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Sky Sports pundit leaves Paul Pogba out of combined Manchester United/Leicester City XI

SoccerBy Sunday World
Sky Sports pundit leaves Paul Pogba out of combined Manchester United/Leicester City XI

Soccer Saturday regular Charlie Nicholas has omitted the France star from his combined XI while selecting two United players with zero Premier League minutes between them.

Ahead of Manchester United's clash with champions Leicester City on Saturday at 12.30pm, Nicholas has picked his combined starting 11 from the two squads.

There are many players included that would be expected - David de Gea beats out Kasper Schmeichel for the keeper's spot, while Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Marcus Rashford, Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy all featuring.

There are a couple of mildly contentious choices as Christian Fuchs is selected ahead of Luke Shaw at left-back and Chris Smalling, who made only his first league start in Sunday's 3-1 defeat to Watford, picked ahead of teammates Eric Bailly and Daley Blind, as well as Foxes centre-half Robert Huth.

Easily the most puzzling selection is that of Timothy Fosu-Mensah, the 18-year-old defender who has yet to play a single Premier League minute under Jose Mourinho.

Picked at right-back ahead of United and Leicester regulars Antonio Valencia and Danny Simpson, Fosu-Mensah made his first competitive start for the Red Devils in Wednesday night's EFL Cup victory over Northampton Town.

In his 55 minutes on the pitch, the Dutchman's most notable contribution was being one of several United defenders at fault for conceding a penalty which allowed the opposition a route back into the game:

After that, another Old Trafford man yet to take the field in a 2016/17 league fixture is picked in the form of Michael Carrick.

Forming part of a three-man midfield with Mahrez and Danny Drinkwater, the 35-year-old's inclusion means that Pogba misses the cut in the combined XI.

While the world-record signing may have had a poor start to his second term in Manchester, his superstar qualities are not in doubt.

Carrick, who put together an efficient performance on his first start since United beat Leicester in the Community Shield, seems to have been given the nod on the basis of Pogba's poor showings early on rather than any form of his own.

While picking combined XIs is largely pointless, the point of them seems to have become making extremely bold selections and omissions in order to ignite debate.

Following the Guardian's combined United/Manchester City XI which featured the "simple choice" of having Jose Mourinho as it's manager ahead of Pep Guardiola, as well as finding no space for the form option of Raheem Sterling, these teams are now picked with at least one inflammatory element as a matter of necessity.

Charlie Nicholas' combined Manchester United/Leicester City XI: David de Gea; Tim Fosu-Mensah, Chris Smalling, Wes Morgan, Christian Fuchs; Michael Carrick; Riyad Mahrez, Danny Drinkwater; Jamie Vardy, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Marcus Rashford