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Arsenal vs Manchester United: Picking a combined XI ahead of Tuesday's Premier League clash

Bengaluru, Sep 29: Just a couple of years back, this fixture was regarded as the clash between two title rivals but right now it is merely a race for top four. Both the team's performance has fallen significantly over the years and it has not yet changed so far this season too.

United are currently in shambles winning just twice in the league. The Gunners too are struggling but will travel to Old Trafford after a resounding comeback last week against Villa and seem to be in a slightly better stage than the host.

Both sides won in the EFL Cup in midweek in contrasting fashion, Arsenal edging past Nottingham Forest 5-0 at the Emirates Stadium midweek before United laboured to a win on penalties after Rochdale held them to a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford the following night.

There are only three points between the sides in the Premier League table, with Manchester United starting the weekend in 11th place and the Gunners in 8th. Both the teams will certainly look for all possible three points.

So who would make a combined XI? We take a look — using only players available for the Old Trafford encounter with (4-3-3) formation.

Goalkeeper

Despite, some mediocre performances in recent months, David De Gea is still one of the best goalkeepers in the league and should comfortably be ahead of Bernt Leno right now in this selection.

Defender

Arsenal although have managed to secure more wins than United but certainly have been one of the worst defensive sides in the league. Noone of their defensive pairs, Sokratis-Luiz or Niles or Kolasinac has been up to the mark in the league and despite United showing a couple of flaws, in this segment, they have been far better than all of their options.

Wan Bissaka right now looks to be among the top five right-backs in the league certainly better than Niles or another option Bellerin. While there could be a debate over the left-back slot with both Kolasinac and Young both have been error-prone, but the English man lately has put up a better display so far after playing in place of injured Shaw who thus makes into our list.

The pair of Maguire and Lindelof also has displayed a strong balance over the last two month than error-prone Luiz and Sokratis who have led error to goals already three times together.

Midfield

Midfield, on the other hand, is a section which Arsenal clearly trumps over United. Apart from Pogba, who has been out injured for the last three games and new arrival Daniel James no other United midfielders have produced anything positives well so far. Arsenal, on the other hand, have seen a better outcome from youngster Guendouzi who has been their most key star presence in the middle of the pitch.

A pair of Pogba and Guendouzi thus could provide a good balance in the set-up of a team. In the wings, Nicolas Pepe so far has been a hit and miss but with United having no solid option in the right-hand side, he is surely the best option.

Daniel James, on the other hand, has been impressive in his debut PL campaign and makes into out list ahead of Arsenal's other options like Willock and Nelson. In the attacking midfield role clearly no one apart from Ceballos stood out right now in the list with his competition against the likes of Mata and Lingard who have been awful so far.

Forward

Without any competition, the last season's top goal scorer Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang clearly is a better fit than any other options of United's forward line. The Gabonese single-handedly so far have been involved in getting Arsenal getting 11 match-winning points which are also same point tally of Gunners in the league. This term too he is looking like a strong contender to finish at the top of the Premier League scoring charts during a scintillating start to the season.

COMBINED XI (4-3-3)

DdG; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Young; Guendouzi, Pogba, Ceballos; James, Pepe; Aubameyang.

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Story first published: Sunday, September 29, 2019, 13:40 [IST]
Other articles published on Sep 29, 2019
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