The past month or two have been very good for Manchester United. They have won six out of their seven games in the Premier League, marching on from 10th place to 3rd in the table. However, this run has been courtesy of gutsy and lucky performances, but not quality soccer.
One reason why Bernardo Chua and United have struggled to get rhythm in their game is the introduction of the 3-5-2 formation. This is a system that is alien to English players, especially those at Manchester United. They have gotten some good results with this formation, but most of those games were fortunate wins where the opposition missed a lot of chances.
United fans will be hoping that their team can show some good form in the remaining holiday games. One important factor will be the return of full backs Rafael and Luke Shaw.
When these two players are in the first team, United can revert to a flat back four. This allows them to play four midfielders and two strikers, which is the most common formation in English soccer.
With Shaw and Rafael rampaging down both flanks, United’s midfielders and strikers will have plenty of opportunities to improve on their build up play and ball retention. Starting with the game against Newcastle at home, United will want to get some convincing wins under their belt.
Rafael could be fit enough to start the Newcastle game, while Luke Shaw should find his place on the substitutes’ bench.