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Manchester City v Bayern Munich – Combined XI

Manchester City meet Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter-finals this evening, a clash between two teams considered contenders for the competition.

Both sides boast star-studded line ups and each will be hoping for a positive first leg result at the Etihad on Tuesday night.

Ahead of a mouthwatering quarter-final clash, we’ve created our Manchester City and Bayern Munich combined XI.

Goalkeeper: Ederson – Manchester City

Ederson starts in goal for our combined side, with Bayern Munich captain Manuel Neuer sidelined until the end of the season after breaking his leg during a skiing accident in December.

The Brazilian’s role in the modern success of Pep Guardiola’s can not be understated, with his elite distribution and comfortability on the ball essential to the possession dominant approach of the Premier League champions. Ederson has won four top-flight titles and three Golden Glove awards since signing for City in 2017.

Bayern signed the experienced Yann Sommer from Borussia Monchengladbach as a replacement for the injured Neuer in January, with the Switzerland international having made a record-breaking 19 saves in a draw against Bayern in August. It is a record in Europe’s top five league since the data was first collected in 2009.

Right-back: Joao Cancelo – Bayern Munich

Joao Cancelo will face his parent club this evening, having signed on loan for Bayern from Manchester City in January. The full-back is eligible to feature against City, though has so far failed to produce his best since signing for Bayern.

City will know better than most the qualities Cancelo can bring when operating at his best however, with the Portugal international capable of carving out chances for his teammates. The 28-year-old has provided four assists in just six Champions League starts during the current campaign. No player in the competition has more this season.

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Centre-back: John Stones – Manchester City

John Stones has been one of Manchester City’s best players across the past two campaigns, with the defender’s intelligence having allowed him to shine amid Pep Guardiola’s unconventional tactics.

A centre-back by trade, Stones has impressed as both a roving right-back and midfield anchor of late, revelling in the latter role as Guardiola seeks calm, control and fluidity in his 3-2-2-3 defensive structure.

Stones might be quintessentially English in name, but there’s a continental feel to his football and the 28-year-old appears to be getting better and better. One of the first names on the team sheet and an indispensable to Guardiola right now.

Centre-back: Ruben Dias – Manchester City

If Stones brings the silk, then Ruben Dias provides the steel to this Manchester City side. The Portugal international has been a rock since his arrival from Benfica, adding an authoritative presence that had been missing since Vincent Kompany’s departure.

A natural leader, organiser and willing to lead by example with a body-on-the-line brand of defending, Dias raises the standard of those around him. Still just 25, he looks set to be a major part of City’s present and long-term future.

Left-back: Alphonso Davies – Bayern Munich

Nathan Ake’s excellence at Manchester City this season deserves a mention, but it’s difficult to look past the excitement machine that is Alphonso Davies at left-back.

The 22-year-old is one of the most watchable full-backs in world football with explosive pace, capable of shifting through the gears to burst past defenders or race back to make recovery challenges.

No player in the Bundesliga has averaged more successful dribbles (2.8) per game than Davies this season, while only Joshua Kimmich (55) and Jamal Musiala (43) have created more chances than the Canadian in the Bayern squad.

Midfield: Rodri – Manchester City

Rodri’s role in the Manchester City side is a crucial one, with the Spaniard having evolved into one of the most complete defensive midfielders in Europe.

No player in the Premier League averages more passes per game than Rodri (81.5) this season, with the 26-year-old the conduit of a City side who often monopolises possession.

Imposing, intelligent and comfortable taking the ball in any area of the pitch, City’s ability to build from the back often begins at the feet of Rodri. Part playmaker, part presence, his mix of tenacity off the ball and technique on it make Rodri the perfect player to anchor a Guardiola midfield.

Midfield: Joshua Kimmich – Bayern Munich

Joshua Kimmich is often the beating heart of Bayern Munich’s best performances, a midfielder with class, composure and a relentless will to win that exemplifies the standards at the Bundesliga champions.

Kimmich will come up against Pep Guardiola in the Champions League quarter-finals, the coach who spotted his potential when in Germany’s second division and who developed his game with minutes in unfamiliar positions. The result has been an evolution into one of the most complete midfielders in the game, with the 28-year-old outstanding in possession, energetic and able to control the tempo of games.

He has already won seven Bundesliga titles, three German Cups and the Champions League, but the desire for more remains strong. Beating Manchester City would be a significant step towards a second European title.

Midfield: Kevin De Bruyne – Manchester City

Kevin De Bruyne appears to have found his finest form in recent weeks, for a Manchester City side who have clicked into gear to win eight consecutive games in all competitions. The Belgian has two goals and six assists in his last four appearances and will be the man Bayern must shut down in order to earn a result at the Etihad.

De Bruyne’s assist against Southampton at the weekend took him to 100 in the Premier League, becoming the fifth player to achieve the feat and the fastest to have ever done so in just 237 appearances.

Capable of changing the narrative of a game in an instant, De Bruyne could be a decisive figure in a Champions League quarter-final tie between two of the tournament’s finest sides.

Right-wing: Leroy Sane – Bayern Munich

Leroy Sane is another who will face his former team this week, with the winger having won back-to-back Premier League titles and the PFA Young Player of the Year award during three successful seasons at the Etihad.

Sane has added two Bundesliga titles since leaving City for Bayern Munch, where he has provided 72 goals and assists in 124 appearances in all competitions. Electric with the ball at his feet, Sane is capable of taking multiple defenders out of the game with bursts of speed in tight areas.

Sane has struggled for consistency at Bayern Munich, but a return of 13 goals and eight assists this season underlines his threat. City will be more than aware what he can produce.

Left-wing: Jamal Musiala – Bayern Munich

Leon Gotezka believes Jamal Musiala could be ‘one of the biggest talents Germany has ever had’ after the midfielder’s breakout season at Bayern Munich.

Musiala has developed from promising talent to bona fide star during the current campaign, one which has seen the 20-year-old produce remarkable numbers. He has 20 goal contributions in just 21 league starts for Bayern this season, with the midfielder’s evasive footwork and improved end product marking Musiala out as one of world football’s most exciting talents.

“Jamal might be one of the biggest talents Germany has ever had because he’s already able to constantly deliver good performances. He doesn’t have many ups and downs,” Goretzka told UEFA.

“He’s extremely good on the ball, in narrow spaces, and he creates a lot of danger. He has outstanding qualities. If he keeps working like that and stays fit, the sky’s the limit for him.”

Forward: Erling Haaland – Manchester City

Pep Guardiola admitted that Erling Haaland can be compared to Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi when it comes to scoring goals this week, after the Manchester City forward scored his 43rd and 44th goals of the season in all competitions against Southampton.

Haaland’s haul has equalled the record for a Premier League player in a single season, while he is the fastest footballer in the division’s history to reach 30 league goals. More records will fall before the end of the season, for a forward who has often appeared unstoppable in a City shirt.

Bayern beware, Haaland – the Champions League’s leading scorer (10) this season – has his sights set on European success.

Read – Wing Wizards: Franck Ribery – The jewel in the Bayern crown

Read Also – Midfield Magicians: David Silva – El Mago

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