Who makes Sportsmail's combined Bayern-Man City XI? (2023)

Manchester City and Bayern Munich will meet in a mouth-watering Champions League clash on Tuesday night.

Pep Guardiola's side will be hopeful of securing a positive result from their quarter-final first-leg clash with the German champions ahead of the return at the Etihad next week.

The Premier League outfit are full of confidence given their form of late, with 21 goals scored and two conceded from their last four matches.

However, it will be no walk in the park for Guardiola's side, who will face a formidable Bayern defence that have kept seven clean sheets in their eight Champions League matches so far.

With all of that in mind, Sportsmail has named our combined XI - but who makes it into our line-up?

Manchester City have been rampant throughout their Champions League campaign this year

Bayern Munich stand in the way of Pep Guardiola's side and a place in the semi-finals

Goalkeeper - Ederson (Man City)

A relatively easy decision for our combined line-up, given the absence of Bayern's first-choice goalkeeper Manuel Neuer.

The German shotstopper has been sidelined since he broke his leg while skiing during 'extra vacation' time allocated after Germany's World Cup elimination.

In his absence, former Borussia Monchengladbach goalkeeper Yann Sommer has stepped in and has done a fine job but cannot compete with City's Ederson.

The Brazilian has been a mainstay in Guardiola's side since arriving in the summer of 2017 and has kept 15 clean sheets from 37 appearances in all competitions this year.

He's even chipped in with one assist for the Premier League champions, which came during their 3-1 win over Brighton and Hove Albion at the start of the year.

Brazilian shotstopper Ederson has kept 15 clean sheets in all competitions for City this year

Right-back - John Stones (Man City)

We've placed him at right-back in our team, but John Stones' recent resurgence as a defensive midfielder has been something to behold.

In Man City's recent matches, the England international has been deployed in a new role by Guardiola but that hasn't affected his performances on the pitch at all.

In-fact, it's drawn more praise for Stones than ever. His versatility - having played right-back, centre-back and central midfield - for Guardiola has proved he is one of the most underrated defenders in world football.

Bayern's first-choice right-back Joao Cancelo remains eligible to play against his parent club, despite being on loan from City, but misses out on our team.

Centre-back - Ruben Dias (Man City)

A rock at the back. Dias has been integral to Manchester City's success since joining the club from Benfica in 2020.

The 25-year-old has helped keep 16 clean sheets from 32 appearances in this campaign, as he continues to go from strength-to-strength for the Citizens.

He's also played every single minute for City since mid-February, barring half an hour against Burnley, again proving his importance to the starting line-up.

He just edges Holland defender Matthijs de Ligt in our team, despite the former Ajax man's impressive performances at the heart of Bayern's defence.

Portugal international Ruben Dias (left) has become a stalwart defender for Pep Guardiola's side

Centre-back - Dayot Upamecano (Bayern Munich)

The first entry from Bayern Munich into our team. The French defender has continued to improve throughout the season and become a favourite at Bayern.

He's been a regular starter since the start of the season and has been a big reason for the seven clean sheets that they've kept from eight games in the competition.

In his most recent appearance, which was in Bayern's 2-1 defeat toSC Freiburg, the defender was named Man of the Match after scoring his side's only goal.

He's also proved his quality on the international scene this season, having starred in five World Cup matches for runners-up France.

Left-back - Alphonso Davies (Bayern Munich)

Canadian full-back Davies takes the final slot in defence after another impressive season for the German champions.

In truth, there was little competition for Davies in this position in our team - given the lack of first-choice options that Man City have used so far.

Throughout the season, Guardiola's side have deployed Nathan Ake and 18-year-old Rico Lewis at left-back as they've continued to chop and change their tactics.

Neither really hold a candle to the former Vancouver Whitecaps defender, who's played nearly every game for Thomas Tuchel's side this year.

On top of his defensive duties, the 22-year-old has also managed to chip in with three goals and eight assists from his Bayern outings this season.

Alphonso Davies has developed into one of the world's best full-backs since joining Bayern

Central defensive midfield - Rodri (Man City)

Spanish midfielder Rodri has been one of the most important members of Pep Guardiola's Manchester City side in recent years.


