World Cup Russia 2018


Stats prove Manchester United are much better with four-man defence

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Football News

Manchester United fans have been tearing their hair out and calling for Louis van Gaal to drop his 3-5-2 formation - and now the stats show that's exactly what he should do.

The Red Devils have put in a handful of sub-par performances with the three-at-the-back tactic, most notably in the 2-0 defeat against Southampton earlier this month.


The Old Trafford faithful have been growing increasingly frustrated with their team's efforts on the pitch and have been calling for Van Gaal to switch to a more conventional four-man backline.

In their most recent Premier League fixture against QPR, Manchester United struggled badly in the first half in the 3-5-2, and it was only when Van Gaal switched things up by bringing James Wilson on as a substitute and reverting to a more traditional 4-4-2 that they made the breakthrough.


Indeed it was only minutes after the change that Marouane Fellaini broke the deadlock, before Wilson rounded things off with his first Premier League goal in injury time.

While pundits Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher were analysing the fixture at Loftus Road before the game between Everton and West Brom this evening, Sky Sports produced a graphic which showed just how much more successful they are with four at the back.


In the 12 games they have played with Van Gaal's 3-5-2 system, Manchester United have won just 42% of their matches, and that figure jumps up to 60% when they have played with a four-man defence.


The proof that they are better off with more conventional system goes on; the Red Devils score more and win more points with more bodies at the back, although they do concede slightly more.

Manchester United fans will be hoping that Van Gaal heeds the warning and opts to abandon his 3-5-2 for their next game against Cambridge United in the FA Cup on Friday night, as well as their forthcoming Premier League games against Leicester, West Ham and Burnley.

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