Manchester City welcome surprise high-flyers West Ham to the Etihad Stadium, looking for revenge for their Carabao Cup fourth-round defeat.
In past seasons, the Hammers would be heavy underdogs against their big-spending opponents but go into this clash just three points behind Pep Guardiola’s side.
So, which of David Moyes’ men would get the nod over City’s slickers in a combined XI between the pair? Read on as we pick ours.
Goalkeeper: Ederson (Manchester City)
In one of the simpler decisions, City’s Brazilian No1 Ederson is tasked with taking up a place between the sticks for our side.
The 28-year-old has been an integral part of the Citizens’ three Premier League titles in four seasons making him a must-pick ahead of West Ham’s Lukasz Fabianski.
The stopper’s standards have not shown any signs of slipping this campaign after earning seven clean sheets in 11 Premier League games.
Right-back: Kyle Walker (Manchester City)
Vladimir Coufal has been a revelation since arriving in East London at the start of last season but Kyle Walker is the man selected to oversee the right side of defence in this team.
The England international is another who has impressed consistenly during Guardiola’s period of success in the North West.
Despite being 31, Walker is still one of the Premier League’s fastest players which has proved an asset on countless times both defensively and offensively.
Centre-back: Kurt Zouma (West Ham)
The first West Ham man to disrupt City’s stronghold is summer signing Kurt Zouma, who has hit the ground running since arriving from Chelsea.
After years in and out of the Blues team, the Frenchman looks to have finally found his home at the London Stadium — forming an important part of West Ham’s watertight defence.
The 27-year-old even notched his first goal for the club in a 3-2 victory over Liverpool in their last home game.
Centre-back: Ruben Dias (Manchester City)
Few signings in recent memory have been as transformative as Ruben Dias’ at Manchester City at the start of the 2020-21 season.
After struggling defensively when finishing well behind Liverpool in the title race the previous season, the Portuguese’s arrival coincided with a near-faultless campaign which saw them wrestle back the Premier League crown.
With just six goals conceded by the Citizens this season, Dias is rightfully regarded as one of the English top-flight’s best defenders.
Left-back: Joao Cancelo (Manchester City)
He has mastered the art of playing on the left, so much so that it is easy to forget that Joao Cancelo is a right-back by trade.
The Portuguese has become one of City’s — and the Premier League’s — most creative players from that inverted left-back position.
The 27-year-old ranks highest in the Premier League for passes attempted (964) and second for passes completed (833).
Defensive midfield: Declan Rice (West Ham)
The fact that Declan Rice seems an automatic pick in this side is testament to the levels he has reached for West Ham and England over recent seasons.
While his karaoke displays on social media have gone viral this week, his performances in midfield deserve the most credit as he edges out Rodri for a place in the XI.
Rice is one of the Premier League’s best at marshalling the defence and bursting forward from deep in attack and West Ham would likely not be where they are without the 22-year-old.
Central midfield: Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City)
Despite injuries troubling him this season, Kevin De Bruyne is still a master craftsman and one of the Premier League’s best.
With an astonishing 108 assists and 70 goals in 276 appearances for City, the Belgian would walk into any team in world football.
If City can keep the 30-year-old in the side on a consistent basis, he could prove the difference in a hotly-contested title race this term.
Central midfield: Bernardo Silva (Manchester City)
One of the surprise stars of City’s season is Bernardo Silva who, despite having bags of talent, failed to set the world alight over the previous two seasons.
City were reportedly willing to let the Portuguese playmaker leave this summer but he is now one of their key men with four goals and two assists this campaign.
His delicate touch to set up Gabriel Jesus’ winner against Paris Saint-Germain in midweek was a sign of Silva’s glorious ability as well as the confidence he is currently enjoying.
Right winger: Jarrod Bowen (West Ham)
City undoubtedly boast bigger names than Jarrod Bowen but on current form it is hard to keep the former Hull City man out of the side.
Despite perhaps not being someone who grabs the headlines, six goal involvements in his last eight Premier League games means he is one of the form players in his position right now.
His displays under Moyes have led to many earmarking him as someone who could break into the England team in the near future.
Striker: Michail Antonio (West Ham)
City do not have a recognised striker at the club — but even if they did, they would have their work cut out to displace Michail Antonio from this team.
After spending years as a utility man for West Ham, he is now the club’s highest Premier League scorer and one of the most dangerous No9s in the top-flight.
The Jamaica international has an impressive seven goals and four assists in 14 games this season.
Left winger: Phil Foden (Manchester City)
The team is finished off by City’s Phil Foden, who is sure to add some creativity with his dazzling ability on the ball.
Still only 21, the academy graduate is a must-pick for City when fit as he continues to go from strength to strength under the tutelage of Guardiola.
Foden is all set up to become one of the world’s best and could be key for both City and England’s hopes of claiming silverware in the coming seasons.