Manchester United may have cut loose home and away against Club Brugge in the Champions League play-off round, but at home things have been very different.
Wayne Rooney has often looked isolated in three Premier League games that have seen the club net just twice, with one an own goal.
Deploying a 4-2-3-1, a deep-lying, relatively defensive engine room featuring two of Michael Carrick, Morgan Schneiderlin or Bastian Schweinsteiger has left them laborious in attack.
A lack of regular midfield runners up to and beyond Rooney has seen the captain struggle for space amid the undivided attentions of two centre-halves.
The question is, does Louis van Gaal stick with a restrictive but defensively sound formation, or twist in favour of great bite going forward.
In Bruges, Ander Herrera highlighted the difficulties of trying to bring a more positive influence into the current two-man midfield setup.
Error prone and rash in a deeper role, the contrast was stark when he was pushed up into the number ten position after Adnan Januzaj’s substitution.
Playing further forward allowed his directness and willingness to commit opposition players and get shots off to come into play.
Ending the game with an effective middle band of Herrera, Carrick and Schweinsteiger seemed oddly reminiscent of the 4-3-3 Van Gaal suggested was the formation that he was working towards last March and again in June.
Such a triumvirate retains defensive stringency, while adding line-breaking midfield dynamism to the mix by sacrificing a number ten who is already in the space that the Spaniard likes to run into.
Whether Van Gaal will move closer to his stated formational goal against Swansea remains to be seen, but if he does, Herrera looks mustard in the anytime scorer market at 7/2.
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