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Manchester United vs Chelsea Combined XI : Who Makes The Cut ?

Chelsea vs Manchester United

Manchester United take on Chelsea at the Stamford Bridge on Sunday. Currently 8th on the table, United travel to London with 1 win from their last 5 league games. The Blues have emerged as early front-runners in the tile charge, and have won 4 out of the last 5 league games.

12 points and 7 places separate the 2 sides, who on paper have a plethora of world class players and accomplished names. Let us take a look at the players who will make the final cut into a combined XI of both teams:


Manchester United have largely used a 4-2-3-1 this season, but used a 3-5-2 on two occasions. Chelsea have played a 3-man-back in all 12 games this season. We will utilize Thomas Tuchel’s 3-4-3 shape.

Manchester United and Chelsea
3-4-3 Formation


Both Edouard Mendy and David De Gea have been in outstanding form this season. The shot-stoppers have both played crucial roles to their team’s performances.

Metric (per 90 Mins) Edouard Mendy David De Gea
Shots Faced 2.91 4.50
Save % 93.8 61.1
PsxG-G +0.22 +0.12
Crosses Stopped 0.64 0.33
Launch Pass Attempts 8.18 7.50
Launch Pass Completion % 43.3 43.3
Actions Outside Box 0.36 0.17
Passes Under Pressure 3.18 1.50
Goals Against 0.36 1.75

Edouard Mendy has been the better shot-stopper this season, but David De Gea faces more shots: in quantitative and qualitative terms. However, the Senegalese shot stopper’s ability in the ball gives him the edge. Mendy often starts attacks and is involved in Chelsea’s first line of build-up too. De Gea on the other hand, is a lot less composed with the ball at his feet. And for this reason, Mendy makes it into the XI.

Edouard Mendy Creator: Adam Davy | Credit: PA

Right-Centre Back:

Chelsea have made use of Christensen, Azpilicueta and Chalobah in the RCB role. The role is tailor-made for Manchester United’s Victor Lindelof as well. Even in a 4 man back, Lindelof has displayed his ability on the ball and vision on several occasions. A 3 man back allows the Swede to step into the mid-field more often and get involved in build-up. Lindelof is also very good in the air and recovering possession. Chalobah makes a strong case too.

After an impressive spell with Lorient in the Ligue 1, the Englishman has fit perfectly into Thomas Tuchel’s plans. Azpilicueta is a veteran who can play equally well as an RCB or RWB, and even on the left. Simply considering the fact that Lindelof has similar numbers in progression in a system that restricts it’s centre backs more, Lindelof takes up the RCB role.

Creator: Matthew Peters | Credit: Manchester United via Getty Images


Few could argue against Thiago Silva deserving the role. Even at the age of 37, the Brazilian has consistently been in the Chelsea XI, and is one of the best centre-backs in the league. Thiago Silva also takes the captain’s armband for this team.

Thiago Silva  Image via:

Left-Centre Back:

Harry Maguire contests this role with Antonio Rudiger. Captain of the Red Devils, Maguire has been at the receiving end of criticism for United’s defensive woes. Rudiger has been a changed player since Tuchel’s arrival at Stamford Bridge. The German has imposed himself as a sure starter, and has played 11 games in the league this season. Rudiger also has 2 goals to his name. The German takes up the LCB role in the side.

Rudiger, Chelsea
Antonio Rudiger Image via: The Sun

Right Wing-Back:

Little competition for Reece James in this position, even if we were looking at players from across Europe. James has been excellent for the Blues in defence, progressions and build-up. The Englishman is also Chelsea’s top scorer in the league with 4 goals to his name.

Chelsea, Reece James
Reece James Creator: Darren Walsh | Credit: Chelsea FC via Getty Images

Central-Mid fielders:

Chelsea duo Jorginho and N’golo Kante have established themselves as one of the best mid-field combinations in the world. The Italian-French pairing is the perfect bridge between Chelsea’s solid defence and piercing attacks. Neither of Fred, Mctominay or Matic have come close to the levels of the Chelsea players.

Janet, Jorginho, Chelsea
Kante and Jorginho

Left Wing-Back:

After a spectacular 2020/21 season and impressive showing at the Euros, Luke Shaw’s performances have tailed off this season. Additional defensive duties and injury issues have tampered with Shaw’s performance in the left back role. English teammate Ben Chilwell has done well to reclaim the LWB spot from Marcos Alonso. After a delayed start to the season due to injury, Chilwell strung together eye-catching displays down the left flank, scoring 3 goals. However, an ACL injury against Juventus means the former Leicester City man could face an extended spell on the sidelines. Shaw takes up the place in the XI on the basis of availability.

Luke Shaw Image



Chelsea’s forwards haven’t been the most prolific this season. Callum Hudson-Odoi and Ziyech have played limited minutes while Mason Mount’s involvement in the team dynamics have also been reduced. Mount thrived in the RF slot last season, drifting in and around zone 14. And Manchester United have another player who does exactly that: Bruno Fernandes.

Bruno 20-21 heat map vs Tottenham 21-22 season Image via:

Like Mount, Bruno doesn’t dribble much, but relies on effective positioning to get into dangerous areas of the field. Bruno also creates a high volume of quality chances from the right channel.

Bruno Fernandes, Manchester United
Bruno Fernandes Image via: skysports


Who else can it be? Returning to the Premier League at the age of 36, Ronaldo already has 4 goals and 2 assists this season in the league, and has been crucial in United’s Champions League campaign as well.

Cristiano Ronaldo, Manchester United vs Watford
Cristiano Ronaldo Image via


Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Christian Pulisic can all play on the left, but we have gone in with an unorthodox choice: Kai Havertz. After a slow start to his career at Chelsea, Havertz has adapted well to Thomas Tuchel’s side and has played across the front 3.

Given Ronaldo’s tendency to drop left, Havertz can easily slot into the false-9 role, which is perhaps a more accurate representation of the set up.

Kai Havertz
Kai Havertz Creator: James Williamson – AMA | Credit: Getty Images

Here is How The Manchester United Chelsea Combined XI Looks Like :

Manchester United and Chelsea
Combined XI: Manchester United and Chelsea


What are your thoughts on the combined Manchester United and Chelsea lineup?

What changes would you make to the XI?

Adithya Ravi
Football enthusiast. Stat enthusiast

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