Netherlands boss Louis van Gaal confirmed that 4-3-3 is not a fixed choice in his eyes and he will discuss tactics with his players.

Van Gaal lined Netherlands up in a 4-3-3 on Wednesday in the 1-1 draw against Norway, but he would not confirm whether he would remain in that formation for the clash on Saturday when Montenegro visit Eindhoven.

Speaking to his press conference, Van Gaal said that 4-3-3 is not fixed, “I already showed that in 2014. Possession of the ball is not sacred. It’s about whether you have the players to turn that possession into something positive.”

Van Gaal prefers a 5-3-2 but he doesn’t have time to work with the players, “I trained for six weeks for the World Cup in Brazil. 5-3-2 is also the best system in my opinion… But I can’t do that in two days. The schedule is such that I only have a week. I don’t get a chance to play that system. It’s clear that I’m going to discuss it with them again. But I have to prepare the players as best I can. And for now, it’s 1-4-3-3.”

Van Gaal expects Montenegro to defend deep, but also believes they will have more space, “You see the trend in international football, it’s all very compact and a lot of defensive football. Look at yesterday’s games; Spain loses to Sweden. Italy plays 1-1 at home against Bulgaria. You can’t really imagine that.

“I don’t expect any other game than against Norway. They lasted very well for 85 minutes. That says something about the image of the Dutch national team. In the other five games, they have not been able to bring that up. I do think that Montenegro gives away more space than Norway. Montenegro also has many creative players. That is the culture of the old Yugoslavia. They have nice players, but they will play the same as Norway. We have to solve that.”




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