Man Utd vs Chelsea: Picking the Best Combined XI Ahead of Their Epic Grudge Match

Manchester United host Chelsea on Sunday, with Jose Mourinho hoping to get one back over Blues boss Antonio Conte, after suffering a humiliating 4-0 earlier on in the season. United will be eager to set the record straight and keep the pressure on the top four. Below is the best combined XI of the two sides... Diego Costa is the spearhead of the Chelsea front-line and rightly so. The Spaniard, like Ibra, has netted 17 goals this season making him one of the most prolific strikers in the...

Goalkeeper - David De Gea

The Spaniard is one of the best goalkeepers on the planet. 

De Gea has carried an under performing United side in recent years, with his best year coming under the boring tenure of Louis van Gaal. He performs time and time again, pulling off jaw-dropping saves, with the most recent one coming against Liverpool at Anfield. The 26-year-old denied Philippe Coutinho's wonder strike from nestling into the top corner.

De Gea has the flexibility any gymnast would be proud of and not to mention his excellent distribution skills. 

This is why he gets in over his Belgian counterpart. 

Right Back - Antonio Valencia

The Ecuadorian has been mister consistent for Man Utd this season.

The converted winger has become one of the best rights backs in the Premier League, prompting Jose Mourinho to say 'there is no better right-back in football'. The pacy full-back has been rewarded for his recent performances - signing a contract extension at the Red Devils.

When assessing his competition for a spot in the combined XI, César Azpilicueta can't compete with Valencia when going forward. Valencia has registered three assists so far this season and played 27 key passes, compared to the Spaniard's 15. 

This makes him the perfect full back for the XI. 

Centre Back - David Luiz

Back for his second spell in the Premier League, the Brazilian has formed a strong partnership with his centre half partner Gary Cahill.

Under the guidance of Antonio Conte, Luiz has matured since his move from PSG and has become a more composed defender. The now ball playing centre half can play anywhere across the back line and also do a job as holding midfielder. The versatility of the 29-year-old has earned him praise from pundits and fans alike.

This is why 'Sideshow Bob' has earned his place in the combined eleven defence. 

Centre Back - Gary Cahill

The England international has evolved into an all-round centre half.

Since his move from Bolton Wanderers, Cahill has become a permanent fixture at both club and international level. Captaining Chelsea on various occasions this season, the Englishman has become a fan favourite due to his ability to make goal saving tackles and then go up the other end of the pitch to nod his team in-front. 

The 31-year-old's ability to score goals with both his head and feet is a commodity that even some of the best centre backs to play the game didn't possess, like Rio Ferdinand, who only scored eight goals during his time at United

Left Back - Victor Moses

Having somewhat of a resurgence under the new Blues boss, Moses has become well acquainted with the full-back possession this season.

Tallying up two assists and three goals so far this season, it isn't a bad return for a player that everyone thought wouldn't have a future under Conte. The Nigerian has shared the position with fellow teammate Marcos Alonso this season, but Moses just nudges ahead of him due to his ability to transition from defence to attack at an incredible speed, not to mention his tireless work ethic. 

Left Wing - Eden Hazard

Eden Hazard is one of the most sought after wingers in world football.

The Belgian has found his form once again this season, after a dismal spell under the now Manchester United manager. It seems as though Conte has injected a sense of belief and confidence back into the 26-year-old which has paid huge dividends to the London club. 

Hazard has notched up five assists and 14 goals so far this campaign, which is a huge improvement on last season, were he only scored four goals and assisted a measly time times. 

Crazy what a new coach can do. 

Centre Midfield - N'Golo Kanté

Fresh from Leicester's history-making Premier League triumph, it looks as though N'Golo Kante is going to win back to back Premier League titles.

Since his move from Leicester for £30m, fans were sceptical as to whether Kante's season was a one off, but he has proved the doubters wrong and assured his followers that he is one of the best defensive midfielders in the game, even drawing comparisons to defensive midfield royalty, Claude Makélélé.

70% of the Earth is covered by water, the rest is covered by Kante. 

Centre Midfield - Paul Pogba

The world's most expensive footballer isn't short on critics. 

Pogba was always going to be scrutinised when he arrived back for his second stint in Manchester. Despite not scoring double figures or registering 15 plus assists, the Frenchman is an integral part of Mourinhos outfit. 

Given the license to roam within the midfield three, Pogba has made a staggering 50 key passes so far this season, which highlights the wealth of talent the 24-year-old has. He has a flourishing partnership with Zlatan Ibrahimovic and bullies opposing players with his upper body strength.

One thing's for certain, Pogba can only get better. 

Right Wing - Henrikh Mkhitaryan

Henrikh Mkhitaryan had a tough start to his Manchester United career, from being dragged off at half time in the Manchester derby to then picking up an injury.

However, he has bounced back and become a vital asset to Mourinho. The Armenian's ability to spot a pass and walk through players with his quick feet, has put him in good stead with the Old Trafford faithful. 

The 28-year-old is somewhat of an enigma, as he is quicker with the ball at his feet as opposed to not, defying the laws of physics.

Due to this, Mkhitaryan has kept Pedro out of the combined eleven and continues to put in consistent performances for the red side of Manchester. 

Striker - Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Whatever your opinion on Zlatan Ibrahimovic, he's a legend of the modern game.

The Big Swede has kept United in contention for a top four finish this season and has scored some vital goals for the Red Devils. Netting 17 times so far this season, the 35-year-old is like a fine wine - he only gets better with age. 

He has also been crucial in the development of young players such as Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard, bringing more to the table than just his goalscoring capabilities. 

'I feel like Benjamin Button - I was born old and I will die young' - Zlatan Ibrahimovic 

Striker - Diego Costa

Diego Costa is the spearhead of the Chelsea front-line and rightly so. 

The Spaniard, like Ibra, has netted 17 goals this season making him one of the most prolific strikers in the Premier League. His fiery temper and the aggression he brings to the game are characteristics that alone strikers must possess, even if it does get him into trouble with the officials.

Costa, like Hazard, has been boosted with confidence since the arrival of Conte and has proved why is he to be considered one of the best strikers in European football. 

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