VfB Stuttgart have outperformed expectations during the Hinrunde. Yet, perhaps more so than their results and play, the array of strategies and structures employed in build-up and defensive transitions have left an impression on the Bundesliga. Head coach Pellegrino Matarazzo has established a formidable attacking team that consistently penetrates and creates, and hence can beat almost every opponent.
Borussia Dortmund are in a tough spot. The German powerhouse have established themselves among the best teams in Europe and even more so in the Bundesliga where there is a considerable gap between Dortmund, Bayern Munich, RB Leipzig and the rest of the pack. Dortmund are expected to command the action on the pitch, and they themselves like to be in command.
German Club TSG Hoffenheim has reached 6th place, allowing them to play on the international stage in the upcoming season. How did Hoffenheim perform after the re-start following the Corona-break? What are the key characteristics, including their principal strengths and weaknesses?
VfB Stuttgart did it. One year after their promotion they made it back to the 1. Bundesliga. Having moved from Hoffenheim to VfB at the end of December 2019, head coach Pellegrino “Rino” Matarazzo, led the team to this success. What kind of football does the Italian-American focus on and what are the prospects for the upcoming challenge in the first division?
Gio Reyna has recently entered the stage of professional football at German side Borussia Dortmund. What makes him special?
Erling Braut Haaland is now a Dortmund player. Why did the move to BVB make the most sense for him and Dortmund? What are his strengths and weaknesses? Who is he similar to? What can Dortmund expect from him? Let’s find out with this scouting report.
FC Bayern could be faced with an exciting contest in the goalkeeper position next season. In Alexander Nübel, they have signed an ambitious young goalkeeping talent, but Manuel Neuer certainly won’t give up his place as Bayern’s number one without a fight. However, one thing is certain: Nübel can still learn a lot from Neuer.
To turn their season around, Favre decided to switch to a 3-4-3 system, causing huge issues for the opponent’s to adjust (last 5 games: 4 wins, 1 draw). As a reaction, Leipzig started in a modified 4-3-1-2 system, forming a 4-3-3 in defending. Dortmund dominated the 1st half, thanks to exploiting some of the weaknesses of the RBL defensive scheme, which forced Nagelsmann to switch to a 4-4-2 shape in the 35th minute (this analysis only focuses on these 35th mins).
Niko Kovac revealed the whole dilemma in a press conference a few days ago. Asked whether Bayern Munich could play a similar pressing to Liverpool FC, he verbally blocked the line of inquiry. One would have to have the right kind of players for that, he said. He would need more time, too—perhaps even the full four years Jürgen Klopp has already spent in Liverpool. For the head coach of ultra-ambitious Bayern, this was a meagre statement and a symbol for the current situation.
Three of the five major European leagues have had to endure the dominance of a single club in recent years, including the Bundesliga. Since Dortmund’s heyday under Jürgen Klopp, Bayern Munich has won the championship seven times in a row. But this season everything may be different.