Ahead of Sunday's Premier League showdown between Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United, Sports Mole selects its strongest combined XI from both squads.

Combined XI: Tottenham Hotspur vs. Manchester United

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  • 2019-01-11 19:10:19 8 months ago
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Tottenham Hotspur will become the latest team to attempt to stop a rejuvenated Manchester United side when they welcome the Red Devils to Wembley on Sunday.

Interim boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has won all five of his games at the United helm so far - and could become the first manager in the club's history to make it six in a row - but Spurs are also in good form having won 15 of their last 18 outings across all competitions.

The match also contains an intriguing sub-plot with Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino facing the club he has been heavily tipped to take over at the end of the season.

Here, Sports Mole selects a combined XI from both squads, using only the players available this weekend.

Combined XI: TOT vs. MNU

Manchester United's defence may have been leaky this season, but it could have been even worse without David de Gea, whose reputation as one of the world's best remains intact as he beats World Cup-winning captain Hugo Lloris into the team.

It is an all-Spurs defence in front of him, though, with Kieran Trippier an easy choice ahead of Ashley Young, Antonio Valencia and Diogo Dalot at right-back.

The opposite flank is one of the tougher positions in the team with Ben Davies and Luke Shaw providing competition, but Danny Rose has been preferred by Pochettino of late and so just about gets the nod.

Chris Smalling and Jan Vertonghen are likely to miss this match through injury, while Eric Bailly remains suspended, limiting the centre-back options. United target Toby Alderweireld and Davinson Sanchez have forged a decent partnership in defence, though, and are also fairly simple picks ahead of Phil Jones and Victor Lindelof.

Nemanja Matic has endured a hugely disappointing season by his own standards but has improved enough under Solskjaer to earn his place in this team ahead of Ander Herrera, Fred or Harry Winks - although his cause is helped by injuries to Eric Dier and Mousa Dembele too.

Perhaps the biggest beneficiary of United's change in management has been Paul Pogba, though, with the Frenchman beginning to show the type of form we knew he was capable of. Pogba has been passed fit for this match and, while he has thrived in a more advanced role under Solskjaer, the quality ahead of him sees him drop back into the holding two in this XI.

Sunday will be the in-form Son Heung-min's final match for Spurs before jetting off to the Asian Games and his performances over the past month or so make him a sure-fire pick, while Christian Eriksen on the opposite flank remains one of the best playmakers in the entire division.

The likes of Anthony Martial, Jesse Lingard and Alexis Sanchez miss out in the all-Spurs front four, with Dele Alli filling in at number 10 behind Harry Kane, who leads the line ahead of some strong competition from United.

Marcus Rashford and Romelu Lukaku have both hit fine goalscoring form under Solskjaer, but Rashford is understood to have been told that he is the main striker and in a straight shootout between him and Kane, we have to go with Kane every time.

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Combined XI: Tottenham Hotspur vs. Manchester United
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