By Richard Clarke
The Arsenal formation will indicate Arsène Wenger's ambitions at Old Trafford on Sunday.
The manager has been handsomely rewarded by a flexible 4-5-1 formation in Europe. Occasionally he has used it in the Premiership - Manchester United at home being a case in point. But Wenger wants three points from this teak-tough fixture so he'll be reverting to a more familiar, attacking line-up.
"We play nearly always in the Premiership with a 4-4-2," he said. "Sometimes in Europe I change to 4-5-1 or 4-3-3. It depends how I feel about the opposite camp.
"But I believe we will play with two strikers because it is a game we want to win. We are in a position where one point is not good enough and psychologically we are in a different situation [to Europe]."
Wenger doesn't believe 4-5-1 is the best option domestically anyway.
"I tried it," he said. "But it didn't work too much because when teams bombard you with long balls, you open the two centre backs a little bit. What works occasionally cannot necessarily be a rule on a day-to-day basis. We have an attacking style, mainly through the centre. Thierry occasionally plays only there but most of the time he moves around and goes wide so you need another striker more central."
Copyright 2013 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 7 Apr 2006