Phil Thompson explains why he would pick Milner over De Bruyne

James Milner outside stadium

The former Liverpool defender is a fan of the 29-year-old, offering a surprise snub to the Manchester City forward in his combined XI.

Phil Thompson says he would pick James Milner over Kevin De Bruyne in a combined Manchester City - Liverpool XI, according to Sky Sports.

The pundit admits people will be questioning his decision but believes Milner is capable of making a big impact on important occasions.

That's why he's selected the Liverpool man on the right ahead of his Manchester City counterpart, with Manuel Pellegrini's side hosting Jurgen Klopp's men on Saturday evening..

Thompson told Sky Sports: "A lot of people will be questioning having Milner in there ahead of De Bruyne on the right but, in a toss-up between the two, I've gone with Milner as I think he'll really relish this game and make a big impact."

Thompson is certainly correct: many will question why the Liverpool icon has gone for Milner over De Bruyne.

  GoalsAssistsChances CreatedSuccessful Final-Third PassesMins Played
Kevin De Bruyne 3 4 24 170 650
James Milner 1 3 27 185 964

As Opta stats show, the Manchester City forward outshines Milner in every department. He has scored more goals and registered more assists and has almost created as many chances as the Liverpool man despite playing far less minutes so far this Premier League season.

Is Thompson simply being biased as a former defender for the Reds? It's hard to conclude otherwise, although the Sky Sports pundit did include seven Manchester City players in his combined XI. Even that could be argued to be generous to Liverpool, though.

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