Mancini to keep faith with new formation at Man City

Roberto Mancini is not expected to dispense with the back three that featured in the Community Shield once the Premier League season is underway, the the Manchester Evening News has reported. The Manchester City manager will instead keep faith with the new formation, believing it to be more effective in breaking down stubborn opposition sides.

Last season City alternated between a 4-4-2 or 4-2-3-1 system, the newspaper claims, with Mancini switching to a three-man defence only rarely. But a 3-5-2 formation was trialled in pre-season with encouraging results, leading to Mancini sanctioning its use in the Community Shield. City claimed the trophy with a 3-2 victory over FA Cup winners Chelsea.

The newspaper however notes that last season the formation was most often used as a defensive measure, a means of packing the midfield and closing out the game by defending a narrow lead. The deployment in the Community Shield was attacking, the publication continues, although they warn it did not all go to plan – centre-back Stefan Savic looked particularly uncomfortable and was substituted at half-time.

City’s tactics coach, former England captain David Platt, said: “All pre-season we have played with an offensive back three. We went to it last year a little bit to close games off, but what the manager has tried to work on all pre-season is the ability to be able to go to a back three if we want to, and be more offensive than defensive with it.

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