By 90Min
September 26, 2019

Manchester United and Arsenal are to play out the latest episode of one of the Premier League's great rivalries on Monday when the Gunners make the trip to Old Trafford.

Neither club has been as its best for a number of years, but the occasion is no worse for it and a number of legends from both sides have played in these games down the years.

Here's a look at a classic combined XI from the Premier League era.

Goalkeeper & Defenders

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Edwin van der Sar (GK) – Van der Sar stands alongside Peter Schmeichel and David Seaman among the greatest goalkeepers the Premier League has ever seen. The Dutchman won fewer trophies than Schmeichel, but United achieved more in a shorter space of time.

Gary Neville (RB) – The most decorated defender in Premier League history, Neville won eight division titles during his 19-year senior career. He played more than 600 games for United in all competitions and has two Champions League medals as well.

Tony Adams (CB) – Former Arsenal captain Adams lifted the Gunners’ first two Premier League titles in 1998 and 2002, with both campaigns also delivering a domestic double. A true leader at the back, Adams made 670 appearances for the Gunners. 

Nemanja Vidic (CB) – So many top centre-backs have played for United and Arsenal in the Premier League, including Rio Ferdinand and Sol Campbell, but Vidic is among the division’s best ever foreign imports and is revered as an Old Trafford legend.

Ashley Cole (LB) – It was at Arsenal in the early 2000s, particularly during the ‘Invincibles’ season, that Cole established himself as the best left-back in the world - he later had competition from Patrice Evra. A controversial transfer in 2006 tarnished his Gunners legacy.


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Cristiano Ronaldo (RM) – It was as a winger at United that Ronaldo made his name and would go on to become one of the greatest players of all time. He often performed well against Arsenal, with a Champions League semi-final in 2009 a particular highlight in such games.

Patrick Vieira (CM) – Captain of the ‘Invincibles’, Vieira was a central character in the numerous battles between these two clubs at the height of the rivalry. His combative style as well as his leadership has still never been replaced at Arsenal since his departure in 2005.

Roy Keane (CM) – For Arsenal there was Vieira, for United there was Keane. It is the Premier League’s greatest ever personal rivalry, born out of mutual respect for each other’s fierce leadership as much as anything else, and both players seemed to drive the other on.

Robert Pires (LM) – There was something very special about Pires between 2001 and 2005, a spell that cemented the Frenchman as an Arsenal and Premier League legend. During the 2003/04 ‘Invincibles’ season he contributed 21 combined goals and assists in the league.


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Thierry Henry (ST) – No foreign player has scored more Premier League goals than Henry, with the Frenchman netting 175 for the Gunners in eight years. He was a four-time Golden Boot winner, two-time PFA Player of the Year and is Arsenal’s all-time record goalscorer on 226.

Wayne Rooney (ST) – Rooney scored the first goal of his professional career against Arsenal as an Everton player in 2002. By the time he left United in 2017, he was the club’s all-time leading scorer with 253 goals to his name. His holds the same honour for England.

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