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Salah, Pogba, Alisson: Combined Liverpool vs Man Utd XI

21:23 GMT+3 14/12/2018
Liverpool vs Man Utd combined XI
One of the Premier League's biggest rivalries takes place again on Sunday evening as Manchester United travel to Anfield to take on Liverpool

Manchester United Utd and Liverpool is one of the fiercest rivalries English football has ever seen.

They have consistently challenged for silverware throughout history, so we take a look at how a combined Liverpool and Man Utd XI would shape up ahead of this Sunday's showdown on Merseyside and who makes the cut – and who misses out.

  • Alisson Liverpool 2018-19

    GK | Alisson | Liverpool

    In previous years it would have been impossible to leave David de Gea out of any team, but Liverpool's new £67m goalkeeper has been immense since stepping in between the sticks at Anfield.

    De Gea has conceded 20 more goals than Alisson in the league this season including a howler against Arsenal, so the Brazillian gets the nod for this team. Not to mention Alisson's incredible stoppage-time save against Napoli in the final Champions League group stage game that secured Liverpool's spot in the last 16 of the competition.

  • Andy Robertson Jurgen Klopp

    DEF | Andrew Robertson | Liverpool

    Andrew Robertson is considered one of the best left-backs in the Premier League. His defensive awareness is perfect and he has all the attacking capabilities that a modern full-back needs – a skilled crosser of the ball and a constant threat in the final third.

    Despite Luke Shaw's improvement in recent months, it was impossible to leave Robertson out of this team.

  • Virgil van Dijk Liverpool 2018-19

    DEF | Virgil van Dijk | Liverpool

    Van Dijk has been the difference between Liverpool being top-four contenders to title challengers. Liverpool have the best defensive record in the league this season, and the Netherlands international is the commander of that back-line. 

    The centre-back has proved that his record-breaking transfer fee for a defender at £75m when he signed for the Reds last December has been worth every penny.

  • Eric Bailly Manchester United 2018-19

    DEF | Eric Bailly | Man Utd

    Bailly's inclusion is merely in the absence of Liverpool defenders Joe Gomez and Trent-Alexander Arnold, who have played a huge part in Liverpool's defensive strengths this season but will unfortunately miss the big showdown on Sunday due to injury.

    The Ivory Coast defender is Man Utd's best centre-back and is superior than Chris Smalling, but wouldn't make a combined XI that consisted of fully-fit players.

  • Dejan Lovren Liverpool 2018

    DEF | Dejan Lovren | Liverpool

    Is Dejan Lovren "one of the best centre-backs in the world"? Probably, and probably not, but his presence in the Croatia side probably had something to do with them finishing as runners-up in the World Cup this summer.

    Considering the injuries suffered by the likes of first-choice defenders Trent Alexander-Arnold and Joe Gomez, Lovren has been considered ahead of Chris Smalling – though would potentially have to provide right-back cover in the combined XI.

  • James Milner Liverpool 2018

    MID | James Milner | Liverpool

    Milner seemingly only gets better with age. One of the most consistent performers in Premier League history is finally getting the recognition he deserved this season at Liverpool, as he has been one of the key men in their title challenge – cool, calm and collected as a penalty-taker, captain and playmaker.
  • Paul Pogba Manchester United 2018-19

    MID | Paul Pogba | Man Utd

    For all his shortcomings on the pitch for Man Utd this season, it is impossible to choose anyone other than Paul Pogba for one of the three midfield spots in this team.

    When he is at his best he is viritually unplayable, but that is something that United fans have seen far too scarcely since he signed. Including him in the XI is a gamble – it's as if he is two different players for France and under Mourinho – and though his form has been shaky of late, he could may well still provide a constant threat for the Red Devils.

  • Juan Mata Man Utd 2018

    MID | Juan Mata | Man Utd

    Choosing Juan Mata over Georginio Wijnaldum or Naby Keita is tough, but with the talent in this team you would expect them to dominate games – which is where Mata is at his best.

    Man United's game against Fulham on Saturday showed Mata at his best, and when his teams are dominating possession, he is often the best player on the pitch for both teams.

  • Jurgen Klopp Mohamed Salah Liverpool 2018-19

    FWD | Mohamed Salah | Liverpool

    Nobody can get near Mohamed Salah for this spot in the team. 32 goals in the Premier League last season and 10 already this season, Salah is the deadliest goalscorer in the league and he has to be in this team.

    The Egypt international doesn't have the best record against high-profile teams – failing to score against Chelsea (twice), Man City and Arsenal this season – but a match-winning strike against Man United on Sunday could clear him off that negative record.

  • Roberto Firmino Liverpool 2018-19

    FWD | Roberto Firmino | Liverpool

    The combined XI's front-three picks itself. Firmino is a vital part of Liverpool's attack for not only the work he does on the ball but the work he does off it. He presses every defender and creates space for both Salah and Mane to create a huge number of chances.

    He hasn't been quite up to par this season and has not been as clinical in front of goal as he would have liked, but neither are Man United – and it is Firmino's potential as an attacker that gives him the edge over any of Mourinho's options.

  • Sadio Mane Liverpool 2018-19

    FWD | Sadio Mane | Liverpool

    Consering Sadio Mane vs Anthony Martial is a contentious choice. If you put Martial in Liverpool's team you could argue that he would be just as good as Mane, but playing under Mourinho has limited thewinger – and he hasn't been able to show his full potential.

    Mane, therefore just gets the nod ahead of the France international up front.