Tottenham vs Manchester United: Combined XI

Tottenham Hotspur have won five of their last six matches and sit fifth in the Premier League, a point behind the top four and North London rivals Arsenal.

Manchester United are currently in eighth place, eight points behind Spurs.

So far it has been a campaign of ups and downs for both sides. Using only available players, here is our combined XI ahead of Sunday’s Premier League clash:

Tottenham vs Manchester United: Combined XI

Goalkeeper: Guglielmo Vicario – Tottenham

Of all the Tottenham players who have thrived under the tutelage of Ange Postecoglou, Italian goalkeeper Guglielmo Vicario is arguably the one who has stood out the most.

A relatively low-profile signing from Empoli, few could’ve predicted that he would be a shoo-in for plenty of Team of the Season selections in his debut campaign in the Premier League.

Manchester United’s Andre Onana is one of just three shot-stoppers with more clean sheets than Vicario’s five this term (6 – level with Alisson and Jordan Pickford), but statistics tell only part of the story of both goalkeepers. The Italian has made less errors and is vital to the way Postecoglou’s Spurs play.

Right-back: Pedro Porro – Tottenham

Another man who is enjoying a stellar 2023/24 campaign is Pedro Porro. The Spaniard is one of the league’s most in-form defenders.

Of all defenders in the league, only Newcastle’s Kieran Tripper (7) has claimed more assists than the former Sporting Lisbon man (6).

His stunning goal to take Tottenham past Burnley in the FA Cup last week is the latest example of the influence Porro has had on Spurs this season.

Centre-back: Raphael Varane – Manchester United

Raphael Varane’s future at Manchester United continues to be uncertain as the defender approaches the end of his contract with the club.

The France international has had spells out of favour under Erik ten Hag, but has been an important member of the side in recent weeks in the absence of Lisandro Martinez, Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof.

Varane showed all of his Champions League winning pedigree during the goalless draw last month, as he made a mammoth 15 clearances to help the Red Devils to a point at Anfield.

Centre-back: Micky van de Ven – Tottenham

Micky van de Ven’s return to availability is a major boost for Ange Postecoglou, with the centre-back having been an astute addition from Wolfsburg in the summer. The Dutch defender’s electric recovery pace and composure in carrying the ball forward have added a new dynamic to the North London side’s backline.

His partnership with Cristian Romero, when fit, has the potential to be one of the best centre-back pairings in the Premier League.

Left-back: Destiny Udogie – Tottenham

Postecoglou has revolutionised the Spurs defence and Destiny Udogie has also starred in North London this year.

Udogie has played every match for which he’s been available for the Lilywhites, only missing matches through injury or suspension.

The 21-year-old ranks in the 90th percentile for successful take-ons per 90 (1.56) by full-backs in Europe’s big five leagues.

Midfield: Kobbie Mainoo- Man United

Manchester United’s youth academy has an illustrious history that few clubs can match across the globe.

The latest product of that academy to break into the first team is midfielder Kobbie Mainoo.

Boasting maturity beyond his years, the 18-year-old has already made seven starts for the Red Devils, starting six of the club’s last eight league matches. With both Yves Bissouma and Pape Matar Sarr on international duty, this lad has certainly earned his place.

Midfield: Rodrigo Bentancur – Tottenham

An under-rated part of the Spurs side, Rodrigo Bentancur is beginning to find his best form again after cruel injury setbacks of late. The Uruguayan adds a touch of class to the Spurs midfield, while he has been handed the responsibility of the captain’s armband of late in the absence of the club’s leadership group through injury and international commitments.

The double deal to sign Bentancur and Dejan Kulusevski from Juventus, with the former costing just £17.1m, is among the best pieces of business Spurs have conducted in recent windows.

Midfield: Bruno Fernandes – Man United

Bruno Fernandes is almost guaranteed a spot in any combined XI involving United, given his consistent high-class performances since his 2020 arrival. The Portugal international’s chance creation numbers have earned him his status as one of the league’s best midfielders.

Say what you like about his on-pitch persona, Fernandes boasts an astounding record at Old Trafford.

Fernandes has six goals and five assists at this point in the season across all competitions, taking his tally of direct goal involvements up to 129 in 212 appearances for the club.

Right-wing: Dejan Kulusevski – Tottenham

Adding once more to the Spurs contingent in this squad, Dejan Kulusevski takes the first wide role.

The Swede had started every match for the Lilywhites this term until he was suspended for the New Years’ Eve clash with Bournemouth.

A right-winger by trade, Kulusevski is now thriving in a more central role for Spurs, having scored and assisted against both Manchester City and Nottingham Forest in recent weeks. It’s easy to forget he is still just 23.

Left-wing: Alejandro Garnacho – Man United

Lining up on the opposite wing is United’s teenage sensation Alejandro Garnacho.

After breaking into the first team last season, the Argentine has now become a regular, registering five goals and two assists in all competitions – including that stunning overhead kick against Everton.

The 19-year-old ranks in the 98th percentile for wingers and attacking midfielders for touches in the opponents’ area per 90 (8.25).

Striker: Richarlison – Tottenham

After losing Harry Kane in the summer, few people predicted that the Spurs’ starting striker role would be taken up by Richarlison – a man who scored just once in the league last year.

But the Brazilian is in red-hot form, with five goals in his last five games.

He’s had a tough time of things thus far in North London but it appears he is finally coming into his own.

Read – Sancho aiming to ‘play football with a smile’ after completing Dortmund return

See Also – Tottenham reach agreement on Radu Dragusin deal

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