Welcome back to my blog, and today I will be making my Manchester City and Liverpool combined 11 ahead of today’s match. While this match is not necessarily a derby, it certainly feels like one as two of England’s most successful teams in recent history clash to gain bragging rights and much more, much to the dismay of the rest of England’s top-flight fans.
Goalkeeper: Allison (Liverpool)
Allison vs. Ederson has been a debate that has gone on for the best part of the past 5 years as both Brazilians established themselves as world-class goalkeepers in the Premier League. I personally tend to side with Allison and therefore have picked him here, as he is the better shot-stopper compared to Ederson in my eyes. He has bailed out the Liverpool defence countless times with jaw-dropping saves, and while some may argue that Ederson is the better distributor, I believe Allison is not too far behind, making him the better goalkeeper overall.
Right Back: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool)
Considering Manchester City don’t really play with fullbacks anymore, there can only be one clear winner in the form of TAA. While Kyle Walker is a traditional fullback who is definitely superior at defending and in his pace, TAA has revolutionised the fullback role and in his prime. The same cannot be said about Walker, who is in his latter years, although he continues to perform at a high level. Guardiola would certainly not vehemently protest about this, especially since he has adapted TAA’s inverted fullback role on his own side, using John Stones as a hybrid RB/CDM to win City the treble.
CB: Ruben Dias (Manchester City)
The first City player in the side (surprisingly), the Portuguese beast has been sensational for City in defence these past 3 years. His physicality, ability on the ball, and great defensive awareness have allowed him to dominate the Premier League and establish himself as one of the best players in the world. He has been imperative to City’s recent success and continues to be a regular on Guardiola’s side. This is no mean feat, considering Pep is infamous for his Pep Roulette selection process.
CB: Josko Gvardiol (Manchester City)
This pick is quite controversial, considering the Croatian just joined the club this summer. However, his talent is clear to see, and despite being just 21, he plays like a seasoned pro. His defensive intellect, positional awareness, and tackling prowess ensure that he is a complete defender with huge potential. If I had made this 11 a season ago, VVD would definitely edge Gvardiol in this, but I feel the Dutch defender is past his best. Despite a recent resurgence, the Dutchman has been mostly average across the past two seasons and has made multiple errors, indicating that his best years are behind him. Therefore, if you asked me who I would want on my team currently, I would definitely choose Gvardiol.
LB: Nathan Ake (Manchester City)
While City don’t use fullbacks anymore, they do have a couple of centre backs who can do so, and one of them is Nathan Ake. Ake has been colossal in defence for City since last season, and his return to form has been crucial to the Citizens’ treble. While Andy Robertson would edge out Ake if he was fit, the fight is closer than you think especially since Robertson has not been up to his high standards in recent times.
RCM: Bernardo Silva (Manchester City)
Bernardo Silva has been an underrated player who has gone under the radar during City’s era of success. The portuguese is a silky midfielder capable of playing anywhere and adapting to any role, and his creativity has been crucial to Guardiola’s side especially if/when KDB is absent. While his departure seems inevitable this summer, he will be dearly missed given his immense talents.
CDM: Rodri (Manchester City)
The Spaniard has been exceptional for City since his arrival, and is arguably the best CDM of all time in the PL. He scored the winner for City in the CL Final as well, showing that he’s a big game player as well. His ball carrying ability and tackling have been essential to City’s midfield, and thus he deservedly clinches a spot in this eleven.
LCM: Szboszlai (Liverpool)
And finally, another Liverpool player has got into the eleven. Dominik Szboszlai is a recent signing yet to prove himself, but just like Gvardiol, the talent is undeniable. He has been impressive for Liverpool so far, even though the G/As have not been plentiful just yet. The Hungarian has been exceptional at RB Leipzig and looks like he will be one of the best at Liverpool if he keeps his form up.
RW: Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)
Salah has been one of the best in the PL for the past 5 years, and his place in this eleven is undebatable. The Egyptian has been consistently prolific for the Scousers, and continues to be crucial to their success this season. He could certainly be the match winner tonight if all goes well for Liverpool.
ST: Erling Haaland (Manchester City)
Haaland is perhaps the one player other than Salah with a guaranteed spot on this list, as he has lit the PL up since signing for City last seasons. 51 goals in 52 games is a mind-boggling record and while he has not been as influential this season, he continues to scores goals and win games for City.
LW: Jeremy Doku (Manchester City)
The Belgian has been an unexpected candidate for best signing of the season, given his electric form in the first few games of the season. He has contributed to multiple goals and has been a highlight of this City team, with his slick dribbling and precise crosses. Guardiola has made him the quintessential winger, and he might be the difference maker today (if he starts)
That’s all for this article, do let me know if I have missed out anyone or if any of my picks have been atrocious. More articles are on their way so do keep a look out for that, and till next time, adios!