Manchester United need to find their feet in an attacking sense; the 4-3-3 does that but only when the players care to perform


Manchester United head back into Premier League action on Wednesday evening against Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium. United will travel to the South Coast after a 1-0 defeat to West Bromwich Albion at Old Trafford on Sunday, which saw Manchester City being crowned as the Premier League champions. The media state that United handed City the title like it was their job to prevent that happening despite the 16-point lead at the top of the table ahead of Sunday’s defeat. It was Chelsea who surrendered the title, not United.

United will be seeking a return to winning ways as they sit a point ahead of third-placed Liverpool with a game in hand. Beating Bournemouth will mean United will open up a four-point lead over the Merseyside club, who play in the league this weekend whilst United will face Tottenham Hotspur in the Emirates FA Cup semi-final at Wembley. Jose Mourinho was less than impressed with his side’s defeat at the Theatre of Dreams and it has, yet again, seen an overreaction from the clubs so-called supporters with some again suggesting the manager should be sacked, because they say so!

Speaking about the defeat and the fact that United lost three points which could have helped them secure their place as runners-up in the Premier League this season, after finishing sixth last season, Mourinho said:

“We lost three points that could give us great stability for the second position. We still have the fourth position to fight for because Chelsea won yesterday [Saturday] and we lost, so we still have to fight for the top four.”

Mentioning the Manchester City victory a week earlier and the fact he felt his side’s confidence was a lot higher than it should have been, Mourinho said:

“[It was] too high [confidence among the players] because, when you win a match that gives you nothing, just gives you three points but you react in a way that it looks like you won something really important you pay the price.”

Starting XI Formation and Prediction: 4-3-3 again could be the key to Manchester United attacking, but only if the players pull their fingers out!

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Goalkeeper: David De Gea

The Spanish number one made a few decent saves on Sunday, unable to stop Jay Rodriguez from scoring the only goal of the match in the defeat to the baggies. De Gea has made 106 saves this season, fourth of all the goalkeepers in the league with Stoke City’s Jack Butland top with 122 saves. De Gea has kept 16 clean sheets and will be seeking another to give him more daylight ahead of the run-in with him looking to win the Golden Glove for the first time in his career.

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Back Four: Antonio Valencia, Eric Bailly, Chris Smalling, Ashley Young

United have the second-best defence in the Premier League this season, conceding 26 goals, one more than champions Manchester City. United’s defence as good enough for now but will need some attention in the summer, especially in the fullback roles, which may not mean the club buy new players for those positions. Right now, Valencia and Young are the best players in this role. Bailly was rested ahead of a big week for United on Sunday and could be back in contention against Bournemouth. He could partner Smalling, although Phil Jones, Marcos Rojo, and Daley Blind are fit.

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Midfield Three: Ander Herrera, Nemanja Matic, Paul Pogba

Mourinho started a three-man midfield at Old Trafford on Sunday and despite not actually scoring, it was working and only substitutions of midfield players for attacking players upset the apple cart. United needed to continue to press the Baggies as they were defensively astute and Ben Foster has a ‘De Gea moment’ on occasion. Playing the trio of Herrera, Matic, and Pogba again, if Mourinho feels the trio can play again, so soon after a match, and still be in contention for Spurs, they will play. If not, Marouane Fellaini, Scott McTominay, and Michael Carrick could feature.

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Forward Three: Marcus Rashford, Romelu Lukaku, Anthony Martial

United have a great set of attacking players but recently, they have not been breaking down teams as we all know they should be doing. At the start of the season, it was assumed, after scoring ten goals in the opening three Premier League matches, that this would be a season of development from also-rans to title contenders. Whilst United are currently second, they have not been title contenders since November. Rashford and Martial both played against the Baggies but could not avert the defeat, flanking Lukaku with the pair on Wednesday might reap rewards.

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