Manchester City vs Arsenal: Combined XI Ahead of Saturday's Premier League Clash

16 October 2020 01:00

Manchester City host Arsenal in the Premier League on Saturday, sitting ten places apart from each other and not in the order you'd think.

Mikel Arteta's side are fourth having won three and lost one of their matches so far, whereas City's position in the table is a tad misleading given they've played one match fewer than the Gunners.

They have, however, still had a mixed start to the season. An opening day victory over Wolves was impressive, but it was followed up with a 5-2 battering at home to Leicester and just a point away at newly-promoted Leeds.

Arsenal head into the game looking for their first league win away at a 'big six' side since Arsene Wenger navigated his side to victory on this very ground back in January 2015. Their case is aided somewhat by Pep Guardiola missing a number of key players, so, for that reason, this combined XI may be a tad different than usual.

1. Goalkeeper & Defenders

Early signs indicate £22m well spent | Julian Finney/Getty Images

Ederson (GK) - Both sets for goalkeepers are known for their distribution, but Ederson is far more adept at picking out passes from distance, while his command of his box is also superior to Bernd Leno.

Hector Bellerin (RB) - The Spaniard has come alive under Arteta's stewardship, improving his ability on the ball as well as offering more threat in the final third. In his best form since joining the club nine years ago.

Aymeric Laporte (CB) - City may have spent over £100m on Ruben Dias and Nathan Ake, but these additions are both to help Laporte, not replace him. The Frenchman is among the best in the division.

Gabriel Magalhaes (CB) - Winning Arsenal's Player of the Month shouldn't be looked into too much - all new players tend to win it - but Gabriel has nevertheless adjusted to English football swiftly and is already the Gunners' best centre half. Wasn't hard, in fairness.

Joao Cancelo (LB) - The right back is playing left back. Why? Because Benjamin Mendy is a weekly liability, Kieran Tierney can't play and Sead Kolasinac shouldn't be in any combined XI. Ever.

2. Midfielders

Who is the best midfielder in the world? | Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

Kevin De Bruyne (CM) - It's a race to be fit for the Belgian on Saturday, but even if he's only at 75% capacity, he gets into every team in Europe. Polished in every department.

Rodri (CM) - For mobility alone, Rodri gets in ahead of Granit Xhaka, who himself could be an unfortunate absentee as he's been solid of late. However, the Spanish midfielder is a better tackler and doesn't need one of those 1960s revolving dance floors to help him turn.

Thomas Partey (CM) - Hasn't even kicked a ball for Arsenal but is immediately their best midfielder. A real coup to bring in from Atletico Madrid as he's someone who can beat the press, carry the ball through the thirds and break up play in his sleep.

3. Forwards

A fine forward duo | DAVE THOMPSON/Getty Images

Riyad Mahrez (RW) - Injuries elsewhere have meant Mahrez has started all bar one of the club's fixtures this season, and he's performed well. It's remarkably easy to forget that he cost City £60m, considering he's always been, well, just there. Still, when he's on it, he's unplayable.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (ST) - Shoehorning Aubameyang into combined teams tends to result in him playing down the middle. That shouldn't be seen as a compromise though, as he made his name in Europe as a striker. Feed him and he will score.

Raheem Sterling (LW) - Every team needs a tap in merchant, so Sterling's place was never under threat, even if he didn't play at all throughout the international break. Can cause even the best of defences trouble.

Source: 90min