

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