Chelsea vs Manchester United: RealSport’s combined XI

With Chelsea and Manchester United headlining this weekend’s Super Sunday, Andy Dickinson puts together a collective team from both sides.

In a fixture which has produced many memorable games and moments throughout the Premiership years, there’s heat building under this meeting too. 

With Jose’s return and Antonio Conte in need of a win following his own home-coming on Tuesday night, the game is slowly taking on more importance as the kick-off approaches.

To celebrate this game, RealSport have assessed the wealth of talent within the two teams and created an all-conquering hybrid.

  1. 1 GK – David de Gea (Manchester United)

    If it wasn’t for Peter Schmeichel, there would be some serious consideration given to de Gea as United’s best goalkeeper in their history. 

    Although Thibaut Courtois came joint third in FIFA’s list of the best goalkeeper’s of 2017, mysteriously de Gea didn’t feature in the top-ten: something that can only be presumed to be another mistake by the world football organisation.

  2. 2 RB - Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea)

    As one of Conte’s most used players of last season, the Spanish right-back has clearly made the position his own. The man known affectionately to fans as 'Dave' has also become a rich source of goals with one scored and four assists already this season from the ten opening league matches.

    While Antonio Valencia makes a strong challenge to be in this side ahead of the Chelsea man, Azpilicueta’s consistency and efficiency just puts him ahead.

  3. 3 CB – Eric Bailly (Manchester United)

    Despite being prone to the odd rash challenge and a loss of concentration. Eric Bailly is a huge presence at the back for United.

    With Bailly in the team, United have achieved a win ratio of around 61%. Without the Ivory Coast star in their lineup, this figure drops considerably: to only 35%.

    While the £30m defender also has a tendency to jump into challenges, he has, perhaps surprisingly, only picked up two yellow cards from the seven Premiership games he’s played so far this season.

  4. 4 CB - Andreas Christensen (Chelsea)

    Despite only making six starts for Chelsea this season in all competitions, Christensen has some serious potential to become the new defensive rock at Chelsea for years to come. Preferring to play the sweeper position of a central three, the right-footed centre-back has quickly adapted himself to Premiership and is currently training with Conte in each and every position across the back-line.

    After returning from a loan spell at Borussia Monchengladbach, it appears that the Danish international has learned a lot on his travels and, with David Luiz once again falling into rut, Christensen could and should soon find himself in a permanent starting berth in the team.

  5. 5 LB - Marcos Alonso (Chelsea)

    With a remarkable symmetry to his team, Alonso has found it much harder to hit the levels of last year at this current time of asking. 

    His match-winning performance against Tottenham earlier in the season showed that he is still more than capable of delivering for his team, although defensively, Chelsea have become much more suspect at the back this season.

  6. 6 CDM – N’Golo Kanté (Chelsea)

    Last year’s player of the season has quickly become the heartbeat of Chelsea, something which has become clearly evident from the lifeless performances of both Leicester and Chelsea in the midfielder’s absence. 

    With a hyper-awareness for positional play and energy levels which leave most players looking sluggish, there’s little that can be written about Kanté which has not already been repeated constantly for the past 18 months.

  7. 7 CDM – Nemanja Matic (Manchester United)

    Having sold Nemanja Matic this summer, fans of Chelsea will be beginning to bemoan the space that the Serbian midfielder has left behind as their season progresses. 

    Their loss, though, is Manchester United's gain. Having slotted comfortably into the double pivot in their midfield alongside Paul Pogba, Matic has generally freed the Frenchman up from defensive duties and allowed him to carry the ball into more advanced areas on the pitch where he can ply his trade more effectively.

  8. 8 CAM – Paul Pogba (Manchester United)

    He may be sitting injured in a physio room with no known return date but the form of Pogba at the beginning of this current campaign leaves it hard to ignore United's record signing.

    With a defensive player behind him to anchor the midfield, Pogba has been reborn this season claiming two goals and three assists from his four League games so far.

    With an attitude that borders on arrogance, the Frenchman looks a natural leader in the team and United’s recent slump can be squarely blamed on a lack of Pogba in the centre of the field.

  9. 9 RW - Pedro Rodriguez (Chelsea)

    Although Willian got the nod from Conte at the start of this season, Pedro has once again claimed his place back in the Blues starting line-up. Despite looking hopelessly exposed in a more defensive position against Roma on Tuesday, in the right-sided attacking role he has had unrivalled success compared to other players in these two teams.

    Without yet playing a full game in the Premier League this term, Pedro has already notched two goals and two assists against his name. Bought from Barcelona two years for a mere £19 million, it’s the Spaniard's ability as a team player as well as a talented individual which has made him a huge success during his relatively short time at the Bridge.

  10. 10 LW – Marcus Rashford (Manchester United)

    Having seemingly been around for years, it’s sobering to realise that Rashford has only just turned 20 earlier this week.  Already fully-established in both the United and the England teams, the Manchester-born starlet is well on his way to becoming a name recognised in all corners of the world. 

    His speed and ability to run with the ball have been causing problems for defenders for close to two years now. However, with seven goals from the fifteen games in all competitions this season, Rashford is also starting to put an end-product into his remarkable potential. On this showing, Eden Hazard can consider himself unlucky to miss out.

  11. 11 ST – Romelu Lukaku (Manchester United)

    One of the big questions heading into the first game of the season was: would Romelu Lukaku or Álvaro Morata prove to be the better signing? 

    With the two strikers moving in opposite directions to common consensus, their different traits still make them hard to separate. Considering both strikers area also now going through a similar drought and have three assists each, Lukaku’s additional Premier League experience appears to be handing him an early advantage. 

    With strikers ultimately judged on their goals and the Belgian having scored an extra goal in the Premiership and two more in the Champions League, Lukaku is currently nudging ahead of his Chelsea rival.

    The Complete Lineup

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