Wes Brown has given his advice on how to stop Erling Haaland ahead of Manchester United’s derby clash with Manchester City.
The match, set to take place on Sunday, will be a huge test for Erik ten Hag’s side as he looks to continue the good form shown by United following a nightmare start to the season.
The Red Devils stand to make it five Premier League wins on the bounce but will need to overcome fierce opposition to make that vision a reality.
Chief among Ten Hag’s concerns will be keeping Haaland from adding to his remarkable tally of eleven goals in seven games this season.
Speaking to 888sport (quotes via Manchester Evening News) Wes Brown said the following:
“He’s quick and strong and we’ve seen what he’s been doing with defenders. He’s good in the air and always seems to be in the right position. So you just have to be on him.
“Maybe forget about this player and focus on Haaland, get tight on him, but that’s difficult with City because they’ve got so many good players.
“But anyone marking Haaland needs help when he’s making those runs. Can you see it before it happens and cut it out?”
With the wealth of attacking talent available to the Sky Blues, United’s gameplan cannot afford to focus too heavily on the Norwegian goalscorer.
Wes Brown’s suggestion that United’s defenders must “get tight” to Haaland may look a little odd to observers, as Haaland’s speed and strength usually have him roll anyone who gets too close to him.
Brown was a fantastic man-marker in his pomp, often pocketing Premier League great Thierry Henry in clashes with Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal.
But for a player of Haaland’s profile, Brown’s advice on cutting out runs seems far more apt.
Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez have forged a fantastic pairing early on this season, but their communication and organisation will be tested to the limit here as they look to limit Haaland’s space.
Stopping crosses from the likes of Joao Cancelo and Kevin de Bruyne will also be crucial.
A good reference point could perhaps be found in Borussia Dortmund’s approach in their group stage tie against City.
For most of the game, Haaland was denied a sniff by an organised low block, with Niklas Sule and Mats Hummels working together well to restrict the striker.
Unfortunately the plan went out the window after Dortmund made a late switch to a back three, which seemed to disrupt the Bundesliga side’s organisation.
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