Speaking to the club’s official website, the Dutchman outlined the system he will likely begin the season with.
He said: "More or less 4-3-3. We played that already last season, in the second half of the season, and I have said that is the system I want to use.”
United have deployed an attacking line-up on their pre-season tour, utilising Memphis Depay in the number 10 role (or most advanced midfield role) behind Wayne Rooney - with Ashley Young and Juan Mata flanking – and that looks set to continue into competitive fixtures.
With the front four established, the identity of two deeper-lying midfielders remains a question, and Michael Carrick, Ander Herrera, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Morgan Schneiderlin will all be hopeful of securing a starting berth.
Defensively, van Gaal revealed he has almost settled on his preferred line-up.
“I think I shall play [Luke] Shaw with [Matteo] Darmian, and with Daley Blind. The right central position I have to consider,” said the United boss, in quotes published by the Mirror.
Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Marcos Rojo will all look to establish themselves alongside Blind in van Gaal’s plans, and the Dutchman’s revelations should mean there are no surprises for Mauricio Pochettino and Spurs in nine days time.
Awareness is one thing but prevention is another, and stopping United's vast array of talent will not be an easy task.
Spurs will be quietly confident, however, and will hope to catch a United team packed with new arrivals cold - as they adapt to life in the Premier League.