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Jaap Stam expertly breaks down how to defend against Erling Haaland

Daniel Marland

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Jaap Stam expertly breaks down how to defend against Erling Haaland

Manchester United legend Jaap Stam has revealed exactly how he'd defend against Manchester City striker Erling Haaland.

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The 22-year-old joined City from Borussia Dortmund in the summer and has scored a whopping 11 goals in seven Premier League games which includes two hat-tricks.

He's scored three in two Champions League games as well, with City unbeaten in all competitions this term.

Haaland will face his toughest test in English football so far at the weekend when City welcome bitter rivals United to the Etihad Stadium.

Image Credit: Alamy
Image Credit: Alamy

The Norway international faces Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez, with United on a four-match winning run in the Premier League.

Stam, who won three league titles during three years at Old Trafford and is one of the best defenders of his generation, has laid out exactly what he'd be doing on Sunday afternoon.

Speaking exclusively to SPORTbible courtesy of bet365, the former Netherlands international explained: "You need to be very aggressive. When the opposition has the ball, you need to go and play in City's half, you need to make sure someone is always very tight on Haaland and trying to take him out of the game, especially when you lose the ball, he can't be allowed to get hold of it.

"You need cover too, otherwise if you try and risk it to play against him one versus one, with a lot of space in your back, nine out of ten times, it's going to be a very difficult situation. So you need to be very aggressive against him."

Haaland always manages to be in the right place at the right time despite barely touching the ball in games.

Image Credit: Alamy
Image Credit: Alamy

It's a threat City didn't have in the last campaign, where their top goalscorer was Kevin De Bruyne with 15 goals.

Haaland is on track to smash that record and Stam believes teams are starting to devise new game plans to take on Haaland.

The 50-year-old continued: "Teams are changing how they set up defensively when he's playing because of his threat, people are saying we need to put a midfield player in front of him as well, to give them more time on the ball. But you need to make choices now as an opposition to defend against him.

"Speaking personally, sometimes when you play higher up the pitch, one needs to be aggressive on him and the other needs to cover you."

Image Credit: Alamy
Image Credit: Alamy

Haaland will have a month off in the winter to recharge his batteries. Norway failed to qualify for this winter's World Cup in Qatar, meaning he'll stay behind at City's training complex with a few of his teammates.

The record for most goals in a Premier League season is 34 and currently held by Andrew Cole, Alan Shearer and Mohamed Salah.

If Haaland continues scoring at his current rate, which is unlikely, he'll hit 63 goals by the end of 22/23.

Do you think Erling Haaland will break the Premier League goal record? Let us know in the comments.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Manchester United, Erling Haaland, Manchester City

Daniel Marland
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