Manchester United will be aiming to maintain their five-game unbeaten run in all competition when they travel to Carrow Road to take on Norwich City in their Premier League clash this evening.
Ralf Rangnick’s charges have steadied what appeared to be a fast-sinking ship in recent weeks, securing their place in the Champions League knockout stages before closing the gap to the Premier League’s top four to just three points.
The new interim manager may have only had a handful of training sessions and two matches to work with his team, but the outline of his desired style of play has been clear for all to see.
In his first game in charge against Crystal Palace, the Red Devils won back possession a grand total of 12 times in the final third of the pitch – a record number not only for this season but since Opta began recording such data.
That figure clearly highlights how Rangnick wants his team to press, and the coherent 4-2-2-2 formation also proved effective in stopping opposition counter-attacks, with United recording their first home clean sheet in the top flight since March.
Central to the Red Devils’ success in both aspects of their play has been the use of their full-backs.
In Rangnick’s preferred setup, both the left-back and right-back are required to play high and wide, providing the width and attacking intent down the flanks, allowing the wingers to become inside forwards and wreak havoc centrally.
Against Palace, Diogo Dalot did that to great effect. Throughout the 90 minutes, the Portugal defender put in three crosses, attempted two dribbles, completed one key pass and had a whopping 73 touches of the ball, as per SofaScore.
His performance finally showcased his true potential to the United faithful following a frustrating few months, but the signs of his quality were there for all to see.
Dalot excelled during a season-long loan as Italian giants AC Milan last term, making 34 appearances for Stefano Piolo’s side in all competitions, leading to the tactician claiming that the 22-year-old could become a “complete player” in the future.
After his promising showing against Palace and the blow of Wan-Bissaka’s fitness setback, Rangnick must unleash Dalot once again for the tricky test at Norwich, providing him with another opportunity to illustrate his credentials on the big stage.