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Jul 19, 2020 at 6pm UK
Man UtdManchester United
Fernandes (85' pen.)
Pogba (71')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Giroud (45+11'), Mount (46'), Maguire (74' og.)

Combined XI: Manchester United vs. Chelsea

:Headline: Combined XI: Manchester United vs. Chelsea:
Ahead of Sunday's FA Cup semi-final clash between Manchester United and Chelsea, Sports Mole selects its strongest combined XI from the two squads.

Manchester United and Chelsea will temporarily set aside their battle for a top-four finish in the Premier League when they lock horns in Sunday's FA Cup semi-final at Wembley Stadium.

Two of the most successful teams in the tournament will be meeting for the fourth time during the 2019-20 campaign, with United boasting a 100% record against the Blues this season as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men endeavour to equal Arsenal's record of 13 FA Cup triumphs.

The last time that Chelsea recorded a win against the Red Devils was in the final of the 2017-18 FA Cup, where an Eden Hazard penalty was enough for the Blues to record their eighth triumph in the competition two years ago.

Even though United and Chelsea are desperate to secure a route into the Champions League with two Premier League games remaining, the clubs will switch their attention to Wembley as they battle for supremacy in one of the most prestigious competitions in football.

Arsenal and Manchester City will go head-to-head in the other semi-final on Saturday, meaning that there is every chance of an all-London or all-Manchester final on August 1.

Here, Sports Mole selects its strongest combined XI from United and Chelsea's squads ahead of Sunday's semi-final showdown, using only players expected to be available for the contest.

Neither David de Gea or Kepa Arrizabalaga has covered themselves in glory between the sticks this season, although the former would have been a shoo-in had this been a Premier League fixture.

However, Argentine compatriots Sergio Romero and Willy Caballero have featured heavily in the cup competitions and both are expected to walk out onto the Wembley turf this weekend, and the United shot-stopper gets the nod over his international teammate.

The emergence of Reece James on the right-hand side of defence has been a shining light in Chelsea's season, and with Aaron Wan-Bissaka occupying the same side for United, England are well-stocked when it comes to right-back options for future tournaments.

While James's attacking prowess is arguably more beneficial for a modern-day full-back, Wan-Bissaka's stellar defensive qualities are well-documented and the United defender makes the cut here.

Solskjaer is facing a selection dilemma on the opposite side of defence, however, with Luke Shaw and Brandon Williams both picking up injuries in Monday's draw with Southampton, and the pair are doubts for the trip to Wembley.

Timothy Fosu-Mensah was a surprise inclusion at left-back against Crystal Palace, but Chelsea's Cesar Azpilicueta and Marcos Alonso have both proven their worth on that side this season and the former is included in our lineup.

Harry Maguire continues to have his doubters but the £80m centre-back was a straightforward inclusion in this team, and his partnership with Victor Lindelof keeps Chelsea defenders Antonio Rudiger, Kurt Zouma, Andreas Christensen and Fikayo Tomori out of the lineup.

In the middle of the park, Paul Pogba has slotted back into the United midfield like he had never left, and the Frenchman has been key to United's upturn in form as of late. As a result, it was impossible to leave the 27-year-old out of this team, although Pogba's midfield partner was a more difficult decision.

Had N'Golo Kante stayed fit and enjoyed a consistent run in the Chelsea term, the France international would have gone into the team alongside his fellow World Cup winner. Jorginho has also found himself in and out of Frank Lampard's side recently, but Mateo Kovacic has established himself as a top midfielder for the Blues and gets into our selection, but Nemanja Matic is also a worthy contender.

Given their prolific goalscoring form over the past few weeks, it is no surprise to see the Red Devils dominate the final third of the pitch in our team. Bruno Fernandes has been nothing short of a revelation for United since his January arrival and has registered seven goals and seven assists in 12 Premier League outings, including four goals and four assists in his last five.

As a result, the Portuguese playmaker was an easy selection over the likes of Mason Mount, Juan Mata, Jesse Lingard and Ross Barkley in the attacking midfield role, and Fernandes is supported by Willian on the right hand side - the sole Chelsea attacker in our lineup.

Mason Greenwood was an obvious choice for this team given the teenager's remarkable performances since football returned, but it remains to be seen whether Solskjaer will opt to rest the 18-year-old for this tie, especially considering that he was on the receiving end of a horror tackle in the Southampton game.

Greenwood has managed four goals and one assist since the restart, while Willian, in spite of all the speculation regarding his next career move, has amassed four goals and three assists and is included in our selection.

Marcus Rashford also seems to be finding his feet again and bagged his 17th Premier League goal of the season against Crystal Palace, so the United attacker occupies the left-hand side of midfield as opposed to Chelsea's Christian Pulisic, although the American has also enjoyed a decent run since the restart.

At the forefront of the attack, Anthony Martial continues to go from strength to strength and now boasts 22 goals for the season across all competitions. Chelsea's Tammy Abraham hit the ground running at the start of the season, but the Englishman has often seen Olivier Giroud feature from the opening whistle ahead of him recently, meaning Martial occupies the final spot in our selection. body check tags ::

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