Manchester United coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer chose to make a tactical switch for the game against Spurs which resulted in a comfortable 3-0 victory. From the usual 4-2-3-1 formation, he opted for a 3-4-1-2 formation with a back three defence. The biggest difference in the game against Spurs was how solid and compact United looked when they were defending. Their biggest weakness in their previous Premier League game against Liverpool was their shape without the ball and the amount of space between the defence and midfield. All of these defensive issues were solved by the 3-4-1-2 formation although it must be mentioned that Spurs were quite poor with the ball.
Man United predicted formation against Atalanta
As against Spurs, Ole is expected to pick the new look 3-4-1-2 formation against Atalanta as well. The two changes we predict from the starting lineup against Spurs are Matic coming in for McTominay and Telles coming in for Lindelof. The defensive change is injury enforced as Solskjaer confirmed that Lindelof did not travel to italy after he sustained a knock in training. Shaw has previously played in a back 3 and he is expected to take Lindelof’s place and Alex Telles will come in to deputize for Luke Shaw at left wing back.
The second change might be made by Solskjaer keeping in mind the Manchester derby on Saturday by dropping McTominay for Matic. Matic is more suited to the slow pace of European fixtures rather than the fast and hectic nature of the Premier League at his current age. Even though Paul Pogba will be available for selection, it is difficult to see him start in this formation unless Ole goes for the risky option of resting Bruno Fernandes.
Up front, Cavani and Ronaldo are expected to partner up again after excelling in the game against Spurs. Both the experienced stars were effective in United’s build up play with their movement and willingness to make runs. And they were deadly in front of goal when the opportunity came, so it will be hard for Solskjaer to make changes to this partnership. The problem with this is a squad management issue which will crop up as players like Rashford, Greenwood, Martial and Sancho will not feature in the starting lineup.