Would you choose Philippe Coutinho or Henrikh Mkhitaryan in a Liverpool vs Manchester United combined XI?

  • Manchester United
  • 13/10/2017
Would you choose Philippe Coutinho or Henrikh Mkhitaryan in a Liverpool vs Manchester United combined XI?
Liverpool host their fierce rivals Manchester United on Saturday as Jurgen Klopp's men look to put their woeful September behind them.

After a good opening month of the new season, the Reds have experienced a poor past few weeks - with Liverpool winning just one of their last seven matches in all competitions.

One of the few positives for Klopp, however, has been the return of Philippe Coutinho from injury. The Brazil international, who wanted to leave Liverpool for Barcelona this summer, has scored three goals and created another in his side's last seven games.

He is almost certain to start at Anfield on Saturday as Jose Mourinho brings his in-form United side to Liverpool.

The Red Devils sit second in the Premier League standings only on goal difference thanks to a solid defence - the team have only conceded twice in the league this season - and a clinical attack.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan is one of the number of players who have impressed for Mourinho's side this season with his five assists and one league goal.

But would the United midfielder trump Coutinho in a combined Liverpool-United XI?

Standard Sport's Vaishali Bhardwaj and Tom Doyle were asked to produce their combined teams ahead of the clash between Liverpool and United - with both choosing the same side bar their No.10s.

Scroll below to see their choices for the No.10 role in their combined Liverpool-United team and vote for your favoured player in that position.

"For me, Coutinho has to be in this team because of the impact he nearly always has when he plays.

"Despite missing the start of the season through injury and seeing a move to Barcelona rejected by Liverpool, Coutinho has put his head down and begun getting back on track with, often, vital goals for the Reds.

"He netted a sensational free kick in the chaotic 3-2 Premier League win over Leicester, scored a superb goal against Spartak Moscow to ensure Liverpool walked away with at least a point from the Champions League game before netting in the 1-1 draw at Newcastle before the international break.

"Not only does he have the ability to score magical goals - sometimes in unexpected situations - but his creativity is crucial to Liverpool's attack.

"Mkhitaryan has come on leaps and bounds at United, and there is no denying the Armenian's superb assist record. But Coutinho's goals tally plus his ability to also create is why he features in the No.10 role in my combined XI."

"Mkhitaryan has gone from strength to strength after a tough start to life at Old Trafford. The playmaker ended last season with a goal in the Europa League Final, and has become one of Jose Mourinho's most trusted players after taking on more responsibility both on and off the field.

"Coutinho certainly has the edge over Mkhitaryan as a Premier League goalscorer, but has never bettered the seven assists he recorded in both the 2013-14 and 2016-17 seasons.

"Mkhitaryan is well on his way to beating that tally by assisting five of United's 21 Premier League goals this season - only bettered by Man City's David Silva - and creating 22 chances overall, with his pace and vision key to United's counter-attacking success so far.

"Some United fans have been frustated with Mkhitaryan's tendency to overplay the ball in the final third, looking for nutmegs and elaborate chips when a simple pass would probably result in an assist - but Mourinho will seek to iron out those flaws as the season progresses.

"Of the two, Coutinho is the player most managers would like to sign - Barcelona's interest proves that. The Brazilian clearly has the potential to become a world-beater, but on current form, it's difficult to leave Mkhitaryan out."

But who should make the cut? Vote below...
  
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