May 8, 2021

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Man City v PSG – Combined XI

Manchester City face Paris Saint-Germain tonight in the second leg of a thrilling Champions League semi-final, with the former protecting a slight advantage ahead of his home game at the Etihad.

Goals from Kevin De Bruyne and Riyad Mahrez saw City come from behind to win at Parc des Princes, but a side with PSG’s explosive firepower are far from coming out of a tie ahead of tonight’s second meeting .

With both teams full of talent we tried to create a dream squad, here is the combined XI of Man City and PSG of The Football Faithful.

Goalkeeper: Ederson – Manchester City

Two top operators will line up in either goal in tonight’s clash, although we opted for Ederson ahead of three-time Champions League winner Keylor Navas.

Navas had a nice recent record in this competition and remains perhaps one of Europe’s most underrated goalscorers, showcasing the dominating success of Real Madrid before moving to Paris.

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Ederson, however, remains a unique proposition among goalkeepers with his elite kicks fundamental to Pep Guardiola’s style and system – his strong stopping shot combined with unparalleled ball ability making the Brazilian one of the best in the industry.

Right-back: Kyle Walker – Manchester City

PSG’s full-back positions are perhaps the Parisian’s weakest positions, with our combined XI featuring Manchester City players in both roles with Kyle Walker at the right-back.

The England international remains one of the Premier League’s best right-backs with his electric pace a major weapon for City’s backline, the 30-year-old’s speed of recovery allowing for a high line and helping to undo even the most rapid opposition wingers.

Walker’s raw athleticism is often seen as the primary facet of his game, but he improved considerably under Guardiola and his demands at the Etihad, becoming one of Europe’s most complete full-backs.

Central defender: Marquinhos – PSG

PSG leader at the back and a man whose goal gives hope to the French champions before the return, Marquinhos will have to be at his best for Mauricio Pochettino’s team to progress.

The Brazilian has been an integral part of PSG in recent seasons and was named captain following the departure of Thiago Silva last summer, replacing his compatriot as the backbone of the Paris defense.

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The pace, anticipation and comfort in possession of the 26-year-old has seen him play in midfield on occasion, but his best role remains at the heart of PSG’s backline.

Center-back: Ruben Dias – Manchester City

Ruben Dias has arguably been Premier League Player of the Season as his record-breaking club arrival proved the money was well spent after an outstanding debut campaign at the Etihad.

After struggling defensively last season, City have improved immensely with the Portugal international in their ranks, with Dias’ determined determination seeing him hailed as Vincent Kompany’s successor as the club’s defensive leader.

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Dias’ presence also brought the best of his defensive partner John Stones, a testament to his incredible impact since joining English football.

Left-back: Joao Cancelo – Manchester City

Joao Cancelo’s difficult first season in the Premier League was followed by a breakout campaign at Manchester City, becoming one of Europe’s most effective full-backs under Pep Guardiola’s innovative system.

Cancelo has played both right and left, but has been more of a nominal full-back, moving to midfield and adding a new creative threat to City’s attack.

The dynamism of the Portugal international and marauding races on the pitch have added a new dimension to the team’s forward play and his flexibility gives Guardiola options for his renowned tactical adjustments.

Midfielder: Marco Verratti – PSG

Signed from Pescara as a teenager nine years ago, Marco Verratti ranks among PSG’s best rookies of the modern era after becoming one of the best midfielders in Europe.

The Italian has made 345 appearances for the club and won seven league titles, bringing an air of class and poise to the PSG midfielder base in his role as the team’s register.

Comfortable in tight spaces and under pressure, Verratti’s passing range is often crucial in breaking through stubborn PSG defenses, an asset that could prove crucial ahead of a tight tie at the Etihad.

Midfielder: Ilkay Gundogan – Manchester City

Ilkay Gundogan is enjoying the best season of his career this quarter, realizing the potential that has spurred him to become one of Europe’s top midfielders at Borussia Dortmund.

Having been a low-key presence for much of his time with the club, the Germany international has exploded this quarter with a phenomenal scoring run during the holiday season propelling Pep Guardiola’s side to the title.

The 30-year-old has scored 16 goals in all competitions this season and has demonstrated his ability to compete with the best, producing an elegant performance as City battled to win in Paris last week.

Midfielder: Kevin De Bruyne – Manchester City

A key Manchester City player and arguably the best midfielder in world football, Kevin De Bruyne has taken his game to new heights in recent seasons.

The Belgium international tied the Premier League’s record for assists in just one season last season and entered the division’s all-time top 10, having amassed a whopping 77 in just 179 league appearances for the club.

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De Bruyne is a player capable of passing passes that other players haven’t even seen, the most complete midfielder in the game and among the most influential players in world football.

Right: Riyad Mahrez – Manchester City

Riyad Mahrez, the man whose goal separated the two teams in Paris, stands out from his teammates Bernardo Silva and Raheem Sterling, alongside Angel Di Maria of PSG, for a place at our side.

Mahrez put in one of his best performances in a Manchester City shirt in the second half of the first leg, working tirelessly on the defense and troubling the Parisians with that skill and cunning.

At his best, the Algerian is leaving full-backs embarrassed and Pep Guardiola is hoping for another unplayable performance from Mahrez in tonight’s second leg.

Left winger: Neymar – PSG

Neymar may be dividing the opinion of the footballing public, but there is no denying his outrageous talents, with the Brazilian perhaps holding the key to PSG’s hopes of reaching a second consecutive final.

The 29-year-old ranks among the best players in world football and has compiled staggering statistics for club and country, placing second to just Pelé in goals internationally and registering 41 goals and 26 assists in just 68 Champions League appearances.

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Keeping the world’s most expensive footballer silent will be essential to City’s hopes for success.

Forward: Kylian Mbappe – PSG

Keeping the aforementioned Neymar silent is one thing, doing it on top of stopping Kylian Mbappe is what makes PSG arguably the most dangerous forward proposal in Europe.

Mbappe burst onto the scene as a teenager and his upward trajectory has shown no signs of slowing down, scoring an incredible 106 goals in 123 appearances since moving to Paris on a permanent basis.

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The 22-year-old’s mix of electric pace and ruthless finishing has already seen him become one of the most exciting talents on the planet, City next on the French list after playing in Barcelona and Bayern eliminations Munich to date.

Read – Iconic performances: Petr Cech’s heroic performance in the 2012 UCL final

Read also – Premier League Team of the Week

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