Manchester United may have to emulate Liverpool in this area to be successful

Manchester United 3

Manchester United may be best off utilising the diamond formation that Liverpool have been successful with after their summer signings.

History has a habit of repeating itself. In the early 1990's Manchester United rose to end Liverpool's dominance of English football and, in a twist of fortunes, the Reds' resurgence has seemingly started at the same time as United's decline.

The Red Devils have been by far the most successful side in the country since the inception of the Premier League in 1992, a competition which Liverpool are still yet to win, but they are starting to slide. 

The loss of Sir Alex Ferguson has had a far bigger impact than anyone could have predicted and, although they have spent heavily to stop the slump they are in, after finishing in seventh place last year, there are no guarantees this will happen. 

Louis Van Gaal's side have failed to win so far this season and if their form stays this poor for much longer then the year-long absence at the top looks set to be one which could last far longer.

Their position in the top four has seemingly been taken by their recovering rivals. 

Liverpool have improved massively under Brendan Rodgers and have transformed themselves from a team languishing in upper mid-table to one which is genuinely challenging for the title. 

The Reds returned to the Champions League last year and they have encouraged supporters that they are there to stay after their start to this season, too. 

It leaves United lagging behind, but their best form of action may be to emulate Rodgers' side tactics rather than differ them. 

Van Gaal has deployed a 3-4-1-2 formation during his time at Old Trafford so far but, following an expensive summer, utilising a diamond system may be his best option going forward.

The three centre-backs seem to expose United's defensive weakness, rather than highlight their strengths and the Red Devils best option from now may be just to utilise their masses of attacking quality.

There can be no doubt that United have a top-heavy squad who can simply outscore teams and switching to a diamond formation may be the best way to get his side to play at their destructive best. 

A front-two containing Robin Van Persie and Falcao, with Wayne Rooney playing just behind looks as intimating as any forward line-up, whilst their ample quality in midfield could also be showcased in this system. 

Ander Herrera and Angel Di Maria posses the energy required to be successful on either of the two central-midfield positions, whilst Daley Blind looks more comfortable as a defensive midfielder than as a centre-back. 

Switching back to a flat-four also looks a good option for Van Gaal as his current defence have struggled to adapt to a five-man back-line. 

A central-defensive pairing of Chris Smalling and Marcos Rojo looks far better than what has been presented previously, whilst Luke Shaw and Rafael will be more comfortable as full-backs than wing-backs. 

Although the 4-1-2-1-2 system certainly has it's flaws against sides which play with natural width, it has been utilised far more at the top-level recently and, given Liverpool's proven success with it, United may be best off emulating their rivals tactically if they are to stop the current slump they are in. 

Register for MANCHESTER UNITED team updates

Register for LIVERPOOL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch