This is Manchester City's 3-5-2 formation, I'm going to give you some reason I like it!
The Italians used this same formation vs. Spain in their first meeting in the EURO 2012, and it worked very well!
I love the versatility of this formation.

Players you can sub into various positions are : Sinclair, Richards, Kolarov, Zabaleta, Dzeko, Balotelli, Nasri, Barry, and Rodwell (probably more)

This shows a situation where the wingbacks drop back into the defense, forming a back line of 5 with a line of 3 ahead of them, and the two strikers up top, this could be used when they need to defend in the last few minutes of a game when they are under pressure, or even when they are the lesser team, defending most of the game.

The wingbacks are one of the most important parts of this formation, they can man mark a winger, they can defend when needed, then can attack when needed, they provide width to the play, to me they are the most important component to make this formation work.
If you were to look at this formation backwards, it would be like a 4-3-3 with attacking wingbacks!

This shows them when City are attacking, with the wingbacks being the key to the fluidity of the play, and the key to the transitions, in attack they can form a 3-3-4, which is very hard to defend, (Barca do this too with Alves pushing up high on the right). They have the small quick strikers and also the big large strikers for different situations! They have the squad to make this a very dangerous tool. The bigger strikers can be used vs. teams who park the bus, so they can also cross the ball in (unlike Barca), and the smaller strikers for more open games, or one of each! They are a very versatile squad and this is a very versatile formation that can be used to break down stubborn defenses, or overload an ordinary defense.

As you can see, since its basically a 4-3-3 backwards, it still has all the fluidity and passing lanes, a lot of it depends on the wingbacks too, everyone has to be comfortable in possession. This can be a very good possession team when it needs to be, and a very good counter team when it needs to be. All the passing lanes are still there, as you can see the most passing lanes stem from the CAM, David Silva, he will be the Pivot. You need a very good player in that position. As always though, when you are the team attacking, and in possession, you can get countered, so if City lose the ball when they are attacking in the 3-3-4 while in transition, they can get countered down the flanks in behind the wingacks, (like Liverpool did to them in the 2-2 draw). If you are the countering team, you might be pinned up in your own half all game with 5 defenders and 3 midfielders and two strikers and will get very few chances, but thats always how football is most of the time, a lot of it will depend on the wingbacks. Every formation has its strengths and weaknesses.

Manchester City's 3-5-2 is a very interesting formation and i like the idea!


mojojojo101I'd personally like to see City continue with the 3 at the back thing, it's interesting and In my opinion a lot of players/managers seem to have forgotten how to play against a 3-man defence in this country.

I'd make a change in personel form you though, bringing in Richards for Kolo Toure (he's a more than capable CB and is more comfortable defending in wide positions than Toure) and Kolarov for Clichy (He's more comfortable with the positioning of a wing back than Clichy)..


adinoosmOh yeah, i agree with you on the Richards substitution. The best back 3's have outside CBs that are comfortable out wide. As for Kolarov, i agree that he is more comfortable but Clichy has more pace and can run all day so i figured he would be used more there. Maybe since Lescott is slower than Kolo Toure, Lescott should be benched? Maybe not.

Yeah i feel like the 3-5-2 would be effective!