Mix ‘n’ Match: Place for veteran Giggs in Man United/Man City XI
15 points separate league leaders Manchester United and second-place Manchester City in this season’s Premier League standings.
But a tight game is expected when the sides clash at Old Trafford, and the fact that United only just shade the amount of players to win a spot in our combined starting line-up cements this notion.
With that in mind, perhaps the draw is the best way to go in match betting markets, and that outcome is available at 12/5.
That said, history dictates that goals will emanate from this bout, and it is Joe Hart who would have his work cut out in our starting 11.
Although Hart hasn’t enjoyed his best campaign in terms of performance consistency, England’s number one has kept 14 clean sheets in 30 Premier League appearances this term, more than any other stopper in the division.
And he is chosen to don the gloves ahead of David de Gea, who, though vastly improved, remains suspect in the command of his penalty area.
Hart would be given considerable protection by his backline meanwhile, with the physicality of Nemanja Vidic perfectly complementing the elegant game-reading skills of Vincent Kompany.
Both born leaders, this central defensive pairing would put their body on the line for the cause, with each also providing a very considerable set-piece threat.
At either side of them too, one player from each club takes the full-back positions, as City right-back Pablo Zabaleta operates on the opposite flank to United’s Patrice Evra.
Each player’s willingness to bomb on would prove essential in the supplementation of what is a narrow midfield, whilst both players also possess greater defensive capabilities than most modern full-backs.
As a go-to anchor man in midfield, Michael Carrick’s range of passing wins him the nod ahead of the seasoned Gareth Barry, with the former West Ham trainee’s inclusion providing Yaya Toure with a license to push on.
The powerful Toure appears most effective utilised higher up the pitch, and in company with the cultured Ryan Giggs, can chip in with goals as well as providing the type of incisive final-third passing that the three players ahead of them would thrive upon.
The first of these is David Silva, who would relish a role operating just behind an all-United front two of Robin Van Persie and Wayne Rooney.
Diminutive and effortlessly tricky on the ball, Silva can both score and create from this position, and his already-impressive assist numbers can swell with the aid of a strike partnership that have notched 87 league goals between them over the past two seasons.
Van Persie and Rooney are 9/2 and 11/2 respectively to break the deadlock in the upcoming Manchester derby.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.