After experimenting with various formations so far this season, Van Gaal has finally come to the realization that none of his tactics have helped his team in gaining an upper hand in matches. Hence, various reports have stated that Van Gaal has decided to throw away all of his non-working tactics and go back to his tried and trusted 4-3-3 against Sunderland.

 

Drunk from his World Cup success with the Netherlands, the Dutchman tried to implement the same 3-5-2 formation at United, but it produced disastrous outcomes. Hence, he switched to a 4-4-2 (diamond). The diamond may have resulted in getting many goals, but it has left the defence open.

 

After using the 4-2-3-1 and 4-1-2-2-1 for a while between October and November, the Dutch manager yet again went back to 3-5-2. With the three at the back failing to work again, the manager reverted back to the diamond formation in recent weeks. However, still the teams fortune remains unchanged.

 

Hence, out goes the rest and incomes Van Gaal’s favourite 4-3-3. This has been the formation which has helped the Dutchman in achieving success at his previous clubs like Bayern Munich, Barcelona and Ajax. So Van Gaal believes switching to this formation will help United in reaching the coveted top four places.

 

Michael Carrick’s return from a muscle rupture has further bolstered Van Gaal’s belief in a formation he relied on his previous clubs. Although it is unclear whether Carrick will start against the Black Cats as Van Gaal admitted the midfielder was lacking ‘match rhythm’.

 

It is understood Robin van Persie’s ankle injury has prompted Van Gaal to experiment with the system in training this week, which could feature Wayne Rooney in the lone striker’s role. It is unclear whether Van Gaal will start a second striker, with Radamel Falcao and James Wilson both available.