With Arsenal’s Premier League visit to Manchester United little more than a kickabout now both sides have secured spots in the top four, we’ve thrown together an experimental mixed XI featuring the best they have to offer between them.
After winning as many top-flight home matches as champions Chelsea this term, Louis van Gaal’s men are 7/5 favourites at Old Trafford, with 19/10 on offer about Arsene Wenger’s charges, but the visitors boss news.ladbrokes’ combo team nonetheless:
Much of the backline picks itself, with United’s inability to keep a senior centre-half fit for any significant period of time paving the way for Arsenal’s consistent duo Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker in front of home goalie David de Gea, who edges out well-liked Gunner David Ospina.
However, with neither side particularly strong in the full-back berths, we’ve gone with young flyers Luke Shaw and Hector Bellerin, ahead of more powerful types such as Antonio Valencia or Nacho Monreal.
Both Shaw and Bellerin have shown flashes of attacking brilliance this term, and are quick enough to get back sharpish, but to balance the added forward impetus we’ve gone with both sides’ superb holding midfielders, namely Michael Carrick and Francis Coquelin, in the centre of the park.
Each will be required to hold firm in their positions when the wing-backs bomb up the flanks to feed wide forwards Alexis Sanchez and Wayne Rooney, who has been pushed out to a not-entirely-unfamiliar role to accommodate out-and-out number nine Olivier Giroud.
Filling the number 10 spot is the toughest task in this team, with so many international-class options for the role behind the striker, including Juan Mata and Mesut Ozil, while either Marouane Fellaini or Ander Herrera can also do a job there.
However, with seven goals and nine assists in the Premier League this year, it’s tough to look past diminutive Spaniard Santi Cazorla in his favourite position.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
Fancy a flutter? Sign up today to claim up to £25 in free bets.