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Coral’s Liverpool and Man Utd combined PL era all-star graduate XI

| 22.03.2015

Bitter northwest rivals Liverpool (21/20 favourites) and Manchester United (5/2) face off for another Premier League clash on Sunday, March 22nd.

The most successful clubs in English football are renowned for bringing through top talent from their academies over the years, so we have picked an all-star starting XI of graduates from the Premier League era. That means that players such as Ryan Giggs and Steve McManaman miss out, as they made their first-team debuts in the old First Division.

As both sides have experimented with three defenders at the back this season, we followed suit, and have used a 3-5-2 formation.

Goalkeeper: Ron-Robert Zieler (Man Utd)
Not many clubs such as Northampton Town can claim to have a former player go on to win the World Cup, but Zieler was briefly a Cobbler whilst on loan with the Red Devils. The German spent five years as a youngster with united, but has flourished since returning to his homeland, and was a backup stopper at the 2014 finals.

Defender: Gary Neville (Man Utd)
Neville is the first of four clubmen in this line-up, and spent a total of 20 years on Man Utd’s books. The former Red Devils captain always wore his heart on his sleeve for his only club, and is perhaps the best right back England have ever had, his 85 caps prove he is.

See this classic clip of Neville politely celebrating in front of Liverpool fans…

Defender: Gerard Pique (Man Utd)
Snapped up from Barcelona as a teenager, Pique spent years at Old Trafford before re-signing for his boyhood club, making him eligible for this team. The Spaniard is now a multiple trophy winner with club and country.

Defender: Jamie Carragher (Liverpool)
Another one-club legend, Carragher is a converted Red, having supported Merseyside rivals Everton as a boy. He retired in 2013 after 14 years at Anfield and over 500 appearances.

Defensive midfield: Nicky Butt (Man Utd)
Butt is not the highest profile Class of 92 member, but was an important part of United’s glory years, and stepped up in the famous 1999 Champions League final against Bayern Munich, in suspended Roy Keane’s absence.

Centre midfield: Steven Gerrard (Liverpool)
At the time of writing this article, Reds skipper Gerrard can still be classified as a clubman, having only played for Liverpool to date, but he will move to LA Galaxy this summer. The Kop idol is 11/4 to net anytime in perhaps his last ever match against United.

Watch a young Gerrard smash in a goal against Man Utd in 2001…

Centre midfield: Paul Scholes (Man Utd)
Scholes is perhaps one of most gifted players to have ever come out of England. He quietly went about his work, but was devastating on the pitch with his pin-point passes and ferocious shot. A true one-club legend for Man Utd.

Here is a clip of Scholes losing his cool, as he takes a swipe at Xabi Alonso…

Right wing: David Beckham (Man Utd)
Beckham is the highest profile person on this list in terms of image, but his fame off the field perhaps overshadowed his individual success on the pitch, and he twice came runner-up in the FIFA World Player of the Year award whilst at United.

Video of Beckham curling in one of his trademark free-kicks against Liverpool…

Left wing: Raheem Sterling (Liverpool)
With Giggs and McManaman not eligible for this side, England’s newest star Sterling is the perfect replacement. The Jamaica-born attacker was signed as a youngster from QPR in 2010, and has been a revelation for Liverpool the past couple of seasons. Sterling is 7/4 to score anytime against Man Utd.

Striker: Michael Owen (Liverpool)
Owen is the only player to have played for both teams in this side, but his record for his first club Liverpool was stunning, as he smashed in 158 goals from 297 appearances in his eight years at Anfield.

Here is Owen scoring the second goal in the 2-0 2003 League Cup final win over his future club Man Utd…

Striker: Robbie Fowler (Liverpool)
Nicknamed simply ‘God’ by the Liverpool faithful, Fowler is fifth-equal, with Gerrard, on the all-time scorer list for the Reds (with 183). Like Owen, he never reached the heights of his first spell with the Reds after leaving the club.

Watch Fowler bagging a brilliant brace against Man Utd in 1995…



Sam Barnard

Sam has been writing for Coral since January 2014, and is the assistant editor of the news site. As well as the main betting sports, football, tennis and cricket, he covers the likes of golf, F1 and darts too, the latter of which has become a particular favourite. Sam enjoys playing as much as writing about sports, but niggling injuries have limited his participation in recent years, so is happy to mainly watch the pros such as Manchester United, Yorkshire CCC, Raymond van Barneveld and even Gibraltar national football team instead.