Born in the south east of Ireland, Simon put his life-long love of football to good use when he started a successful independent blog in 2010. That opened up an alternative route to a career in journalism, and having had work published across a number of sites and publications, Simon joined the staff at Spotlight Sports Group in 2018.
Chelsea breezed past a single-speed Real Madrid at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday evening to set up Champions League final date with Manchester City in Istanbul on May 29th.
The final – which will feature two English clubs for only the third time ever – pits Thomas Tuchel against Pep Guardiola in a battle between a couple of the keenest tactical minds in football in what should prove an enthralling showpiece showdown at the Atatürk Olimpiyat Stadı.
Both powerhouse teams are heavily dusted with some of the world’s best players – but which superstars would make the cut for a combined Chelsea & Manchester City XI?
Check out our attempt at fusing the Blues and the Citizens below and if you disagree with any of our selections, make sure to tweet us @footysupertips to have your say.
Ederson (Manchester City)
Chelsea keeper Edouard Mendy is match for Ederson in terms of shot-stopping and reflexes, but City’s number one gets the nod for his laser precision distribution. The 27-year-old’s 70-yard raking pass helped to set up The Citizens’ first goal against PSG on Tuesday evening and Ederson’s ability to drop the ball on a sixpence from distance earns him the gloves in our XI.
Kyle Walker, John Stones, Ruben Dias (Manchester City), Ben Chilwell (Chelesa)
Thomas Tuchel has transformed Chelsea’s defence from ragtag to rock solid since his arrival, though the individual class in Man City’s ranks allows them to dominate our combined back four.
Aligning with the Citizens’ 4-3-3 set up instead of Chelsea’s 3-4-3 formation has also favoured Pep Guardiola’s charges, though Kyle Walker’s pace and experience would have earned him a berth in either system.
At centre-half, we just couldn’t break up John Stones and Ruben Dias’ formidable partnership, but with City’s left-flank one of their most heavily rotated positions, Chelsea’s reliable performer Ben Chilwell completes the defensive quartet.
N’Golo Kante (Chelsea), Ilkay Gundogan, Kevin de Bruyne (Manchester City)
Any combined midfield would feel incomplete without the energy and skill of Chelsea’s N’Golo Kante and the marauding Frenchman – who was outstanding in both semi-final legs against Real Madrid – sails into position at the base of our central trio.
Kante is flanked either side by two of City’s most influential operators in German schemer Ilkay Gundogan and Belgian creator supreme Kevin de Bruyne.
Gundogan has added end-product to his game this season and the 30-year-old is closing in on 20 goals for the campaign, while de Bruyne continues to conduct City’s easy on the eye footballing symphony, hitting all the right notes with his incredible array of passing powers.
Mason Mount (Chelsea), Phil Foden, Riyad Mahrez (Manchester City)
Gareth Southgate, who we can only assume is an avid reader of FST, will be thrilled two see two of his budding England stars in our combined Man City and Chelsea frontline, where three hybrid attackers fill the slots.
Both teams like to deploy attacking midfielders, wingers and inside forwards ahead of out-and-out strikers in their teams, and Mason Mount, Phil Foden and Riyad Mahrez are some of the best in the business at exploiting pockets of space between the lines.
Home-grown starlet Mount – whose 11th goal of the season doubled Chelsea’s advantage of Real Madrid on Wednesday – leads a new wave of technically gifted Three Lions players alongside City prodigy Phil Foden.
Foden was instrumental to City’s double-legged semi-final success against PSG and the teenager has made the transition from peripheral junior to one of the first names on Pep Guardiola’s teamsheet this term.
Algerian wing wizard Riyad Mahrez has been tangling tibias and leaving dizzy defenders in his wake for City, and the 30-year-old hit crucial goals in each leg of his club’s wins over PSG.
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