Saturday, 13 December 2014

Manchester United vs Liverpool combined XI: Wayne Rooney and Raheem Sterling are there, but who else makes it into our team?

Brendan Rodgers looks on from the touchline at Anfield
Brendan Rodgers

It's fair to say that the two sides that will line-up at Old Trafford on Sunday are not of typical vintage.

Manchester United and Liverpool are not as strong as they've been in the past.
Ince is slightly surprised that Ryan Giggs has moved into management at Louis van Gaal's assistant
Louis van Gaal
Louis van Gaal's team appear to have turned a corner, with five wins in a row, but this is not a United team that can compete with the dominant teams of the past.

Liverpool are in an even worse state, having crashed out of the Champions League group stages in midweek after only managing a draw at home to Basel. That result followed a 0-0 draw at home to Sunderland last week, a result that left Brendan Rodgers' team ninth in the Premier League, already 15 points off leaders Chelsea.

Injuries haven't helped either team, with star men Angel Di Maria and Daniel Sturridge among the many casualties, but for teams that were, until recently, able to field the likes of Luis Suarez and Cristiano Ronaldo in this fixture, it is quite a fall from grace.

If you were to ask Jose Mourinho and Manuel Pellegrini how many players they would take for their Chelsea and Manchester City first teams, a case could only be made for a handful.
It's not quite the Dog and Duck v The Red Lion, but it's not far away.

Presuming the teams line-up as below:

Manchester United (3-5-2): De Gea; McNair, Evans, Rojo; Valencia, Carrick, Fellaini, Mata, Young; Rooney, Van Persie.

Liverpool (4-3-3): Mignolet; Johnson, Skrtel, Toure, Moreno; Lucas, Gerrard, Henderson; Sterling, Lallana, Lambert.
The Independent

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