LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 31: Phil Jones of Manchester United blocks Dele Alli of Tottenham Hotspur shot during the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United at Wembley Stadium on January 31, 2018 in London, England.  (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Picking a Combined XI of Tottenham & Man Utd Players Ahead of Saturday's FA Cup Semi Final

After heavily rotating their squads for their midweek matches, both Manchester United and Tottenham will be out in full force for the FA Cup semi final this Saturday. 


A place in the final awaits. For Spurs, a chance to break their ten year trophy drought. For United and Jose Mourinho, the FA Cup could be another piece of silverware to add to the collection. 


It's sure to be close contest and one that could be decided by one key player or a standout performance. 


Here's a combined XI of players who will be in action on Saturday:

1. Goalkeeper: David de Gea

A rather straight forward entry, David de Gea continues prove himself as one of the best goalkeepers in the world. 


This year was his fifth inclusion in the PFA Team of the Year and its easy to see why he is considered the league's best. 


This season, the Spaniard has conceded 24 league goals. However, xG statistics would expect the average goalkeeper to have conceded 38 goals based on the shots de Gea has faced, which is the biggest differential in the division.

2. Defender: Antonio Valencia

Antonio Valencia takes the spot at right back for his unwavering consistency for the Red Devils. 


The Ecuadorian is now one of United's longest serving players, but also one of their most reliable. Since converting to right back he has added defensive capabilities to his rapid pace and attacking flair. 


He is surely one of the first names on Jose Mourinho's team sheets  

3. Defender: Chris Smalling

United have found an unlikely goal scorer in Chris Smalling in recent weeks. Since the start of March, no other Premier League player has scored more away goals than the Red Devils defender.


With three goals in his last three away games, Smalling's attacking threat could come in handy on Saturday with Tottenham effectively playing at home for the semi final. 

4. Defender: Jan Vertonghen

This season Jan Vertonghen has really stepped up as a leader in Tottenham's squad. With Toby Alderweireld contending with injuries and speculation about his future, Spurs have relied on the ever consistent Vertonghen to lead their back line. 


The Belgian has made more league tackles than any other United or Tottenham defender this season. For his troubles, Vertonghen was recently voted into the PFA Team of the Year. 

5. Defender: Ben Davies

Ben Davies gets the nod ahead of Ashley Young this time based on the Welshman's excellent attacking contributions this season. 


Davies has more than adequately filled in the for the injured Danny Rose this season and held his place in the starting lineup even when Rose is fit. 


Amongst Tottenham and Man United defenders this season, no one has registered more Premier League assists than Ben Davies with six.

6. Midfielder: Paul Pogba

You never quite know which Paul Pogba you're going to get every time he plays. It could the creative midfield maestro which we saw against Bournemouth, the inspiring goalscorer we saw against Manchester City, or the completely anonymous figure we saw against West Brom. 


While his inconsistency has been troublesome this season, there's no doubting Pogba's raw ability. On his day, Pogba can decide matches and he is a player you definitely want turning up for a semi final. 

7. Midfielder: Mousa Dembele

While it is not easy to measure Mousa Dembele's contributions to Tottenham in ways of goals and assists, the Belgian midfielder is one of Spurs' most important midfielders. 


Dembele keeps Tottenham ticking. His ball distribution is crisp and always well measured. His ability to almost glide past players is in art form in itself. And perhaps most importantly he is the physical presence in Tottenham's midfield, getting stuck in with tackles and breaking up attacking moves. 


It seems crazy to think that Dembele could be allowed to leave this club this summer. Spurs will do very well to find someone to replace him.

8. Midfielder: Christian Eriksen

Tottenham's midfield maestro Christian Eriksen has quickly established himself as one of the best attacking midfielders in the Premier League.


Another inclusion in this season's Team of the Year, only Paul Pogba (10) has more assists in the league this season amongst United and Spurs players than Eriksen's nine. 


But Eriksen also has an eye for goal as well as being Tottenham's creative vision. The Dane has 10 league goals this term. 

9. Midfielder: Son Heung-min

In a year where three Tottenham players were included in the Team of the Year, an honourable mention must go to Son Heung-min. 


18 goals and 10 assists in Son's tally for the season in all competitions. The 25-year-old has really stepped up this year and his versatility as a winger or as a striker makes him invaluable to the Spurs squad, especially when Harry Kane was briefly injured earlier in the season. 

10. Striker: Romelu Lukaku

After a barren run towards the end of 2017, 2018 has proven to be a good year so far for Romelu Lukaku. Since the turn of the year, the Belgian has scored or assisted in 13 out of 18 matches. 


His recent purple patch warrants an inclusion in this combined XI. Lukaku's power and tenacity would be an asset to any team. This weekend could be another opportunity to prove his critics wrong.

11. Striker: Harry Kane

There's not much more we can say about Harry Kane, except perhaps we now know he will do absolutely anything to claim a goal. 


It's been a record breaking year for Englishman. He ended 2017 with the most Premier League goals ever scored in a calendar year and the most goals scored across Europe. 


With 26 goals for the season, Kane has now become only the third ever Premier League player to score more than 25 goals in three successive seasons. 


Still only 24, Kane is perhaps the best out-and-out striker in the world right now.