Manchester United Vs. Manchester City: Pre-Match, What If Roberto Mancini's Gone Mad?

The lineups are out pre-match for the Manchester Derby between Manchester United and Manchester City, and both teams have some minor surprise inclusions and exclusions. United have included Ryan Giggs and Anderson in the lineup, notably omitting Dimitar Berbatov and Michael Carrick. The bigger decisions have come from Manchester City, as Edin Dzeko has been left out, while Nigel De Jong has missed the match due to fitness issues. Interestingly enough, all of Micah Richards, Pablo Zabaleta, Joleon Lescott, and Aleksandr Kolarov were selected. This implies that Kolarov will be playing on the left wing of a 4-5-1 variation, but what if Roberto Mancini's gone crazy?

If someone who was aware of the positions of all of the players in the City lineup because of reading about them and playing video games, but they knew nothing about the way City lined up, they might assume that they were actually attempting a 5-4-1. When you think about it, it isn't that crazy. Zabaleta and Kolarov are both good fits for the wing back spots, while Lescott and Richards are good fits for the outside central defense positions, which require the players to have good enough technical skills to be similar to useful fullbacks. 

Almost certainly, City will go with a four man back line and Kolarov on the left, which is probably a tactic to help minimize the impact that Nani, potentially United's most dangerous player, has on the game. But, on the tiny off-chance that City go with three guys in the center of defense...who are you, Kenny Dalglish, and what have you done with my English Premier League?

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