How Man Utd could line up with three at the back as Ralf Rangnick admits he is open to scrapping 4-2-2-2 experiment

RALF RANGNICK admits he could look to deploy a three-man defence at Manchester United.

The interim Red Devils boss has seen his new side struggle to adapt to his 4-2-2-2 formation.

And Rangnick is now ready to shake things up as he seeks to save the season with a bold 3-4-3 system.

David De Gea is safe as United’s No1 ahead of Dean Henderson.

And Rangnick’s three centre-backs are likely to be Victor Lindelof and Harry Maguire either side of Raphael Varane.

At wing-backs, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Luke Shaw appear to be favoured by Rangnick.

And a central midfield partnership of Scott McTominay and Fred looks likely too.

In attack, Cristiano Ronaldo would surely lead the line as the central striker.


“I think most teams have their system in England and they stick to it.

“But there are also teams who switch from a back three to a back four, or from a back four to a back three.

“Or – like Bayern Munich, for example, or [RB] Leipzig, who also did it last season with Julien Nagelsmann – even if they play defensively in a back four, they try to rotate within this system, this formation, to a little bit of an asymmetric back three. 

“I think with our team, we have those two options. In order to play with a back three, we need to have most of our centre-backs available.

“I think under Ole [Gunnar Solskjaer] the team did it, for example, in games like Tottenham, Atalanta away, or against Manchester City in the derby.

“I think we can play in the back three, this could be an option for us, but, as I said, it also depends on the players available, on the current shape and form of the players and also, to a certain extent, to the team against which we are playing.”

And he could be supported by Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford.

But there are plenty of other options for Rangnick.

Eric Bailly, Diogo Dalot and Alex Telles would all be pushing for starts.

And Rangnick could even tweak things further up, switching from a 3-4-3 to a 3-5-2.

That could see the likes of Nemanja Matic, Paul Pogba and even Donny van de Beek get a chance in a solid midfield three.

And up front, Edinson Cavani and Mason Greenwood could be potential partners for Ronaldo.

There are further possibilities too, with the likes of Jadon Sancho, Jesse Lingard and even wantaway Anthony Martial still available.

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By: Anthony Chapman
Title: How Man Utd could line up with three at the back as Ralf Rangnick admits he is open to scrapping 4-2-2-2 experiment
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Published Date: Sun, 09 Jan 2022 20:35:13 +0000