Picking a Combined Manchester City-Chelsea XI

Mark JonesFeatured ColumnistJanuary 31, 2014

Picking a Combined Manchester City-Chelsea XI

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    They'll meet on Monday night in what is pretty much guaranteed to be one of the matches of the Premier League season so far, and Manchester City and Chelsea have plenty to be confident about right now.

    The pair surely possess the two best squads in the division and on their day they can be a match for any team in the world.

    But what if we were to merge the clubs to create one all-powerful super team? A Chelsea City managed by Manuel Mourinho?

    That would create a formidable squad, and perhaps this would be the starting XI:

Petr Cech

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    Joe Hart's struggles earlier this season mean that we opt for Chelsea's stalwart Petr Cech between the posts, with the Czech international now closing in on his 10th anniversary at Stamford Bridge.

    That decade hasn't been without one or two wobbles of course, but that is only inevitable when you are playing week in, week out at the level that he does, and he'd be a pretty reliable member of this team.

    He just sees off Hart for the No. 1 jersey, with the England man forced back to the bench.

Pablo Zabaleta

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    City's Mr. Consistent Pablo Zabaleta sees off Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic and Cesar Azpilicueta to start at right-back, where we know that he won't let the team down.

    The Argentinean has developed into a real crowd favourite at the Etihad Stadium since his move from Espanyol for a bargain £6.5 million in the summer of 2008, whilst he is also sometimes the captain of the side.

    Zabaleta really seems to have developed his attacking game the older he has become, and he can offer a potent attacking threat to our side with his metronomic raids up and down the right flank.

Vincent Kompany

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    City's leader, Vincent Kompany, has proven how important he is to his side this season both during his absence through injury and now he's back, and the Belgian will also lead from the back in this team too.

    A Mark Hughes signing for just £6 million from Hamburg in the summer of 2008, Kompany is surely one of the most complete defenders in the game today and has now entered his peak years aged 27.

    Capped 56 times by his country, City fans will never forget the moment that their captain lifted the Premier League trophy above his head in 2012, and it would take a brave person to bet against Kompany doing the same this May.

John Terry

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    Chelsea's skipper John Terry gets into the team purely for his improved form this season, and the fact that at 33 he can still cut it with the big boys.

    A fixture at the heart of his team's defence for over 10 years, the former England captain might not inspire much empathy with some of his actions both on and off the pitch, but he has to be considered as a fine footballer and a defender that any team would be lucky to have.

    A surprise international recall for the World Cup in the summer isn't out of the question just yet.

     

Aleksandar Kolarov

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    A controversial choice perhaps, but the Serb just edges out Ashley Cole and Gael Clichy at left-back.

    Aleksandar Kolarov's performances recently have seen him move ahead of Clichy in the pecking order for City's bigger, usually Premier League matches, and he provides a potent threat when coming forward that few other left-backs in Europe can.

    In this team the attacking is likely to be frequent and devastating, and Kolarov's presence is only going to add to that.

Fernandinho

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    A midfield metronome who has been terrific this season, the Brazilian Fernandinho should slot into this XI with the same ease with which he's slotted into English football.

    The £30-million signing from Shakhtar Donetsk has gone on to prove just why City were willing to sanction so much money on him last summer, and he's quickly become a favourite on the Etihad Stadium terraces.

    Seemingly never willing to be rested for too long, Fernandinho will be crucial in his club's title run-in and in our team's midfield.

     

Yaya Toure

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    He's partnered in the centre by his City teammate Yaya Toure, who has to be considered as one of the first names on our team sheet.

    Every inch the epitome of the modern midfielder, a City game isn't complete without the sight of Toure making one of his trademark bursts forward from midfield, bursts which usually end up in a goal and several bruised opposition defenders.

    He's scored 14 goals this season yet is still only City's fourth top scorer, a staggering example of both the power of their squad and the quality he provides.

David Silva

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    One of the best players to watch in the Premier League when he's in full flow, David Silva will provide flair, ingenuity and fantasy to our team.

    Like Kompany, Silva's influence on the City team only seems to increase when he is absent through injury and everyone can see what they are missing, but when he's fit and firing he is a top-quality performer the like of which any club in the world would be lucky to have.

    Now in his fourth season in English football, the Spaniard has truly established himself as one of the finest midfielders in the world, and he's got a World Cup and two European Championships winners' medals to prove it.

Oscar

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    The chief reason behind Jose Mourinho's willingness to sell Juan Mata wasn't the astronomical amount of money offered by Manchester United, and instead it was the presence of Oscar in his team.

    Still just 22 years old, the playmaker has drawn favourable comparisons with his fellow Brazilian Kaka, and is certain to add to his 28 international caps at the World Cup in his homeland in the summer.

    The free-kick which beat Stoke in the FA Cup last weekend was just the latest example of this player's stellar quality, and you can only help but wonder just how good he is going to become.

     

Eden Hazard

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    Seemingly fuelled by a desire to catch up to the recognised top, top players in the world game, Eden Hazard has been one of the players of this Premier League season and surely Chelsea's best.

    The Blues knew they were signing a top talent when the Belgian joined the club from French side Lille in the summer of 2012, and he has since gone on to prove that that £32 million was certainly well spent.

    Barely a game can go by without Hazard registering either a goal or an assist, and whilst in Mourinho he has a manager who oversaw the rapid development of Cristiano Ronaldo into one of the all-time greats, Hazard also appears to have the world at his feet.

     

Sergio Aguero

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    We seem to constantly compare Sergio Aguero to Liverpool's Luis Suarez because that is what we like to do, but there has to be little doubt that the two South Americans are head and shoulders above every other forward in the Premier League.

    Aguero's movement, finishing ability and dynamism mark him out as a truly gifted performer, and following his mid-season injury he appears to have returned stronger and better.

    Who knows? Maybe that rest will do him and City some good in the closing few months of a season that he could yet define for his club.