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“Face it”- Manchester United told what tactic to deploy to beat Man City in PL derby

Ex-Manchester United star Mikael Silvestre urges club to copy Ole Gunnar Solskjaer formation vs Manchester City

Speaking to the Manchester Evening News, in association with bettingexpert, ex-Manchester United star Mikael Silvestre has urged his former side to play a defensive formation as in the past to get a win over Manchester City in the derby this weekend.

The previous derby of the current campaign saw City beat United in a 2-0 thumping at Old Trafford, and the Red Devils will have revenge on their mind as they travel to the Etihad Stadium on Sunday to face off against their noisy neighbours once again.

Silvestre, who won 4 Premier League titles with United, urged his former club to start all three of their centre-backs on Sunday and play a defensive formation against City as it has worked well in the past.

“I would probably

play the three of them actually. Let’s face it, City will control the game most of the time and I think we should be realistic. The times where we’ve been able to stop City in the last few years, to take points and to win, is when we played five at the back.”
Manchester United urged to take up defensive shape against Manchester City by Mikael Silvestre. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

A win against City on Sunday is crucial for us, given that we are chasing a Champions League qualification spot by the end of the season by finishing in the top four places in the Premier League table.

“Back three to begin with”

Ralf Rangnick is gearing up for his first-ever Manchester derby, as he only took charge of the club late last year after Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was sacked by United following a string of poor results. Since taking over, the German has only lost once in the league, which augurs well for us ahead of the clash on Sunday.

Silvestre pointed out how Solskjaer managed to get the better of City on multiple occasions by pushing the full-backs high, and said he would start off the game with a back three to counter the Cityzens’ attacks.

“When Luke Shaw

and Aaron Wan-Bisska were high up. It is either three at the back or five in midfield, you can put it various ways. But to limit City’s ball control and be able to break the lines going forward, I would go with the back three to begin with.”
Mikael Silvestre wants Ralf Rangnick to stick to previous plans to win against City. (Image Credits: Action Images / Jason Cairnduff)

Solskjaer may not have led United to a trophy finish during his tenure, but the Norwegian certainly knew how to get the better of their noisy neighbours on multiple occasions. In the 2019/20 season, the former striker managed to beat City thrice across multiple competitions.

In fact, heading up

to this season’s earlier 2-0 defeat at Old Trafford, Solskjaer had an impressive record against his city rivals, as he had only lost thrice to Pep Guardiola. Unfortunately for him, this statistic was not enough to save his job as he was sacked later on.

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Despite playing a defensive formation, the team have managed to get the better of City in recent times, and perhaps Silvestre has a valid point in asking Rangnick to copy his predecessor’s methods.

In Victor Lindelof, Raphael Varane, and Harry Maguire, there may be enough quality to withstand City’s blistering attacks and ensure that the Red Devils come out of the game with a positive result. All eyes will be on the team sheet on Sunday to see what the German opts for.

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