Foden IN, Rashford OUT: Man Utd & Man City most valuable XI

Tom Hancock
Tom Hancock
  • Updated:
  • 5 min read
Man Utd Man City combined XI header
© ProShots

It's FA Cup final day, with Manchester City tackling Manchester United as Pep Guardiola's side seek the second leg of a historic treble.

United have, themselves, already picked up silverware this season, having claimed the League Cup thanks to a victory over Newcastle, yet they were well behind their rivals in the Premier League standings and appear some distance from challenging them over a whole campaign.

Yet the two Manchester clubs have two of the most valuable squads in word football - but what does their most valuable combined XI look like?

Using FootballTransfers' in-depth Expected Transfer Value (xTV) model, we find out...

READ: Man Utd in 'detailed talks' with prodigious striker AND a World Cup finalist

Ederson has won 10 major trophies with Man City
© ProShots - Ederson has won 10 major trophies with Man City

Ederson (Man City) – €77.6m

Another title-winning season for City was built on the Premier League’s best attacking record – and joint-best defensive record. The latter is where Ederson comes in: rarely tested – no goalkeeper in the division with 900 or more minutes in 2022/23 made fewer saves per 90 than his 1.31 – but thoroughly reliable, City’s 29-year-old Brazilian between the sticks beats out David de Gea here.

John Stones (Man City) – €39.4m

From right-back to centre-back to holding midfield, John Stones has truly shown his versatility this season. But it’s the former of those roles for the England international in our combined line-up – ahead of bona fide right-backs such as United’s Diogo Dalot and Aaron Wan-Bissaka, and City teammate Kyle Walker.

Ruben Dias (Man City) – €77m

Just like Ederson, Dias has been a foundational cornerstone of City’s back-to-back Premier League title triumphs since 2020/21. Pep Guardiola’s Portuguese rock at the back proved yet again in 2022/23 why he’s considered among the very best centre-backs around, helping the champions keep 10 clean sheets in his 26 league appearances.

Lisandro Martinez (Man Utd) – €49.5m

Scorned for his lack of height upon arriving from Ajax last summer, Martinez made his critics look rather silly as he enjoyed a fine first season in English football. Injury curtailed his campaign early, but the tenacious Argentine has more than played his part in United's improvement under Erik ten Hag.

Aymeric Laporte (Man City) – €47.9m

Guardiola doesn’t really do conventional left-backs – but Aymeric Laporte has slotted seamlessly into that de facto role. The Spain international hasn’t featured much this term – only 22 times in all competitions – but he is fit and ready for City’s crunch couple of finals.

Rodri (Man City) – €75.3m

Sergio Busquets recently earmarked Rodri to potentially succeed him at Barcelona – high praise indeed. But that’s the kind of level City’s imperious midfield pivot has been operating at in recent years. He’s reminded us he’s capable of a special goal this season, too: look no further than his stunning strike against Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter-finals.

EXCLUSIVE: Man City using Kovacic as Gvardiol bait

Casemiro (Man Utd) – €56.5m

Eyebrows were raised when United paid €70.7m (£60m) to sign Casemiro – six months shy of his 31st birthday – from Real Madrid last summer. The vastly experienced Brazilian has been a revelation at the base of midfield, though: Ten Hag’s side averaged 2.1 points per Premier League game this season with him on the pitch, compared to 1.6 without.

Casemiro scored the opening goal in Man Utd's League Cup win over Newcastle in February
© ProShots - Casemiro scored the opening goal in Man Utd's League Cup win over Newcastle in February

Bruno Fernandes (Man Utd) – €74.3m

United will hope that their highly productive Portuguese playmaking maestro can add to his 28 goal involvements this term as they aim to dash their Manchester foes’ treble dreams at Wembley. Fernandes has provided 15 assists and found the net 13 times himself in all competitions.

Bernardo Silva (Man City) – €75.5m

One of City’s Champions League semi-final heroes with a brace in the 4-0 second-leg thrashing of Real Madrid, Bernardo Silva has come close to leaving the Etihad Stadium in recent years. This season, though, the third Portuguese star in this side has shown why City were right to keep him, chalking up 15 goal contributions (7 goals, 8 assists) in league and cup.

Erling Haaland (Man City) – €133.6m

The most expected inclusion of all in this team, Erling Haaland is undeniably the best centre-forward on the planet right now – and, on the evidence of his first campaign in a City shirt, he will be for many more years to come. Norway’s most prolific export since 80s chart-toppers A-ha, the 22-year-old broke the Premier League single-season scoring record with 36 (and has banged in a further 16 goals in other competitions for good measure).

Phil Foden (Man City) – €107.1m

Phil Foden only turned 23 on the final day of the Premier League season, but the England ace has already collected five winners’ medals in the world’s toughest league, playing an increasingly integral part for Guardiola. His highlight of 2022/23 came in October’s Manchester derby, when he joined Haaland in scoring a hat-trick as City thumped United 6-3.

Our combined XI
© ProShots - Our combined XI