Sky Sports pundit selects his Manchester City-Liverpool combined XI

Etihad Stadium

Manchester City play Liverpool in the Capital One Cup final this weekend.

Charlie Nicholas has told Sky Sports that Manchester City will head into the Capital One Cup final with Liverpool as favourites and has alluded to their overall better quality behind his reasoning.

The two clubs are set to meet at Wembley this weekend in what promises to be a thrilling encounter.

Both sides have plenty of threat going forward, but when asked to make a combined eleven, Nicholas’ team was heavily City-based as he worried over the lack of quality in Liverpool’s back five.

As shown by the graphic above, eight City players make the XI while only three from Liverpool get a mention with two of those – Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho – struggling with fitness of late.

Liverpool’s back five has long been a problem at the club and boss Jurgen Klopp has been left to rue his side’s defensive errors on more than one occasion this season.

Nicholas has gone for five City players at the back, led by star defender Vincent Kompany who after spending a long spell on the side-lines has been a huge miss for Manuel Pellegrini’s side.

"Vincent Kompany is absolutely nailed on centrally but who else is there? I simply can't have a Liverpool player because of their awful record of defending set-pieces, so mainly because of how he has played when partnering Kompany, I've gone with Nicolas Otamendi,” Nicholas told Sky Sports.

Lucas Leiva has been a key figure for Liverpool in that defensive midfield role and justifiably earns his place in the best XI, while Sturridge and Coutinho are undoubtedly top players.

City’s Yaya Toure, David Silva and Sergio Aguero make up the team, with Raheem Sterling and Kevin De Bruyne two noticeable absentees with the latter producing a string of fine performances this season.

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