Connect in the back of the net

Manchester United striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic is set for a return to action after a lengthy post-operation rehabilitation resulting from an injury he suffered in April.

Ibrahimovic could make his long-overdue return against Arsenal next month or even earlier than that, the Swede was playing a pivotal role behind team success last season getting involved in 37 goals across all competitions (28 goals & 9 assists) before getting injured.

Despite the euphoria surrounding the Swede’s return there seems to be some tactical concern over who will be the main striker between him and the newly signed striker Romelu Lukaku.

Mourinho now faces a tactical decision to make, this article will take a look at how United will line-up to accommodate both of them.

Assuming United stick with the traditional 4-2-3-1 formation, Ibrahimovic could be deployed at the number 10 role supporting Lukaku who’ll be more of a box striker but a number 10 role is unfamiliar to the self acclaimed “Lion”, and he could slow up play since United’s strength is in quick transitional play from the wings.

It is clear this formation will likely not cater to both Lukaku and Ibrahimovic, perhaps the best solution in this system would be to swap them in different games.

While many reckon there is no natural way to use both key strikers in a 4-2-3-1 formation, United can switch to 4-3-3 formation with Lukaku and Ibrahimovic as out-and-wide strikers and with Pogba or Mats behind them.

Another formation that would allow them to line up together up front is 4-4-2 flat that will require wingers and their full-backs to do most of the attacking and crossing.

United could also use 3-5-2 formation to accommodate both target men especially against offensive teams. In this system Lukaku and Ibrahimovic will lead the line forward with 5 players across the midfield mainly to try contain an opponent’s attacking threat and Matić deployed in front of the back 3, a role he previously excelled at .

 

Written by Bonno Macheng

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