: 17:00 ENGLAND TIME
Here are some of the things you should know about tomorrows match between Manchester United and Chelsea
Van Gaal's tactics:
Van Gaal has slowly moved away from a 3-5-2 formation and has gradually introduced the 4-1-4-1, and as usual, the formation slightly adapts itself in the offensive transition and the defensive transition. Van Gaal hasn't fully abandoned the 3-5-2 system as we can tell when United do move into their offensive game - the 1 behind the 4 midfielders usually drops into the hole between the CBs whilst the fullbacks push up and practically become wingers. The beauty of their system is that when it is in full flow, they can switch from 4-1-4-1 to a 3-5-2 to a 4-2-3-1 if required and I can imagine this is what Van Gaal is looking for in his final tactical product, when everything is settled.
A look at the average positions of the United team against West Brom clarifies this more :
Their XI for the day was:
Rafael - Jones - Rojo - Shaw
Januzaj - Carrick - Mata - Di Maria
We can then also take a look at where United's attacks come from most frequently:
Using the above two graphs, we can reaffirm that United do push up their fullbacks very high, and we have the ideal set up at Chelsea to exploit that. Obviously, Van Gaal is not naive enough to get United to attack us the same way they did against West Brom who scored twice against them exploiting these gaps in their system - they'll be a lot more conservative. It wouldn't be surprising at all if United shut up shop at least for the initial stages of the game.Players To Watch (United):Di Maria:
After a season where he was comfortably Madrid's best player in my eyes, United have bagged themselves a special player in Angel Di Maria. The Argentine has already shown his class and is already considered United's best player. Definitely their danger man, and it wouldn't be surprising to see if Mourinho had a special plan to contain him.
Here is a sublime goal from Angel:Possible starting line ups: Potential Chelsea XI:CourtoisIvanovic Cahill Terry LuisFabregas MaticWillian Oscar HazardCosta
Potential Manchester United XI: De GeaRafael Jones Rojo ShawBlindValencia Carrick Rooney Di MariaVan Persie Match Facts
- Manchester United have won only six of their last 22 Barclays Premier League games against Chelsea.
- Chelsea have kept clean sheets in their last two Premier League games at Old Trafford. They have not kept 3+ clean sheets in a row there since a spell of five between 1968 and 1972.
- United have had a man sent off in two of their last three Premier League encounters with Chelsea.
- The last man to score a goal in this fixture (at Old Trafford) was Juan Mata, playing for the Blues.
- Angel Di Maria has assisted a goal in four of his last five Premier League games for Manchester United.
- Cesc Fabregas has been involved in eight goals (one goal, seven assists) in eight league games for Chelsea.
Drop your predictions below.