Sir Alex Ferguson has been asked about the different popular formations these days, with lots of clubs moving away from 4-4-2 and playing with just one striker instead. During Euro 2012, Spain played several games without any strikers, which is an approach Barcelona also use.

“It is only really Barcelona that play without a striker all the rest play with a striker,” he said. “I only played with one striker at Aberdeen and that was 30 years ago. It can give you more attacking options than when you play two strikers as you can have several points of attack. It has been in the game for quite a while now but Barcelona are different because of the way they operate with possession of the ball. They try to string teams out but eventually they have get in the box at some point and normally that is through Messi.”

At Chelsea, they only really have Fernando Torres, with Daniel Sturridge as their other striker option. At Liverpool, they have Luis Suarez, with the injured Fabio Borini as their other option. At United, we are inundated, with last season’s top two scorers in Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney, as well as Chicharito (whose strike rate is better thana goal every other game this season) and Danny Welbeck. Ferguson has noted that comparisons have been made between this strikeforce and the one we had in 1999.

“The comparison is the numbers, having four strikers is a definite advantage,” he added. “The four we had in 99’, Yorke, Cole, Solskjaer and Sheringham were fantastic. They never really complained about being left out as long as felt they were making a contribution and that year we won the treble which made them easier to manage. Hopefully that will apply itself again because if we are winning they will all need to contribute – there is no question about that.”

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