Chelsea vs Manchester United: Who makes the combined XI?

Ahead of Jose Mourinho's return to Stamford Bridge tomorrow afternoon, who would make a combined starting XI containing players from both teams?

Chelsea vs Manchester United: Who makes the combined XI?
John Terry celebrates Diego Costa's late equaliser last season at the Bridge | Photo via Getty

Goalkeeper - David De Gea (Manchester United)

A pretty easy one to start with. David De Gea is arguably only behind Manuel Neuer in the goalkeeper world rankings and is definitely the best in the Premier League so it would be daft to pick Thibaut Courtois ahead of him. The young Belgian has enjoyed a decent start to the season. De Gea, however,  seems to be getting better and better every week for United and he'll definitely play a big part if the Reds are to get anything from the match.

Right-Back - Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea)

Azpilicueta plays as a left-wing-back these days, but he started off as a right-back for the Blues and the players in this combined XI are based on overall quality and not current form it would be too hard to leave one of himself or Luke Shaw out. Antonio Valencia has been revolutionised under former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho. Consistency is key, though, and many would agree that Cesar Azpilicueta offers a lot more going forward and backwards on a game-to-game basis.

Centre-Back - Chris Smalling (Manchester United)

Chris Smalling has worked his way up the United ranks over the past few years and is now considered as their best defender, some would even say that the Englishman is now the best defender out of Manchester United and Chelsea's choices. He's been acting as a stand-in captain while Wayne Rooney has been sitting on the bench over the past few games and has done a magnificent job so a future United and possibly England captaincy is definitely on the cards for the former-Maidstone man.

Centre-Back - John Terry (Chelsea)

Plagued by injury, 'Mr Chelsea' has barely featured for the London club this term however his career and what he's accomplished definitely can't go unnoticed. The English defender has racked up 487 appearances since joining Chelsea and also boasts the label of the highest scoring defender in Premier League history with 40 goals. If we were looking at form, Eric Bailly, Daley Blind or even David Luiz would be in with a great shout to be Smalling's centre-half partner in this side but when it comes to overall quality it's hard to think of any better options than JT himself.

Left-Back - Luke Shaw (Manchester United)

Not only is Luke Shaw one of the best young full-backs in English football, he's also considered as one of the best left-backs in the league and, even though that is based on predominantly potential, there's a place for him in this team. The London-born defender's career since joining Manchester United hasn't taken off yet due to a frustrating run of injuries yet when he is on the field you can see that the talent is there. Shaw has recently recovered from his latest injury and started the mid-week game against Fenerbache but it's not clear whether he'll be given the nod against the club he supported as a child tomorrow or Daley Blind will start in the league again for United. 

Centre-Midfield - Cesc Fabregas (Chelsea)

The central midfield pairing is incredibly difficult to call here because of the amount of talent both teams have in this department. Honourable mentions go to the likes of N'Golo Kante, Nemanja Matic, Ander Herrera, Michael Carrick and Morgan Schneiderlin. However, Cesc Fabregas is just that bit better in the eyes of many football fans. After very successful spells at Arsenal and Barcelona, Fabregas was brought to Chelsea by Jose Mourinho in the summer of 2014 and then helped the Blues win the Premier League title in his first season making a contribution of a stunning 18 assists.The Spanish playmaker seems to be slightly out of favour under new boss Antonio Conte however his track record speaks for itself and when he does play he can very easily make a huge difference.

Centre-Midfield - Paul Pogba (Manchester United)

It'd be easy to put Paul Pogba in this team simply because of his £89 million world-record price tag. Despite that, he has been deemed to be worth that much, showing his world-class quality. Despite a rocky start back at the club where he grew up, it's clear what he's capable of based on his progress in Italy. After a five-star performance in the Europa League on Thursday, the Frenchman will be hoping to be utilised in the same way under Mourinho although due to the Portuguese boss' defensive style away from home it's likely that Pogba will be played as the main outlet just behind the striker. 

Right-Midfield - Henrikh Mkhitaryan (Manchester United)

Much more was expected from Mkhitaryan since joining United in the summer. However, the Armenia captain has been on the sidelines for most of the season and at the start of the season when he was fit, Jesse Lingard's form meant he had to settle for a place on the bench. He was the Bundesliga Player of the Year last season, though, beating some of the world's best players to the prize so it's clear what he's capable of when in-form and there were no doubts about his place in this team, hopefully we'll get to see his true quality when back fit.

Centre-Attacking-Midfield - Wayne Rooney (Manchester United)

This could be controversial, some will probably consider this as 'deluded'. Yet people must, when looking at overall quality, forget about the tough time Rooney is having at the moment and take a moment to remember what a spectacular career the England and United captain has had. Since making his Premier League debut at the age of 16 the Scouse striker has become one of the biggest characters in world football after scoring 194 goals and being the centre of attention in a few controversial moments still remembered today, including when he nearly left United to join Chelsea after Sir Alex Ferguson left in 2013. The end of his magnificent career is edging closer and he'll be retiring with the record of most goals scored for England and Manchester United so it's without question that he'll always be considered as an English great, despite his dip in form during the latter years of his career. 

Left-Midfield - Eden Hazard (Chelsea)

Anthony Martial has well and truly burst onto the scene at United since signing on Deadline Day in the summer of 2015 but you cannot undermine Eden Hazard's talent so he takes the left-midfield place. Hazard was atrocious in the 15/16 season just a year after winning the Premier League Player of the Year award in Chelsea's winning title term. Now, though, the Belgian winger seems to be picking up form again under Antonio Conte and will serve as the home side's biggest threat tomorrow.

Striker - Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Manchester United)

Diego Costa has been in scintillating form this season for Chelsea but it is impossible to ignore the icon, Zlatan Ibrahimovic. 17 years, eight clubs, 306 goals, the big Swedish striker has enjoyed an incredible career and will always be considered as one of the most iconic footballers of all time. After scoring 51 goals in 50 games for Paris-Saint Germain last season, it shook the world of football when the inevitable happened and he rejoined Jose Mourinho at United in the summer and with four goals in eight games so far in the famous red shirt it doesn't look like his ability is decreasing with age.