Don’t Forget Sanchez, Drinkwater, And Fred: The Worst Chelsea And Manchester United Combined XI
At The Sportsman, we like to do things differently, so ahead of the must-watch FA Cup clash between Chelsea and Manchester United at Stamford Bridge on Monday evening, we have designed not the best Chelsea-Manchester XI, but spun the trope on its head and produced arguably the ‘worst’ combined side possible. Take a look for yourself below at the 4-3-3 and feel free to disagree.
GK: Willy Caballero
Both Manchester United and Chelsea both have Argentinian back-up goalkeepers, to David De Gea and Kepa Arrizabalaga, but whereas in Sergio Romero United have a keeper who could easily be first-choice shot-stopper for 80% of other Premier League sides, Willy Caballero can be prone to the odd calamity. Caballero's nightmare in the World Cup in Argentina’s 3-0 loss to Croatia still echoes. Also, it would be simply cruel to include United’s summer signing Lee Grant.
LB: Marcos Rojo
Perpetually injured Rojo has shown signs of quality, or at least tenacity and passion, but has managed just over a century of appearances in close to five years at Manchester United.
DF: Chris Smalling
Unfairly maligned he may be, and can pop up with the odd imperative goal, but there’s no denying that 'Mike has a tendency to drift off at important moments and still hasn’t rectified his questionable positioning or ability to intercept.
DF: David Luiz
The epitome of a dog who has woken up one day to discover he’s human.
RB: Matteo Darmian
Astonishingly having been at the club since 2015, just simply hasn’t found his feet at Manchester United and is almost certainly heading for the door at the end of the season, hopefully with a final solid bow in his career as he approaches 30. Tough call with Chelsea’s Davide Zappacosta who has just two PL appearances this season.
The greatest contribution the £47 million man from Shakhtar Donetsk has provided so far is providing his name to create the rhyme for the great ‘Waterfall’ chant doing the rounds.
MF: Danny Drinkwater
A Premier League champion with Leicester City earned the former Man Utd man an astonishing £35 million move to west London, and is seemingly content with picking up his huge £100k weekly cheque. Has made one appearance (30minutes) for Maurizio Sarri, and that coming in the Community Shield.
The disgruntlement in the Chelsea fanbase is growing with their summer signing from Napoli who - despite Sarris persistence in keeping him in the XI - has been bullied out of games this season. A “Drop Jorginho” sign even made an appearance at a recent Brexit protest, apparently.
FW: Alexis Sanchez
A shadow of his former self is an understatement. The Chilean is a slither of a shadow. £350k a week. Five goals in just under 13 months since making the move from Arsenal to Old Trafford.
We bet Chelsea fans can’t wait for Christian Pulisic to arrive in the summer.
FW: Romelu Lukaku
It’s tough on the Belgian that Alvaro Morata has left on loan for Atletico Madrid (no goals so far back in the Spanish capital…) but Lukaku hasn’t yet warranted the £75 million United paid Everton 18 months ago, and is now pushed down the pecking order by the exciting, beloved Marcus Rashford. Still, however, has the potential to be a vital player in this United set-up, as his excellent FA Cup performance against Arsenal proved.