Anyway, first I'll reply to Pimp's assertion that my team is somehow too offensive and none of my players track back. Frankly I think both our attacks are basically identical in that regard. David Silva has played as a midfielder and does track back just as much, if not more than Sanchez. Pjanic is a average defender, but he does track back to defend or at least occupies space to stop attacks for Roma, this is more than can be said for James. Messi and Lukaku won't defend much in my lineup which means two players in both sides will do little or no defending. Although, Lukaku easily pressures defenders and defends more than Zlatan does.
My midfield duo have far more tactical intelligence than his. Toure has lots of talent, but he sees himself as more of an attacker than a midfielder half the time and is often caught out of position. Kante runs all day for Leicester in a counter-attacking side, but in this side he's going to be playing with 5 attackers who want to be in the attacking third all day. He's going to get overwhelmed. Whereas my midfield duo both understand when to attack and defend. Not to mention that Pjanic is a midfielder by trade and will drop deeper when necessary.
My midfield duo plus Pjanic could circulate the ball all day if they wanted to. Modric and Pjanic are also fantastic dribblers who almost never get caught in possession. Matuidi's passing game is very underrated and almost never gives the ball away easily. Pimp's side is going to be struggling to get the ball off my men all day, especially once you fact in how good both Silvas, Messi, and even Lukaku are in possession of the ball. However, all of my midfielders are fantastic at placing perfect balls forward for attackers when the opportunity is there.
In attack both sides are clearly stellar, but only one of our attacks has the best player in the world, mine. I love Ibra, but the guy does go missing in big games, as proven again this week against Man City. Messi on the other hand is undoubtedly one of the best attackers of all time, and shows it on a weekly basis regardless of how good the opposition is or how big the stage is. To compliment Messi I have one of the best modern-day forwards in the game. Lukaku is a beast. Strong, fast, agile and plays the game with intelligence and vision. He's just as adept at laying the ball off for Messi and he is at getting on the end of a cross from Silva. Did I mention he is two footed and can head the ball? 9 goals with his left, 5 with his right, and 4 with his head this season. David Silva is a fantastic player who contributes work rate, tactical intelligence, and offensive output. Pjanic has 9 goals and 10 assists this season. His long range missiles and his ability from freekicks will be devastating to Pimp's side when they repeatedly have to foul Messi, Lukaku and co to stop them.
He has arguably the best LB in the world who might be able to stop Messi, but I've got one of the best centerbacks in the world in Silva. One that knows Zlatan like the back of his hand after playing with him for the last 5 seasons? Pimp has some very dangerous direct attackers. And I've got some fantastic tacklers in my side. Manolas is tall, reads the game well, has pace and has good ability to tackle players in one v one situations. He's already faced Barca and Real this season and done a fantastic job (The rest of his side..not so much). Thiago Silva's defending does't need any explanation. Felipe Luis has shown his ability all season in La Liga and faced Real's and Barca's elite attackers on multiple occasions. Facing Pimp's forwards won't be anything new for him. Danilo is a super talented kid. A little raw at times, but easily one of the most talented fullbacks in the world. Not to mention he keeps Pimp's rightback out of Real's side. He'll be marking Bale who's biggest asset is speed. Danilo is also extremely fast and I'm confident he'll be able to at least stop him from cutting inside because crosses are something Silva and Manolas can cut out all day. Barzagli is a great defender, but more so in a back three. Getting him to take on all the attacking talents in my side? Especially with his lack of pace. It's going to be trouble. And he's going to have Pique next to him. Thiago Silva is a good passing CB, and a great defender. Pique is a great passing centerback but only a good defender. That's not going to be enough against my team. Especially considering he's accustomed to playing in a Barca side who has 70% of the ball. He's going to be defending far more against my team and will be caught out.
Buffon is a fantastic GK because of the way he communicates with his defense. His defence he has played with for 100 years. That's not going to be the case with Pimp's team. De Gea is a far better pure shot stopper with far superior reactions, and for that reason he's the better keeper to have in this type of match up.
So long story short. Pimp's side is good, mine is better.
I think my team matches up really well with his, since i think his is too offensive and too vulnerable on the counter. None of Silva Pjanic Messi nor Lukaku track back, add this to the fact that modric is not what one would call "defensive", and i think matuidi just simply wouldn't be enough, to cover it all. Add to this the fact that if the attack lost the ball in my final 3rd, they would have Kante, Toure, Bale, Sanchez to deal with in the counter, add to this the fact that james rodriguez would distribute balls, and having Ibra as a focal point in the attack, i dont think anyone would stop this team in the counter. Meanwhile in defense I have some of the most solid defenders, best left back in the game, one of the most solid right backs, and a great cb duo. Nevermind the fact i have the most impressive defensive midfielder in Ngolo Kante, dude would cover the whole field by himself, he can also bring the ball up the field, as can yaya toure who can be as good as kante in the back and he is 100 times better going forward. Sanchez is also known for his work ethic, bale has stamina for days, and i wouldn't have James "has more talent in his left nut than your whole squad" Rodriguez and Ibrahimovic tracking back.