Why United must play 4-3-3 against Chelsea


United were humbled in Rome back in May and outfought at Anfield a fortnight ago – hopefully the old ‘third time lucky’ saying can apply tomorrow. United have been subjected to an element of stage fright in the big games since the superb 3-1 victory over Arsenal last May and is important that this stops tomorrow. United’s midfield has been put under the microscope on both occasions – with a lack of shape or urgency being cited as the problem.

Along with other bloggers I was surprised that Anderson was omitted from the starting Xi against Liverpool. His drive, ball winning technique and stamina was pivotal against a side that operate in a 4-2-3-1 formation with two ‘destroyers’ occupying the space in front of the back four. It was in fact these two destroyers (Lucas and Mascherano) that put pressure on Scholes and Carrick – which restricted the service to Berbatov and Rooney. Scholes found Valencia a couple of times – however the general consensus is that United were lacked urgency due to the closing down of the two Liverpool players. This allowed Benayon to float ahead and ultimately set up the important first goal for Torres.

If Anderson had of been playing – United would have matched up Liverpool like for like and considering that midfield trio is technically superior to the Liverpool midfield – I believe we would have put in a much better performance that day. The pressure was on Liverpool to perform at home and they succeeded in getting a result – but truth be told, they were there for the taking and we fluffed our lines.

Of course Fletcher was a big miss – regardless of what some fans (non-Reds) think of him. He has grown in stature and is regarded now as one of the first names on the team sheet. I expect him to line up tomorrow – i’m hoping for a midfield consisting of Anderson and Carrick. I know Carrick isn’t flavour of the month at the moment – but I think with a third man in midfield he will be able to find space and switch play as he does so gracefully sometimes. Games do pass him by sometimes and I have a feeling he will never realise his full potential until he starts to stamp his authority on games and control things with his sublime passing and vision.

Valencia and Rooney could occupy the wings with Berbatov up front holding the ball up allowing Anderson and Fletcher to get forward and support. Cole will bomb forward, which will mean defensive duties at times for Valencia but Rooney shouldn’t be too worried at the galloping pace of Ivanovic as Bosingwa is out injured. Chelsea will most probably play a 4-1-3-2 – with Michael Essien occupying the defensive midfielder role. Lampard will be given license to roam forward – which is why Anderson, who can win the ball deep and start a counter attack is vital to tomorrow’s game.

At the back – the big debate who over who will partner Vidic – Evans or Brown. I’d like to see Evans partner Nemanja as I think he will become a superb centre half and he has a chance now to cement his place in the side after rumours emerged regarding the fitness of Rio Ferdinand. Wes Brown – for me – is a quality, quality defender – who is versatile as he can play at centre half or full back. His injuries have hindered his progress immensely over the years and I honest believe he would have been as good as Ferdinand – had he been a bit luckier.

So how would you like to line up? 4-4-2/4-3-3/4-2-3-1? For any Chelsea fans reading this – will you play you normal style? Lastly, any predictions? I’m going for a 1-1 draw.

10 Comments on Why United must play 4-3-3 against Chelsea

  1. I agree that we need to tweak the lineup, but I propose the following. Anderson and Fletcher need to be played in Central Midfield as they are our best at breaking up the opponents play, which is so often overlooked in the way it creates counterattacking opportunities, which is where Rooney is at his best. I think Valencia should start on the right, but that Giggs should play on the left, although not as a left wing, but tucked further inside to help in central midfield. We can get our width on the left from Rooney pushing wide and Evra going forward like always. A midfield three of Anderson, Fletcher and Giggs will choke possession away from Lampard and still give enough support for Rooney and Berbatov going forward. Depending on how the match goes, Id expect Obertan to come on for one of those midfield three if we need a goal, and for Valencia late in the match if tied or ahead. But this match will not be decided by our midfield, which is rare, but by our struggling back four, which is even more rare. With Rio out, it seems like Vidic and Evans will probably start, with both needing to improve upon recent performances. Im really looking forward to this match, and hope Utd push forward, play attacking football, and dont let the chelsea midfield hold possession for long periods. COME ON YOU REDS!!! And Birmingham City!

  2. I would pitch for a 4-3-3 with Giggs instead of Carrick with Ando and Fletcher. With Rooney and Valencia playing off Berba.

  3. i would like 4-4-2. goal keeper van der sar. for defence oshea,john evans,vidic,evra. midfilders, Anderson,carrick.fletcher, nani. forward berbatov,rooney.

  4. nani will play the left wing and anderson left winger, for you can replace oberten and remove nani, and carrick for valencia then anderson will cover the carrick’s part.

  5. well in my opinion, the most probable line up for this fixture would be:

    Van Der Sar, O’Shea, Vidic, Evans, Evra, Valencia, Fletcher, Ando, Obertan, Ronney and Berba.

    most likely the formation would be 4-4-2.

    prediction: MAN.UTD 2-1 CHELSEA.


  6. 4-3-3

    in mid field anderson,carrick,flecher,world class midfielders like barcelona.rooney on the left,valencia on the right,up front big rooney,everyone is expecting man united loosing, but im man united will win 3-1 or 2-0,anderson and rooney will score

  7. i think we should play 4-4-2 or 4-3-3 if 4-4-2 then i would like to play rafael as right back because he got the pace to beat any player with evans/brown vidic and evra.. in the midfeild i prefer valencia/nani fletcher scholes and giggsy with rooney an berba upfront..
    however in the 4-3-3 the back four with oshea and mid anderson fletcher and giggs with rooney berba and nani upfront as i dont see valencia as a left striker

  8. I think this line-up would do a pretty good job.
    Valenica-Rooney- Giggs

  9. “If Anderson had of being playing”…”i’m hoping in a midfield consisting of Anderson and Carrick”…bloody hell! Where do we find so many Literary geniuses from?

    The Reds to win 3-1 with Carrick, Scholes and Fletcher controlling the midfield. Anderson on for Scoles with 15 remaining. Valencia to score again, with Carrick and Rooney getting the other two. Chelsea’s goal from a penalty with Lampard scoring.

  10. Mico – I’ve made those changes. Thank you for sharing your superior intellect with us mere mortals. I sometimes haven’t got time to proof read – as much as I’d like to – but I believe you could have understood what I was trying to get across.

    But anyways – thank you for contributing.

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