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13th Jan, 2017 | 3:49pm

Firmino, Mane & Sturridge axed: Liverpool and Manchester United best combined XI

By Emma Sanders

Ahead of the eagerly-anticipated Premier League clash between Liverpool and Manchester United on Sunday, Football Insider has selected which players would make the best combined XI from the two sides.

Only four Liverpool players make the team despite the Reds sitting in second place in the league table, four places ahead of Manchester United.

Daniel Sturridge, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane are three of the biggest stars to miss out for Liverpool, while Wayne Rooney, Juan Mata and Michael Carrick are also left on the bench.

Five summer signings make the team but only Joel Matip gets the nod from Merseyside’s newcomers as he starts at centre-back alongside United’s new addition Eric Bailly.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who joined United from PSG in the summer, gets the nod up front ahead of Sturridge, Marcus Rashford and Divock Origi but there is room in the side for “the magician” – Philippe Coutinho.

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He is supported in attack by Adam Lallana, who features in an attacking midfield role but there is no room for teammates Mane or Firmino as United’s summer signing Henrik Mkhitaryan gets the nod.

Paul Pogba made headlines with his £89million move to United at the start of the season and he is selected ahead of teammates Carrick and Ander Herrera but Liverpool’s skipper Jordan Henderson must be involved.

The full-back roles are dominated by United players as Luke Shaw and Antonio Valencia get the nod despite the impressive form of James Milner at left-back. The left-back is a problem position for both teams, with Mourinho not keen on Shaw, but he makes our XI.

David De Gea is easily the best choice in goal ahead of Simon Mignolet and Loris Karius.

In other Liverpool news, Klopp has been handed a major boost ahead of the clash.

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