Chelsea vs Manchester United: Combined XI
Two of the most dominant sides of the Premier League era come face to face on Sunday when Chelsea take on Manchester United at Stamford Bridge but it is fair to say that neither side are what they once were. However, this will be a very intriguing match given that both the teams are on a good run since the start of the New Year and a defeat on Sunday for either of the two teams could derail their momentum. Chelsea come into this match after a goalless draw against Watford while United secured an easy 3-0 victory over Stoke City on Tuesday. Still, there are big names at both clubs and a combined XI shows the potential the teams have.
Goalkeeper: David De Gea
Last year it would have been difficult to choose between the two shot stoppers but with Chelsea struggling to move up the table and Courtois out injured for the first half of the season, it’s the Spaniard De Gea who takes his place between the sticks in this combined eleven. He has been superb again this year and has single-handedly kept United in the top four chase. Remains one of the top two keepers in the world.
Defenders: Cesar Azpilicueta, Branislav Ivanovic, Chris Smalling and Kurt Zouma
Defense is dominated by the men in blue, Smalling has been one the most consistent United players this season while others in the red have faltered on their way. Partnering Smalling at the back is the young Frenchmen Zouma, who has managed to cement his place in the starting XI after a number of impressive displays, his pace is vital for stopping opposition attackers. Although Ivanovic has struggled to find any sort of form this season, it’s his experience over United’s Darmian which wins him a place in the XI. The left back spot is occupied by the Spanish Azpilicueta, who has improved dramatically after the departure of Jose Mourinho. His pace enables him to join attacks down the wing and contribute in the final third.
Midfielders: Morgan Schneiderlin, Cesc Fabregas, Willian and Mata
While Matic has struggled to find any sort of this season, United’s new signing Schneiderlin has effortlessly made the defensive midfielders position his own. He has been one of the better performers for United during this difficult campaign. Alongside him is former Barcelona man Cesc Fabregas, who although started the season very poorly but since the departure of Mourinho, has improved vastly. His link up play with Costa has been fantastic and there is never an opportunity which he misses to provide that killer pass. On one side of the pitch we have Willian, who has managed to capture everyone’s attention with his devastating free-kicks, he has held his own during the difficult times this season and is one of the first names on the team sheet nowadays. There is a lack of playmakers in both the sides hence it’s no surprise we find Mata in the team. His excellent vision and passing ability enable him to bypass defenders while getting the ball to the strikers.
Strikers: Wayne Rooney and Diego Costa
It’s very difficult to choose from either the two of them, therefore we decided to keep both of them in the team with Rooney playing just behind Costa in a number 10 position. Both these players have regained their mojo recently and are scoring freely at the moment. Costa is a fighter every manager wants in his team, who keeps defenders occupied with or without the ball. Rooney on the other hand, is always busy making things happen, whether it requires him to fall back in order to receive the ball. With both these gentlemen in the team, you can be assured that the opposition defenders will be having sleepless nights before the match.