Everton vs. Manchester United: Who makes it to the combined XI?

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Allan has definitely transformed the Everton midfield.

Central Midfield: Allan vs Fred

The midfield was probably the hardest part of the team for me to decide because both teams have a lot of quality in the middle of the park, but I think in this battle of the Brazilians it’s Allan that takes the cake.

Red Devil fans may point to Fred’s emergence as a key player for United last year as a reason he should be in this team, but I think Allan is a more developed and refined version of Fred. This may confuse a lot of people because they may see Allan as a much more defensive player than Fred, but Allan’s elite ball-winning abilities are combined with his underrated dribbling and passing ability to make him a very talented box-to-box midfielder for the Toffees.

Personally, I’m a huge fan of Fred and think the improvements he made over the 19/20 season showed he was worth the money that United paid for him. However, I don’t think you can ignore that Fred clearly isn’t the finalised product yet, he seems to only be able to play an offensive game or a defensive game, which has shown in his statistics.

Due to him playing in a deeper role to accommodate players like Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba into the offensive game more, his attacking stats have been much lower than what was probably expected. This could be a system problem, but I still have to take that into account when deciding this eleven.

Fred and Allan both play quite deep, and it’s Allan who gets an almost clean sweep of Fred, besides clearances, for the defensive statistics. He even beats his Brazilian compatriot in most attack-minded statistics, having a higher key pass average, a better pass completion and more passes completed per 90. I think Allan will provide the steel that this midfield will need.

Central defensive midfielder: Allan

Everton injury update. Midfielder Fit to Face Manchester United?. light

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(Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images) /

Central Midfield: Abdoulaye Doucoure vs Paul Pogba

Even though it seems sometimes that Pogba would rather be anywhere else than Manchester, I think it’s clear to everybody that he’s a world-class midfielder (when he puts his mind to it).

I think that has been Pogba’s downfall while he’s been at Manchester United, he’s clearly talented and nobody can deny that you could make a case for an in-form Paul Pogba being one of the best midfielders in the world. The issue for United fans is that they don’t get to see that enough and you can see the noticeable frustration from people like Roy Keane who played with heart and for the Manchester United badge, but it seems like Pogba’s priorities lie somewhere else.

Pogba is another one of Manchester United’s very frustrating players this year but his quality is blinding and it’s clear that he just needs to find that work ethic that got him 13 goals and 9 assists in the Premier League to help turn a stagnant United team around.

Doucoure is a great player, but hasn’t fully fit in at Everton yet, he still makes some mistakes, but similarly to Pogba, us Everton fans can see the clear quality that the Frenchman has. We know he’ll be a vital asset to our planned ascension up the league table, and even though I love his game and the heart he plays with, the World Cup winner is just impossible to pass on in this situation.

Central midfield: Paul Pogba

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Central Midfield: Andre Gomes vs Bruno Fernandes

This is up there and may beat the left-back for the easiest decision of the eleven, Bruno Fernandes was a player that completely turned Manchester United’s season around when he joined in January. He was clearly the attacking flair and leadership that the Red Devils needed to start their journey back to the top of the English game.

Even though I do like Andre Gomes, and I thought he was great before his horrific injury, ever since then he’s been extremely inconsistent, showing why Barcelona rated him so highly one game and then floundering the next. I do believe Gomes can become a key part of this Everton team but I still can’t put him on the same level as Fernandes.

Bruno is one of those players who just have magic at their feet and can single-handily change a game for a team. I think he’s world-class and has shown it since his arrival. He lead United to a 14 game unbeaten run in which they would’ve been top of the league since his arrival with 32 points.

The attacking midfielder is passionate about playing for Manchester United and still looks at it in a similar fashion some players may have thought 10 years ago. This makes him eager to impress and he seems to always manage to do so, there’s no way I couldn’t put the Portuguese maestro in this eleven.

Central midfield: Bruno Fernandes