Picking a Combined XI of Manchester City and Liverpool Stars Ahead of Sunday's Clash

The Etihad Stadium will be the venue for the game of the weekend as Manchester City welcome Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool side in a match that could determine which team will finish in the top four.

Pep Guardiola's side are looking to get back on track as they were dumped out of the Champions League in midweek, and if they want to be in the competition next season, they'll need to pick up three points here.

Both teams are packed with quality players so let's take a look at the best combined XI.

11. GK: Simon Mignolet

It's fair to say that goalkeepers in both sides have failed to live up to expectations this season.

Pep Guardiola felt that Joe Hart was surplus to requirements in the summer but new recruit Claudio Bravo has failed to impress in his short spell in the Premier League.

Belgian goalkeeper Simon Mignolet just edges it as he has responded well after he was left out of the side in December with the arrival of young keeper Loris Karius.

Mignolet regained the number one spot just before Christmas and has since put in some excellent performances against the likes of Manchester United and Tottenham.

10. RB: Nathaniel Clyne

Liverpool's Nathaniel Clyne wins the battle against City's Bacary Sagna purely down to his consistency levels.

Sagna particularly struggled in the midweek Champions League match against Monaco as their opening two goals came down his right hand side and he failed to react.

Despite Liverpool's defensive problems, Clyne has been the best of a poor bunch and he rarely gets beaten in one on one situations.

9. CB: Dejan Lovren

Liverpool have received a massive boost as centre back Dejan Lovren should be back and ready to take part in Sunday's big match at the Etihad.

Lovren hasn't played Liverpool's last five Premier League matches and his presence can add more stability to a shaky Liverpool defence.

He will be truly tested when coming up against Sergio Aguero.

8. CB: Joel Matip

Joel Matip has been one of the signings of the season and his influence on this Liverpool side must not be underestimated.

Despite Liverpool conceding more goals than Manchester City in the league this season, Liverpool's central defensive partnership offers far more solidity than that of City, especially with Pep Guardiola constantly making changes to his back four.

7. LB: Aleksandar Kolarov

The main reason why Aleksandar Kolarov just edges out James Milner is because the Serbian is a natural fullback.

Kolarov has been deployed at centre back on numerous occasions this season and has struggled, but he can still provide good performances when he's playing as a fullback and adds to the team both in attack and defence.

James Milner has done a fantastic job at fullback this campaign but he is still prone to make careless mistakes at the back.

6. CM: Kevin de Bruyne

Kevin de Bruyne has taken the Premier League by storm ever since he joined Manchester City from Wolfsburg last season.

The Belgian has made 33 appearances for City in all competitions this season and his versatility allows him to play in various positions across the midfield.

In midweek, he was arguably City's best player as he was deployed in a more deeper role in the second half and was able to dictate play and start attacks with his pinpoint passes.  

5. CM: David Silva

It's taken him some time this season but in recent weeks, David Silva has rediscovered his best form.

Silva is currently playing better and having a bigger influence on games than Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho.

Yaya Toure and Fernandinho might feel that they deserve a place in this combined XI however, this is a more attacking lineup.  

4. CM: Adam Lallana

Adam Lallana has had his best season since moving to the Merseyside club in 2014 and he has been one of the main reasons why Liverpool currently sit in the top four.

The Englishman has been in outstanding form in the league this season, scoring seven goals and providing seven assists.

He'll need to be at the top of his game if he wants to win the midfield battle this weekend.

3. RW: Sadio Mane

Where would Liverpool have been without Saido Mane's absence during the Africa Cup of Nations?

When the Senegalese forward left for the competition in January, Liverpool's form took a massive dip and they failed to register a single win in the entire month in all competitions.

Since his return, unsurprisingly Liverpool has rediscovered their early season form with victories against Tottenham and Arsenal with Mane scoring in both matches.

2. LW: Leroy Sane

Similar to skipper David Silva, it's taken a while but Leroy Sane has started to find his feet in the Premier League and he looks like he has the potential to become a great player.

The German forward has scored three goals in his five matches for Manchester City in all competitions and Guardiola might look to put him on James Milner's side to truly test the Englishman's ability at fullback.

1. ST: Sergio Aguero

When it comes to the striker role, there's no doubt that Sergio Aguero is the best that both clubs have to offer.

Aguero's Manchester City career looked to be heading to an abrupt end when Gabriel Jesus was signed in January but since the Brazilian's injury, Aguero has stepped up and showed just why he is one of the best strikers in the business.

The Argentine has scored seven goals in his last eight appearances and he also loves scoring against Liverpool so don't be surprised to see him on the scoresheet this weekend.