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September 7, 2019
Liverpool v Manchester United: Who made your combined XI?
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Liverpool v Manchester United: Who made your combined XI?

Liverpool host Manchester United on Sunday in the latest Premier League derby between the north-west rivals and we asked you to pick your combined XI.

As you can see above, it was very nearly not a combined XI at all, with Paul Pogba the only United player to make the team.

It is no surprise to see an all-Liverpool defence, with Jurgen Klopp’s unbeaten side having conceded just six goals in 16 games this season.

In contrast, Jose Mourinho’s side – which had the second-best defence in the Premier League last season – have already shipped 26 goals, just two shy of the 28 they conceded in the whole of last term.

Perhaps more surprisingly, Alisson has already done enough this season to oust David de Gea as your chosen goalkeeper, pipping the Spaniard by 6%.

Naby Keita is another Liverpool summer signing to have impressed BBC Sport readers and lines up alongside James Milner, with the wily veteran having yet another fine campaign.

The Reds’ feared front three are your chosen forward line too, with Mohamed Salah (10), Sadio Mane (six) and Roberto Firmino (four) having scored 20 goals between them this season.

Indeed Salah was the most selected player – chosen by 97% of you – followed by Virgil van Dijk (94%) and Trent Alexander-Arnold (83%).

Anthony Martial was the closest United outfield player to joining Pogba but was nearly 15% behind his compatriot.

You can still pick your own combined XI at the bottom of the page.

How times change

When the two teams met in October 2017 just two Liverpool players made BBC Sport readers’ starting line-up, with nine Manchester United players included.

Egyptian forward Salah’s six goals had not distinguished him as the goal machine he has become, with his place going to Romelu Lukaku, who had scored 16 times in 13 games.

The joint Liverpool-Man Utd team you selected in October 2017

And with Van Dijk and Alisson not at Anfield back then, Mane and Barcelona-bound Philippe Coutinho were the only Merseyside representatives.

United went on to finish second last season, six points ahead of fourth-placed Liverpool, but form and momentum is very much with Klopp’s side this season.

Who makes Phil McNulty’s XI?

Phil McNulty’s combined XI features just two Manchester United players

Our chief football writer explains his selections:

This team is hugely weighted towards Liverpool and reflects the current difference in quality between the sides.

There were some areas of consideration, starting in goal. Alisson is a fine goalkeeper and has made a significant difference to Liverpool but De Gea, despite some indifferent displays, remains alongside the world’s best and just edges out the Brazilian.

Obviously Joe Gomez will not figure on Sunday but if everyone was fit it is no contest to put him alongside Virgil van Dijk in central defence – and even if Gomez was not available I’d be tempted to plump for Dejan Lovren in a discussion that would also take in Eric Bailly.

Luke Shaw has claims at left-back but I go for Andrew Robertson based on his consistency over the last 12 months.

Midfield is a tricky one because both clubs have had their problems in this area in recent times.

I’ve gone for that man for all seasons James Milner as the pivot while combining two very talented players in Naby Keita and Paul Pogba ahead of him. Neither have been at their best this season but I’d back them to flourish in this team.

Up front was easy – only Martial came into my thinking from Old Trafford but in the end Liverpool’s potent attacking trio made it a simple choice.

Source BBC News

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