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How will Manchester United line up on the opening day?

Jul 20, 2014, 1:40 PM EST

Van Gaal's arrival could spark a return to the top for Manchester United. AP

New manager Louis van Gaal has finally linked up with the Manchester United squad as they prepare for the new Premier League season on their U.S. tour.

Over the weekend the players were seen working hard at the StubHub Center in Los Angeles, as they aim to impress LVG from the get-go. After United’s seventh-place finish last season, plenty of United’s stars are under pressure to prove that last season’s dismal showing was just a blip.

[RELATED: United name U.S. squad ]

On August 16th, less than a month from now, LVG will name his first United starting XI against Swansea City on the opening day of the 2014-15 season. Who will start? It’s all up in the air right now as more new players will likely arrive between now and the end of the transfer window on September 2. However, if you had to pick a lineup right now, it could be very interesting.

Van Gaal used a 3-5-2, which sometimes looked like a 5-3-2, at the World Cup with the Netherlands this summer. It remains to be seen whether or not he will champion that method at United, as he could use a different formation given the players at his disposal. The guy has tons of experience and has used so many systems over the past few decades.

Here are three options as to how the Red Devils could line up next season with their current squad. What do you think van Gaal should do?

Option 1: Flexible 3-5-2

— De Gea —

—Smalling—Evans—Jones—

Rafael—Herrera—Mata—Fellaini —Shaw

—Rooney—Van Persie—

Option 2: Classic 4-4-2

— De Gea —

Rafael—Smalling—Jones—Shaw

Valencia—Herrera—Mata—Nani

—Rooney—Van Persie—

Option 3: Fluid 4-3-3

— De Gea —

Rafael—Smalling—Jones—Shaw

—Herrera—Fellaini—Fletcher

—Rooney—Van Persie—Mata—

  1. aceinthehole12 - Jul 20, 2014 at 1:59 PM

    As a United supporter, I’m all for the 4-4-2. I think Rooney and RVP can handle things up top. I still don’t trust Smalling back there so the more players back the better IMO. We really need RVP to be fit this whole season.

  2. geejon - Jul 20, 2014 at 2:15 PM

    Sign Vidal. Get rid of Fellaini. 4-3-3. Can’t play that formation with Fellaini in the middle they’ll get murdered.

    4-4-2 doesn’t work with this team because it forces 2 of their most creative players (Mata/Kagawa) to be out of position (and therefore useless).

  3. fantom21 - Jul 20, 2014 at 7:16 PM

    Still a very weak squad in the middle and at defense. He can’t play 3-5-2 at united( it’s too defensive and top teams like United will be heavily scrutinized for deploying such tactics) I think he stays with a classic UNITED formation in the 4-4-1-1. Or he can use the 4-2-3-1 with Filliani/Vidal? As holding mids.

  4. fantom21 - Jul 20, 2014 at 7:19 PM

    The 442 you mentioned would get destroyed in the EPL. The two central mids are too weak defensively. Your 4-3-3 wouldn’t be dynamic enough for a 4-3-3 because you can’t rely on Mata or Rooney as wingers. The 3-5-2 wouldn’t work either because Rafael isn’t disciplined enough to play that critical wingback/ right mid role.

  5. rasputin9 - Aug 5, 2014 at 12:41 AM

    Van Gaal will bring MU. , back to the most formidable team that once was . We are already seen the results .

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