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Liverpool and Manchester United combined XI only features four United stars according to Graeme Souness

Ryan Sidle

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Liverpool and Manchester United combined XI only features four United stars according to Graeme Souness

Graeme Souness has risked the ire of Manchester United fans by claiming only four of the current squad would get in a combined XI with arch rivals Liverpool.

Going into the final 10 days of the Premier League season United and Liverpool are involved in an extremely exciting push for the final Champions League spot.

Newcastle United may have been joining in with the battle until their 4-1 win over Brighton on Thursday night looked to have put them clear.

A super computer believes it will be Erik ten Hag's side who finish in fourth place come the end of the season but it's closer than they'd ever have wanted.

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At one point the Old Trafford outfit were nearly 20 points clear of their fierce rivals from Anfield, who looked to have no chance of being back in the Champions League for next season.

However their league campaign has faltered in the second half of the season including being battered 7-0 by Jurgen Klopp's team in March.

That win helped launch the Reds recent form that has seen them win seven in-a-row and get to within one point of their rivals in fourth.

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And Souness believes that last season's league runners-up remain the better side and that's why he's picked seven of their team in a combined XI.

The Reds' former manager, writing his Daily Mail column, picked Alisson in goal, with Trent Alexander-Arnold, Andrew Robertson and Virgil van Dijk in defence, Jordan Henderson is in midfield and Mohamed Salah and Darwin Nunez make up two thirds of the attack.

From United's team only Lisandro Martinez, Casemiro, Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford make Souness' combined team.

Alisson and Van Dijk make up part of the defence. Image: Alamy
Alisson and Van Dijk make up part of the defence. Image: Alamy
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Writing in the column, the former Sky Sports pundit explained, "For me, Liverpool remain the stronger team of the two and having closed the gap from the 17-point advantage United had on them in mid-February, are in with a real chance of taking the last Champions League spot."

Perhaps that makes it even more impressive that Ten Hag's side have managed to stay above their rivals since defeating them early in the season.

Souness has been very criticial of United centre back Martinez ever since he moved from Ajax last summer but he did admit the Argentine's absence has had a huge effect on the team, adding, "United are the ones who have to keep their nerve in these all-important two weeks.

"I ascribe some of their fall-off in form to the absence of Lisandro Martinez. They’ve have won only three of their six league matches since he was injured at Sevilla."

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However, the Scotsman wasn't completely full of praise for the World Cup winner, claiming, "I thought Martinez would get found out in the Premier League because of his physique. I still believe that will be an issue for him going forward.

Martinez has been out since United crashed out of the Europa League. Image: Alamy
Martinez has been out since United crashed out of the Europa League. Image: Alamy

The 70-year-old did admit that his former side need reinforcements in midfield this summer but denied the idea that Alexander-Arnold could be the answer.

James Milner is one player who is leaving Merseyside this summer with his contract coming to an end and former Newcastle United boss Souness recently apologised to the midfielder.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Liverpool, Manchester United, Premier League, Football, Champions League, Graeme Souness

Ryan Sidle
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