Sunday 8 December 2019

Manchester United formation options: How the 'Van Gaalacticos' could line up against QPR

Mark Ogden

With new additions to his Manchester United squad and injured players returning to fitness, Louis van Gaal has a variety of selection options at Old Trafford

How will the 'Van Gaalacticos' line-up and what is the best formation?...

3-4-1-2:

De Gea

Jones, Rojo, Shaw

Rafael, Herrera, Blind, Di Maria

Rooney

Falcao, Van Persie

If Van Gaal sticks to his three-man defensive line-up, the preference for full-backs either side of one central defender could see Phil Jones and Luke Shaw occupy those positions. Accommodating the attacking options will be a recurring headache, with Wayne Rooney likely to oust Juan Mata from the No 10 role.

dimaria.jpg
There is no secret that the winner in Angel di Maria's move to Manchester United was his agent Jorge Mendes. Photo: John Peters/Man Utd via Getty Images

3-1-4-2:

De Gea

Jones, Rojo, Shaw

Blind

Rooney, Herrera, Carrick, Di Maria

Falcao, Van Persie

Van Gaal deployed a 3-1-4-2 formation in Manchester United's last league game at Burnley, with Darren Fletcher holding in midfield. With Daley Blind acquired to play that role, the Dutch midfielder would anchor this system. A fit-again Michael Carrick would play further forward, but Rooney may have to accept a wide right role to fit in.

Manchester United manager Louis Van Gaal speaks with new signing Radamel Falcao during training at Carrington

4-3-3:

De Gea

Rafael, Jones, Evans, Rojo/Shaw

Valencia, Blind, Di Maria

Rooney, Falcao, Van Persie

This is Van Gaal's traditional formation, but it would leave United top-heavy with attacking players and potentially short of tenacity in midfield. The right flank would be an obvious area of weakness, with Rafael and Antonio Valencia short of the quality required and Rooney playing in a position he does not enjoy.

Manchester United new signings Radamel Falcao (left) and Daley Blind during a photocall at Old Trafford, Manchester. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday September 11, 2014. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Dave Thompson/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. Maximum 45 images during a match. No video emulation or promotion as 'live'. No use in games, competitions, merchandise, betting or single club/player services. No use with unofficial audio, video, data, fixtures or club/league logos.

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