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Combined XI: Chelsea vs. Manchester City

By , Editor | 1mo
Ahead of Sunday's EFL Cup final between Chelsea and Manchester City at Wembley, Sports Mole selects its strongest combined XI from both squads.

The first trophy of the season is up for grabs on Sunday when Chelsea take on Manchester City in the final of the EFL Cup at Wembley.

The match comes just two weeks after City hammered the same opposition 6-0 in the Premier League, and the holders will once again go into the game as favourites to retain the trophy.

Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri finds himself under increasing pressure following a wildly inconsistent spell of form and could face more questions over his future if his side are beaten again at Wembley.

Here, Sports Mole selects its strongest combined XI from both squads, using only players available for Sunday's match.



Ederson may not start at Wembley due to Pep Guardiola's preference of using Arijanet Muric in this competition, but with Kepa Arrizabalaga a doubt due to injury the Brazilian is the clear choice to get the gloves in this XI.

Considering Chelsea conceded six times in this fixture just two weeks ago, it is perhaps surprising that they contribute two defenders from the back four, although Cesar Azpilicueta remains one of the most consistent defenders in England while Marcos Alonso's selection is as much down to a lack of other options with Benjamin Mendy still injured.

Aymeric Laporte is another option for the left, but his best position is at centre-back and he is joined by Nicolas Otamendi, who benefits from doubts over John Stones's fitness. Kyle Walker, Vincent Kompany and Antonio Rudiger were also in contention for a place in that defensive quartet, but all narrowly miss out.

It is an all-Man City midfield trio, with Kevin De Bruyne now back at full fitness and joining David Silva as the chief creators for Man City once again. Much has been made of N'Golo Kante's new role at Chelsea, but in an attacking sense the Frenchman is nowhere near the level of the Man City duo.

Kante is closer to making the team in his former position of defensive midfield, but Fernandinho's importance to Man City has really been highlighted this season and the Brazilian is a sure-fire pick above Jorginho, whose performances have come under intense scrutiny recently.

Bernardo Silva is very unfortunate to miss out on a place in this team having established himself as one of Guardiola's most trusted players this season, but the level of competition in the front three is incredible with the likes of Leroy Sane, Willian and Gonzalo Higuain also failing to make the XI.

Sergio Aguero leads the line having reaffirmed his position as City's apex striker this season, and he has a particularly good record against Chelsea with his hat-trick in the Premier League meeting earlier this month taking him to 15 goals against the Blues.

Raheem Sterling has been a similarly high performer for City this season, with 12 goals and nine assists in the Premier League alone, while Eden Hazard can top even that tally despite Chelsea's comparative struggles with 10 assists to go with his 12 goals.



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Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool34267177205785
2Manchester CityMan City33272486226483
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs332211064343067
4Arsenal33206766402666
5Chelsea34206857362166
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd33197763441964
7Leicester CityLeicester34145154645147
8Wolverhampton WanderersWolves33138124142-147
9Everton34137144644246
10Watford33137134748-146
11West Ham UnitedWest Ham34126164252-1042
12Bournemouth34125174961-1241
13Crystal Palace34116174046-639
14Burnley34116174260-1839
15Newcastle UnitedNewcastle34108163243-1138
16Southampton3399153954-1536
17Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton3396183253-2133
18Cardiff CityCardiff3494213063-3331
RFulham3455243276-4420
RHuddersfield TownHuddersfield3435261967-4814
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Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel
Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool34267177205785
2Manchester CityMan City33272486226483
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs332211064343067
4Arsenal33206766402666
5Chelsea34206857362166
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd33197763441964
7Leicester CityLeicester34145154645147
8Wolverhampton WanderersWolves33138124142-147
9Everton34137144644246
10Watford33137134748-146
11West Ham UnitedWest Ham34126164252-1042
12Bournemouth34125174961-1241
13Crystal Palace34116174046-639
14Burnley34116174260-1839
15Newcastle UnitedNewcastle34108163243-1138
16Southampton3399153954-1536
17Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton3396183253-2133
18Cardiff CityCardiff3494213063-3331
RFulham3455243276-4420
RHuddersfield TownHuddersfield3435261967-4814
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