Sky Sports pundit Danny Mills has defended his decision to avoid naming any Manchester United players in a combined XI with Liverpool.
Jurgen Klopp’s side take on United at Old Trafford on Sunday and ahead of the match, Mills had the chance to put together a combined team with players from both sides.
However the ex-Manchester City defender failed to pick any Man United players on Sky Sports News.
He has since spoken on talkSPORT to explain his decision behind naming Joel Matip over Harry Maguire in the defence alongside Virgil van Dijk, claiming that the Liverpool centre-back is in much better form than Man United’s £80million summer signing.
“Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson must be two of the best full-backs in Europe at the moment. Virgil van Dijk is a given,” said Mills, as shown via talkSPORT’s official Twitter account on Wednesday.
“Now this is sort of where it got a bit, well, not semi-controversial.
“If this is the start of the season, I would have put Harry Maguire alongside Virgil van Dijk.
“But the fact that we’re eight games into the season, the performances of Joel Matip and the performances of Harry Maguire, I think Matip has overtaken him in all honesty.
“He’s forged a fabulous partnership alongside Virgil van Dijk and an understanding and because of that, I’m putting Matip in instead of Maguire.”
Matip has not only been better than Maguire this season, you could make a case for the Cameroon international being better for Liverpool than van Dijk has. While it is a given that van Dijk would feature in this combined XI, you have to admit that if you’re doing the team based on form, Matip also has to be a given. According to stats by WhoScored, Matip has averaged more tackles, interceptions and clearances per league appearance than Maguire has this season. The former Leicester centre-back does have a better pass accuracy than Matip but at the end of the day, defenders are there to defend and Man United’s defensive record speaks for itself in comparison to Liverpool’s. United have conceded eight goals in eight league games this term while Liverpool have conceded six and have done so with Matip missing a couple of matches and number one goalkeeper Alisson missing every match since the opening day.