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Talking Tactics

Fred relishing more advanced role under Rangnick

Adrian Clarke 4 Apr 2022
FRED_MUN_TT

Adrian Clarke says in-form Man Utd midfielder can be a match-winner against Everton

Adrian Clarke looks at key tactical points and players who can be decisive in Matchweek 32.

Fred (MUN)

In a difficult campaign for Manchester United, Fred's consistency has been a standout positive.

EVE 1-0 MUN
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Fred has been a regular starter, maintaining high standards in and out of possession this season.

Hardworking and willing to press in advanced areas, he has regained possession more often than any team-mate, doing so an impressive 175 times.

Fred has also added direct goal involvements to his solid defensive play and distribution.

Supplying four assists and scoring four goals, he seems to be benefiting from playing a little higher up the pitch since Ralf Rangnick took charge.

Fred's goal v Leicester City

In a Man Utd team lacking confidence and flow right now, his ability to turn the ball over and drive forward has become increasingly valuable.

Calm at key moments  

Fred's decision-making around the opposition box has significantly improved and he has discovered a lethal edge when chances to score have presented themselves.

His 36.4 per cent conversion rate is in fact second only to Jesse Lingard among players at Old Trafford.

Fred season-by-season comparison
  18/19 19/20 20/21 21/22
Minutes 1042 2159 2395 1860
Shots 14 30 16 11
Goals 1 0 1 4
Conversion rate 7.1% 0% 6.3% 36.4%
Chances created 12 35 25 26
Assists 1 0 0 4

The 29-year-old has also displayed a calm presence of mind when laying on opportunities for others.

Slightly braver with the forward passes he attempts, Fred's confidence as a creative force has rapidly grown this term.

Still considered unfashionable by some, Fred has made more chances in open play (26) than all but two team-mates: Jadon Sancho and Bruno Fernandes.

In what is set to be a highly charged match at struggling Everton this weekend, Fred should not be written off as a potential match-winner.

Fred's last two matches 
  TOT (H) MUN rank LEI (H) MUN rank
Touches 66 1st 87 1st
Possession won 8 =1st 12 1st
Final third entries 8 2nd 11 1st
Succ. dribbles 4 1st 4 1st
Passes in opp. half 27 3rd 47 2nd
Key passes 3 2nd 2 =2nd

He will arrive at Goodison Park feeling good about his own game.

Fred was excellent against Leicester City and Tottenham Hotspur, especially when squeezing up to disrupt both opponents when they were looking to pass through the thirds.

And in possession he showed self-belief, taking players on and feeding a stream of passes into United's front men.

In the 3-2 win at home to Spurs, centre-forward Cristiano Ronaldo was the player Fred found most (eight passes).

Last time out against Leicester he picked out Fernandes, who operated as a "false nine", with 13 passes; again a match-high for the central midfielder.

Failure to get a grip of Fred's ever-increasing influence this Saturday could prove fatal for Everton.

He is a player that continues to be underestimated.

Also in this series

Part 1: Podence and Jonny give Wolves a cutting edge
Part 3: Foden's pace and movement can torment Liverpool again
Part 4: Rashica ready to step up in key battle with Burnley

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