Belgian superstars Romelu Lukaku and Kevin De Bruyne easily make our Chelsea-Manchester City COMBINED XI… but does Ederson or Edouard Mendy start in goal and which attacking stars miss out?
- Chelsea welcome Manchester City to Stamford Bridge on Saturday lunchtime
- The teams meet for the first time since Chelsea’s Champions League final win
- A victory for Manchester City would see them go level on points with Chelsea
- Pep Guardiola has not beaten Thomas Tuchel since his arrival at Chelsea
Chelsea and Manchester City are to set to meet this Saturday in the Premier League for the first time since the Blues’ 1-0 victory in the Champions League final in May.
Thomas Tuchel’s team have started the season well and are top of the league table, winning four games from five and only conceding once.
Manchester City arrive at Stamford Bridge after a frustrating draw at home to Southampton and Pep Guardiola is yet to defeat Tuchel in three attempts in all competitions since his arrival at Chelsea.
The fixture is set to be a tightly fought battle and is one of the most anticipated fixtures at the top of the table this season. Here, Sportsmail picks a combined XI from both teams with the strict inclusion of players who are fit to play in Saturday’s clash.
Chelsea and Man City meet for the first time since the Blues’ Champions League final win
City boss Pep Guardiola has not beaten Thomas Tuchel since his January arrival at Chelsea
Ederson (Manchester City)
Choosing the goalkeeper was one of the most difficult decisions as both Ederson and Edouard Mendy have been excellent since their arrivals into the Premier League.
Mendy has been part of an exceptional Chelsea defence since Tuchel’s appointment, making some crucial saves in the club’s Champions League knockout run last season and his fine form has continued this year.
However, in recent weeks, the French goalkeeper has suffered an injury which makes him a small doubt for Saturday’s match.
Ederson is therefore just ahead of Mendy whilst the Brazilian keeper has exceptional distribution skills and has managed to keep four clean sheets in the league this season, conceding once.
Ederson has incredibly provided two assists in the Premier League since his transfer in 2017
Kyle Walker (Manchester City)
Competing for the right back spot was ultimately between Kyle Walker, Reece James and Cesar Azpilicueta.
As the two Chelsea players are more frequently rotated across Chelsea’s back five, either at centre back or wing back, Walker ultimately got the nod out of the three players.
Walker’s defensive strengths coupled with his distribution for City going forward made him a strong contender for the role, particularly as his full-back competition at City Joao Cancelo has seemingly played more regularly at left-back due to Walker’s fine form.
Kyle Walker has been regularly chosen as City’s right back in the most important fixtures
Ruben Dias (Manchester City)
Last season’s Premier League player of the season Ruben Dias was one of the easiest picks for the combined XI.
Since his arrival, the Portuguese defender made an immediate impact on a City defence that were conceding goals relatively regularly.
Dias helped guide the club to another Premier League due to his great defensive solidity, collecting 19 clean sheets along the way.
Ruben Dias was also voted as last year’s Football Writers’ Association Footballer of the Year
Antonio Rudiger (Chelsea)
Under former Chelsea boss Frank Lampard, Antonio Rudiger looked as if his career at the club was over and struggled to make the bench at the start of last season.
However, since Tuchel’s appointment, Rudiger has been a pivotal member of Chelsea’s defence and remained an ever-present since the start of the year.
Thiago Silva’s recent performances against Tottenham and Aston Villa made him a close contender for the second centre back spot, yet he has not been a regular member of Chelsea’s starting eleven.
Antonio Rudiger has entirely revived his Chelsea career under Blues boss Thomas Tuchel
Marcos Alonso (Chelsea)
Left back was another interesting position as both club’s have struggled to find a regular starter on that side of defence.
Oleksandr Zinchenko and Cancelo have recently been competing for the role at City, yet Marcos Alonso has been regularly selected ahead of Ben Chilwell to play as wing-back this season.
The Spanish defender has helped maintain Chelsea’s strong defensive record whilst making large contributions in the attacking third with a goal and an assist already this season.
Marcos Alonso has started the season incredibly and has kept Ben Chilwell out of the team
N’Golo Kante (Chelsea)
At the base of Sportsmail’s combined XI midfield is World Cup winner N’Golo Kante.
The French midfielder’s ability to read the game and reclaim the ball for his team is one of the greatest in world football.
His impact off the bench for Chelsea against Tottenham on Sunday shows exactly how valuable he is to the side as he allowed his team to dominate the game and even arrived with a deflected goal.
N’Golo Kante could play a vital role in silencing Manchester City’s midfield this Saturday
Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City)
Kevin de Bruyne has been one of the greatest midfielders in Europe since his arrival to Manchester City in 2015.
His City trophy list is sensational, claiming three Premier League titles, one FA Cup and an incredible five League Cups.
There are very few players who possess the passing threat that he has in the final third and from set pieces as he finished second behind Harry Kane for Premier League assists last season.
Despite missing the start of the season, Kevin De Bruyne is fit and firing for Saturday’s fixture
After winning the Champions League, Euro 2020, and UEFA’s Player of the Year this summer, Jorginho was a guaranteed pick amongst this star-studded midfield.
The Italian midfielder’s passing skills allow Chelsea to completely dictate possession, providing crucial service for his forward players.
His calmness in front of his defence has great influence over his team which is crucial when his team want to keep possession of the ball against strong sides such as Manchester City.
Jorginho has been one of the standout midfielders in Europe since the start of the year
Riyad Mahrez (Manchester City)
The most difficult decision to make was on the right wing as Chelsea and City possess such a huge wealth of forwards in these positions.
However, Riyad Mahrez has truly stepped up to his high potential over the last year, increasing his goal contributions in vital games.
The Algerian winger provided crucial goals in the Premier League and the Champions League and has been performing consistently since the start of the league season, claiming a goal and an assist.
Riyad Mahrez is just selected ahead of the incredible forward options at Chelsea and City
Jack Grealish (Manchester City)
There has been vast amounts of pressure on Jack Grealish since his £100 million move from Aston Villa this summer.
There were questions raised on whether he would be able to make an impact on a team with such high quality players however he has started the season excellently.
Either out wide or more centrally, the England midfielder has started to create goals more regularly and marked his Champions League debut with a goal and an assist.
Jack Grealish is looking to start in what will be his most important game in a City shirt so far
Romelu Lukaku (Chelsea)
Romelu Lukaku effortlessly walks into this combined XI as he looks to be the missing piece of the jigsaw in Chelsea’s starting eleven this year.
The Belgian star has hit the ground running since his arrival last month and already looks comfortable leading the line for Tuchel’s side.
Lukaku is arguably exactly what City have been looking for as the Manchester club were unsuccessful in bringing Tottenham’s Harry Kane to the Etihad this season, leaving them without a replacement for Sergio Aguero.
Belgian superstar Romelu Lukaku returned to Stamford Bridge for £98 million last month
Sportsmail’s combined Chelsea-Manchester City XI ahead of their title clash this weekend
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