Manchester United will be looking to book a place in the UEFA Europa League final with a win over Sevilla in Cologne’s Rhein Energie Stadion on Sunday night. The Red Devils made tough work of Copenhagen in the last round as they could only manage to beat the Danish side after extra-time. Bruno Fernandes scored the only goal of that game from the penalty spot, so Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has every right to be concerned about his side’s lack of end-product from open play inside the opposition box.
Similarly, the Spanish outfit has also struggled to bang in the goals of late despite managing to defeat Wolverhampton Wanderers with a narrow 1-0 scoreline in midweek. Solskjaer will probably opt for a 4-2-3-1 formation as his players try to produce a professional performance away in Germany.
Here are three ways how Man United boss Solskjaer can tactically outwit Sevilla in the semifinals of the Europa League.
Stick With The 4-2-3-1 Formation To Counter Sevilla’s 4-3-3 Set-up
Solskjaer has mainly preferred to use the 4-2-3-1 formation during this campaign. Thus, he might continue with the same set-up that could give Man United a chance to flood the midfield and make life difficult for the opposition. It will also help counter Julen Lopetegui’s 4-3-3 set-up which has worked wonders for his team recently. Sevilla are expected to have more possession of the ball this weekend. Hence, the Red Devils would need more numbers in midfield to stop them from causing problems during the 90 minutes.
Romero Should Get The Nod Ahead Of De Gea
Sergio Romero has been a real asset for the Red Devils in the Europa League this season. Solskjaer should continue playing the Argentine keeper as he has the potential to come up with big saves when his teammates need him the most. His presence in goal could give the Mancunian giants an edge in this contest, especially if it goes to penalties.
Romero is a solid shot-stopper who is currently enjoying a good run of form in Europe. On the other end, it has been a lacklustre season for David De Gea at Old Trafford as he has sometimes been prone to making mistakes inside his half.
Instruct His Defenders To Maintain A High Defensive Line
Solskjaer should ask his defenders, Eric Bailly, Harry Maguire, Brandon Williams and Aaron Wan-Bissaka to maintain a high defensive line so that they can limit the chances that Sevilla can cook up going forward. The off-side rule would be Man United’s best friend as they could look to use it effectively to neutralise the threat of Sevilla’s Lucas Ocampos, Youssef En-Nesyri and Suso this weekend.
Williams and Wan-Bissaka will have to pick and choose their moments to attack. But more importantly, Solskjaer should ask his full-backs to track all of the opposition runs out on the wide areas so that they can cut the supply to En-Nesyri up top.
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