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The 26-year-old has made 129 league appearances for City in his four years at the club and has missed just 14 games in that time.

He's composed with the ball at his feet and an imperious force in midfield without it, and it's helped cement him as one of the best players in his position in the world.

It was a tough decision between the Spaniard, his team-mate Ilkay Gundogan and Bayern's Leon Goretzka, but the former Atletico Madrid star has pipped them all.

Central defensive midfield - Joshua Kimmich (Bayern Munich)

Perhaps one of the most underrated footballers in the modern game, German international Kimmich walks into our combined City and Bayern line-up.

Since joining the club in 2015, Kimmich has proved his ability in a number of positions - whether that be at right-back, defensive midfield or central midfield.

According to FBRef, a trusted football statistics website, Kimmich ranks in the top one per cent of midfielders in Europe's top five leagues for passes attempted and progressive passes completed.

The same website suggests that he is in the top six per cent for interceptions made per match, with his average of 1.79 putting him well above the rest.

The German is a reliable and well-rounded midfielder who easily secures his place in our combined XI.

Germany star Joshua Kimmich has remained a reliable option for the Bundesliga champions

Right-wing - Jack Grealish (Man City)

The man of the moment. City winger Grealish looks as though he's finally discovered his best form under Pep Guardiola.

The 27-year-old has scored two goals in his last two games and was instrumental in City's 4-1 win over rivals Liverpool earlier this month.

And, although he's scored just 11 goals since completing a club-record £100m move to the Etihad in the summer of 2021, he's remained a useful figure in Guardiola's side.

His six Premier League assists this term leave him second in the playmaking table at Manchester City, with only Kevin De Bruyne ahead of him.

It's because of his electric form of late that the former Aston Villa star gets in over the likes of Leroy Sane, Sadio Mane and Riyad Mahrez.

Central attacking midfield - Kevin De Bruyne (Man City)

Kevin De Bruyne is, arguably, the best player in either team. Throughout the season, the Belgian star has continued to prove why he's one of the world's top playmakers.

14 Premier League assists. Four assists from five Champions League games. Two in the FA Cup. Two in the League Cup. That's 24 assists from 37 appearances.

The staggering numbers, which have been boosted since Erling Haaland's arrival in the summer, help set the former Chelsea player apart from the rest of the squad.

Despite the likes of Bernardo Silva, Phil Foden and Ilkay Gundogan constantly challenging for his role, De Bruyne has rarely waivered from City's starting line-up.

Kevin De Bruyne has asserted himself as one of the world's best playmakers in recent years

Left-wing - Jamal Musiala (Bayern Munich)

The 20-year-old talent, who came through the academy at Chelsea before moving to Germany, has been a sensation this year.

With 11 goals and nine assists in the Bundesliga campaign so far, he leads both their goalscoring and assists leaderboard.

It's been a season in which the German international has taken more responsibility for the Bavarian side and he's repaid that faith with his impressive displays.

Able to play down the middle or out wide, Musiala's impressive dribbling ability makes him a tricky customer for any defence to handle.

Again, FBRef suggest that his successful take-on rate of 3.01 per match ranks him within the top six per cent for players in his position across Europe.

The sky really is the limit for Musiala, who will be looking to make a real impact when he faces Pep Guardiola's side on Monday night.

Striker - Erling Haaland (Man City)

Who else but Erling Haaland? The Norwegian is out to destroy every accolade possible with his blistering performances in-front of goal for Man City this year.

In his debut season in England, the forward has notched 44 goals from 38 appearances and is well on track to break the top-flight's single-season goalscoring record.

So, based off that information, City should be full of confidence in their talisman heading into the match right? Well, not quite.

Haaland will be coming up against a familiar foe on Tuesday night, as he prepares to play against Bayern for the eighth time in his professional career.

However, the Norwegian has struck just five times against the Bavarian side and has found himself on the losing side in all of his previous encounters with them.

So, will Pep Guardiola and his side be able to help Haaland secure his first win over the German champions on Tuesday night?

Norwegian striker Erling Haaland (L) will hope to get on the scoresheet when facing Bayern


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