Chelsea welcome old rivals Manchester United to Stamford Bridge on Saturday afternoon for a Premier League clash.
Blues boss Maurizio Sarri has had an unbeaten start in the league and his side sit second in the table, while ex-manager Jose Mourinho has endured a difficult start to the campaign at Old Trafford.
Chelsea have looked the far more impressive of the two teams so far in the opening months of the campaign, but it’s worth noting Man United finished higher in the league last season.
Here is a best combined XI compiled of players from both teams, but it includes notable omissions such as Alvaro Morata and Nemanja Matic.
Goalkeeper: David de Gea (Manchester United)
De Gea has seen his levels somewhat dip of late, but it’s hard to argue against the fact he’s the best goalkeeper in the Premier League. Chelsea’s summer signing Kepa Arrizabalaga is adjusting well to life in England and could give him a run for his money in the future as he develops though.
Right-back: Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea)
Azpilicueta is a must-have for this combined XI given his constant performances in recent years and he’s now slotted back into the right-back position under Sarri. He’s still re-adjusting to the role in an attacking sense, but is a much better candidate than the likes of Antonio Valencia and Diogo Dalot at Man United.
Centre-back: Antonio Rudiger (Chelsea)
Chelsea’s German colossus Rudiger is an easy pick in the team and should be considered right up there with the best centre-backs in the division right now. His pace and power makes him a nightmare for strikers, while he appears to be getting better each week.
Centre-back: David Luiz (Chelsea)
The second centre-back is a much more difficult selection, but ball-playing defender Luiz just gets the nod after an impressive beginning to the campaign. Man United’s Eric Bailly may feel unlucky to miss out, but he’s just not been consistent enough of late.
Left-back: Marcos Alonso (Chelsea)
There were huge question marks over whether Alonso would struggle with Sarri’s switch to back three from a back four, but he’s taken it in his stride. Man United’s Luke Shaw is beginning to edge his way back to form, but goalscoring defender Alonso is the outstanding pick.
Central midfielder: N’Golo Kante (Chelsea)
Katne has been tasked with a more box-to-box role in Sarri’s system, but he takes everything in his stride and must cover every blade of grass each week. Any team in the world would be fortunate to have the Frenchman and Chelsea fans get to appreciate his talent every week.
Central midfielder: Jorginho (Chelsea)
The Italian pass master has taken the Premier League by storm and his inclusion in the team is just ahead of current Man United and ex-Chelsea warrior Matic. Chelsea’s play goes through chief general and he is included ahead of the more defensively minded Matic.
Central midfielder: Paul Pogba (Manchester United)
Pogba is truly a world-class midfielder on his day and was part of the France side that won the World Cup in the summer alongside Kante. He can provide a serious goal threat from the midfield and is a step ahead of the likes of Ross Barkley, Ander Herrera, Cesc Fabregas, Juan Mata and Fred.
Right-winger: Willian (Chelsea)
The right wing is arguably the most difficult position in the combined XI to select, but Brazilian trickster Willian just edges out his counterparts. His quality in one-on-one positions just gives him the upper hand over the likes of Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial, Alexis Sanchez and Pedro
Centre-forward: Romelu Lukaku (Manchester United)
Lukaku left Stamford Bridge back in 2014 and since then he’s gone on to become one of the best goalscorers in the Premier League, despite some inconsistency in front of goal at times. But he’s still a much better option than Morata, while team player Olivier Giroud is still yet to score this season.
Left-winger: Eden Hazard (Chelsea)
Hazard is the outstanding individual in the Premier League right now and threatening to take his game to a new level. The Belgian wizard can be irresistible when he is at his best and is capable of winning the game by himself at the weekend.