Louis van Gaal has confirmed that he will stick with the 3-4-1-2 system that has seen Manchester United claim victories in his first two matches in charge when they take on Inter Milan in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday.
Following a 7-0 demolition of Los Angeles Galaxy last week, United beat Roma 3-2 on Saturday to kick off their schedule in the International Champions Cup. Having taken over late following his Netherlands team’s run to the World Cup semifinals and with a hectic schedule in the United States, Van Gaal intends to continue to work on getting his players acclimatized to the new formation before the start of the Premier League season in less than three weeks’ time.
“It’s difficult to change the systems and I had to start this system at once because we don’t have time to change it,” the former Ajax, Barcelona and Bayern Munich said, according to Manchester United’s official website.
“We only have three weeks before the season starts, so I have to use all my training sessions to implement this system. They know already the other system [4-4-2 or 4-3-3]; they have played that from their youth, so that’s easy.”
With Van Gaal again lamenting what he sees as an unbalanced squad ahead of the match, speculation continues as to the changes he will make in the transfer market before the close of the transfer window at the end of August. At FedExField there will be a first chance of the tour for one of those player’s whose futures is most under threat, Wilfried Zaha, to impress. The 21-year-old, signed from Crystal Palace last year, will play up front in the second half after Van Gaal stated that he didn’t see the winger as capable of playing anywhere else in the current system.
Van Gaal has also been forthright on the fitness of Manchester United’s £27.5 million summer signing Luke Shaw. The England international, who has played in both games so far, has had an individual training regime devised to get him up to speed.
“I am a coach who looks at what individual players need and I think he needs to be fit, but he is not very fit,” Van Gaal explained. “Therefore he cannot perform what I want, so first he has to be fit and has to train individually.
"I have spoken with him and we have made the program. He agreed with me. I don’t know [when he will be fit], but I have heard good messages from [fitness coach Tony] Strudwick.”
For many of Shaw’s teammates the match will be a chance for an early reunion with recently departed former captain Nemanja Vidić. The Serbian joined Inter on a free transfer this summer, bringing to an end eight-and-a-half years at Old Trafford in which he won five Premier League titles, a Champions League and a FIFA Club World Cup. Vidić admits that he will have mixed emotions going up against his former club.
“It's good that it’s a friendly match,” he told MUTV. “I wouldn’t love to play against United in a competitive game. But it will be strange playing against players I trained with, against a club I was part of for so many years. In another way, I will be glad to see friends.”
Vidić started in Inter’s first match of the International Champions Cup, which ended in a 1-1 draw before the Milan side won 3-2 on penalties to claim two points. Walter Mazzarri’s team, which finished fifth in Serie A last term, begin their new season at the end of August.
Where to watch: The International Champions Cup Group A match will kick off at 7.30 p.m. ET. Coverage will be available on NBCSN and ESPN Deportes, with live streams available via NBC Sports Live Extra and Watch ESPN.