With the acquisition of Luke Shaw and Ander Herrera, United’s starting eleven in the new season should look very interesting.
New coach Louis Van Gaal, although busy with the World Cup, has already had a very big influence. There are multiple ways United’s starting eleven could vary.
With the departure of long term players Vidic and Ferdinand, it will be interesting to see what Manchester United’s back four will look like. For now, United has not purchased any center backs to substitute the legendary pair. United would probably enjoy playing 4-3-3 as their main tactic that transforms into 4-4-2 if necessary.
Under the scenario of 4-3-3, the midfield would have two holding midfielders in the faces of Carrick, however, that could be changed if Van Gaal purchases someone for that role. New signing Herrera will be Carrick’s partner in the holding midfield area. With Mata or Kagawa sitting a little bit upfront and being more creative and forward looking midfielder.
Van Gaal would prefer to play with three up top, with Robin Van Persie upfront, as Van Gaal’s country man is considered his main choice for the CF position. While Rooney and Januzaj or Valencia would be situated on the wings.
Van Gaal could also prefer to play a more defensive style of play with a 4-3-3 formation that could turn into 4-4-2 with one sub. The defense would look the same, but with Rafael playing the right back.
Possible lineup (4-3-3): Rafael, Smalling, Jones, Shaw, Carrick, Herrera, Mata, Rooney, Van Persie, Januzaj. Subs: Evans, Fellaini, Fletcher, Welbeck, Young, Valencia, Kagawa
The 4-3-3 formation is very convenient for United. Having Van Persie upfront and Rooney- Januzaj on the wings, makes it a perfect formation for fast counter attacks. By subbing off Rooney or Mata for a wide player, it could easily turn to 4-4-2. This way, United could control the ball and attack from the wings, use the width of the pitch and possess the game.
Possible formation (4-4-2): Rafael, Smalling, Jones, Shaw, Carrick, Herrera, Valencia, Rooney, Van Persie, Januzaj. Subs: Evans, Fellaini. Fletcher, Welbeck, Young, Mata, Kagawa, Chicharito
These options are looking great for Manchester United, especially with the squad they have right now. However, Van Gaal should be looking to strengthen the central defense area. Furthermore, Van Gaal should clean up the bench and add new blood to the central midfield area and the wings, which look pretty old and lackluster.