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FA Cup | Quarter-Finals
Mar 17, 2024 at 3.30pm UK
Old Trafford

Man Utd
4 - 3

McTominay (10'), Antony (87'), Rashford (112'), Diallo (120+1')
Fernandes (45+3'), Diallo (116')
Diallo (120+2')
Mac Allister (44'), Salah (45+2'), Elliott (105')
Mac Allister (31'), Gomez (60'), Kelleher (109')

Combined XI: Manchester United vs. Liverpool

:Headline: Combined XI: Manchester United vs. Liverpool:
Ahead of Sunday's FA Cup quarter-final between Manchester United and Liverpool, Sports Mole chooses a combined XI from both squads.
Sports Mole

Arguably the two biggest clubs in English football will lock horns in the FA Cup on Sunday afternoon, with Manchester United hosting Liverpool in the quarter-finals of the competition.

Liverpool are chasing a quadruple in what is Jurgen Klopp's final campaign at the helm, but the FA Cup represents Man United's only realistic chance of claiming silverware this season.

Man United are the second-most successful side in the history of this competition, lifting the trophy 12 times, with their last triumph coming in 2016, but they did make the final last term, losing to Manchester City.

Liverpool, meanwhile, have won the FA Cup eight times, last lifting the trophy in 2022.

There will be some of the Premier League's leading players on display here, and with that in mind, Sports Mole picks a combined XI from both squads, using only players available for the clash.

Had Alisson Becker been available for this match, it would have been a straightforward pick, with the Brazilian arguably the best goalkeeper in world football, but the 31-year-old is out of the contest due to injury. Caoimhin Kelleher has proved himself to be a brilliant number two at Liverpool, putting in consistently strong performances, but it is the improving Andre Onana who gets the nod between the sticks here.

The Cameroonian has overcome a shaky start to his Man United career to become a dependable performer in recent weeks, and a number of strong displays appear to have gone under the radar.

It is two from each team at the back, with Diogo Dalot featuring at right-back due to Trent Alexander-Arnold's absence, but we would have found a spot in the side for him at left-back if the Englishman was available, as he has been one of Man United's best performers during the 2023-24 campaign.

Raphael Varane also makes it for the Red Devils, with the Frenchman particularly impressive in recent weeks, having regained his spot in the XI. The 30-year-old is out of contract this summer, but he has certainly done enough in 2024 to earn a new deal.

Virgil van Dijk was always going to be a certainty, with the 32-year-old having another excellent campaign, making 35 appearances in all competitions, and he has been back to his best this term. Joe Gomez also makes it for Liverpool, with the Englishman benefitting from the team's defensive issues this season to make 40 appearances in all competitions, and he is fully deserving of his spot in this particular side considering the level of his performances.

The midfield was an interesting one to pick, and after a period of deliberation, we have settled on a three of Bruno Fernandes, Alexis Mac Allister and Dominik Szoboszlai.

Fernandes has had periods of inconsistency this season, but the 29-year-old has once again been one of Man United's most productive players in terms of output, scoring eight goals and registering nine assists in 37 appearances in all competitions.

Mac Allister, meanwhile, has had an impressive first season at Anfield, scoring four goals and registering six assists in 33 appearances, settling effortlessly into life at the club following a move from Brighton & Hove Albion.

Casemiro, Kobbie Mainoo and Wataru Endo were among the players battling for the third spot in midfield, but Szoboszlai is given the nod, with the 23-year-old contributing seven goals and five assists in 35 appearances during a productive first campaign with the Merseyside giants.

Rasmus Hojlund's fitness for this match had been in doubt, but Man United boss Erik ten Hag said on Friday that the Denmark international is in line to return from a muscular problem on Sunday.

The 21-year-old has scored 13 times during his first season at the club, and he was in red-hot form before picking up a fitness issue. Luis Diaz and Cody Gakpo were the options from Liverpool, while Marcus Rashford and Alejandro Garnacho provide competition from his own club, but Hojlund is selected in the front three.

The final two players in the team both represent Liverpool, with Darwin Nunez included, having scored 17 times and registered 12 assists in 41 appearances for the club this season. The 24-year-old has been a key part of his side's success in 2023-24 and looks capable of starring for the Reds in the coming years.

Mohamed Salah was the easiest pick in this side, with the 31-year-old a world-class performer. The forward has had his injury problems this season, but he has still managed 20 goals and 13 assists in 31 appearances, and the Egypt international is available for this match. There simply could not have been a combined XI without Salah, who will go down as one of the best players to ever play in the Premier League.

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