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Combined XI: Manchester United v Tottenham Hotspur – Premier League 2017/18

Manchester United face a tough test in the form of Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday, at Old Trafford. United will hope to bounce back from a disappointing defeat last weekend to Huddersfield Town whilst Spurs are in good form in the league after they demolished Liverpool 4-1 under the lights at Wembley.

Midweek results in the Carabao Cup saw United 2-0 winners at Swansea whilst Spurs crashed out after defeat to West Ham United, despite being 2-0 up themselves. Perhaps that will aid United’s cause?

I think Mauricio Pochettino has done a remarkable job at Spurs, but he still needs to win some silverware with that side. Will it be this season? Who knows, but I can’t see Harry Kane wanting to stay that much longer if they don’t win anything. And who can blame him? He’s too good not to be winning trophies.

In the build-up to this huge game for United, I have decided to put forward my combined XI. And make no mistake, this fixture is huge for United after the defeat last weekend.

Goalkeeper

There’s no question here who I’m choosing for my goalkeeper. For me, David De Gea is the best goalkeeper in the world. Although, Hugo Lloris is a very good goalkeeper and would be on my list of replacements for the Spaniard should he ever leave United.

Defence

I think the centre-back pairing of Vertonghen and Alderweireld has been one of the most consistent pairings in the Premier League in recent years. Eric Bailly would also be a good choice as I think he will be a terrific centre-back but the two Belgians beat him to the spots as they have more Premier League experience.

In terms of full-backs, I think right-back would be Antonio Valencia. He has been brilliant last season and this season playing as a full-back and proven he can adapt his game in need of the team. Kieran Trippier has proven he is more than an adequate replacement for Kyle Walker, however, and he only just misses out. Considering United have no regular left-back, I think Danny Rose would be my pick for that position.

Midfield

When fit, there’s no midfield partnership better than Nemanja Matic and Paul Pogba. Matic brings the defensive stability and Pogba brings the creativity – look how United have struggled for creativity with him out of the side this season. I like Moussa Dembele but I don’t think he is better than Matic and Pogba in those midfield roles. Further forward as a ‘no.10’ I would play Christian Eriksen. The Danish midfielder is a joy to watch and has the ability to cause real damage in that position. Dele Alli runs him close but I don’t think he’s been as good as he was last year to warrant a place in this line-up.

In terms of wingers, I would put Marcus Rashford on the left for his sheer pace and how direct he is in his play. On the right wing, I think Henrikh Mkhitaryan would take that slot, as I believe his pace and ability out wide would cause problems. His best position is arguably as a ‘no.10’ but he’s been mediocre at times there this season and he has played well on the right wing for United before.

Attack

This is probably the toughest one to pick. Both Harry Kane and Romelu Lukaku have been brilliant this season, but Kane just edges it for me, only on his current form. Lukaku hasn’t scored for a few games whilst Kane can’t stop scoring. If this match was at the start of September then Lukaku would be picked, but on current form, it’s hard to look past the Englishman.

So there you have it, my combined United-Spurs XI. Hopefully United can bounce back with a big performance and result. A massive three points are needed in my opinion, to keep pace with Manchester City at the top of the league.

Jonny’s United-Spurs Combined XI:

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