Rangnick explains tactics at Anfield

Tuesday 19 April 2022 19:15

Ralf Rangnick has elected to go for a five-man backline in Manchester United’s away match at Anfield, explaining that the formation should provide the right balance for the travelling Reds.

Phil Jones features in the three-man central defence, slotting in alongside Victor Lindelof and Harry Maguire.

Jones returned from a series of long-term injuries earlier this season, making his first appearance in almost two years in January’s home match against Wolverhampton Wanderers. After impressing in that outing, the Englishman also played in February’s FA Cup defeat to Middlesbrough.

With injuries to two midfielders, Fred and Scott McTominay - who is included on the bench, and one centre-back, Raphael Varane, Rangnick explained his decision to bring Jones in for this Tuesday night fixture.

Confirmed: United XI to face Liverpool


Ralf Rangnick's side for this evening's match at Anfield has been announced.

“As I said yesterday in the press conference, we need the best possible balance of being stable defensively, enough players behind the ball, always try to be proactive in winning balls but at the same time have some threats in the transitional moments, so this is why I decided for this line-up and this formation,” Rangnick told Sky pre-match.

“We were training like that [with a three-man central defence] yesterday obviously. We had some video footage and video talks about that and it worked well yesterday in training so hopefully we can see that on the pitch today.

“Since Rapha Varane is still injured I had to decide between him [Phil Jones] and Eric Bailly, and I decided for him [Jones] as an experienced player, as somebody who is also talking to other players, and this is why I decided for him.”

Watch Ralf's pitchside interview Video

Watch Ralf's pitchside interview

Rangnick answers questions on Ronaldo and Jones at Anfield and explains McTominay’s fitness situation…

Rangnick also confirmed that McTominay is available as an emergency option should we need him during the game having struggled with a problem with the sole of his foot of late.

"He will only come on in an emergency because he hasn’t trained with us," revealed Ralf. "He didn’t train yesterday but he told me he would be ready to play if absolutely necessary and that’s why he’s in the squad.”