Germany faced Sweden in the World Cup quarter final on Saturday evening. Coming into the game, the two-time champions had won every game without conceding despite their underlying numbers telling a different story.Sweden’s results were similarly impressive, failing to win just once, in a match against favourites USA.
To kick off their 2019 AFCON campaign, South Africa took on traditional powerhouses Cote d’Ivoire in Cairo. Stuart Baxter’s charges lined up in a 4-4-2 shape with Percy Tau playing as a secondary striker/playmaker next to Racing Strasbourg’s Lebo Mothiba, who occupied a more traditional target striker role.
Cote d’Ivoire on the other hand lined up relatively similarly in a 4-2-3-1 formation with Aston Villa’s Jonathan Kodjia playing as a front-man with strong tendencies to drift to either wing, particularly in potential counterattacking moments. His movements would be balanced by Fulham FC’s Jean Michael Seri, whilst veteran Max Gardel and Nicolas Pepe provided the threat from out wide.
After the last years’ Spanish domination in the European Cup Finals, English football finally took over for this season, with 4 teams representing in this season’s 2 Cup finals. If you followed the development of the english football lately, the shift was quite predicted and inevitable. Both teams have an important thing in common: conscious building in every aspect of the game throughout the last years, mixed with patience, allowing the 2 head coaches to improve their game model -5 years for Pochettino, 4 and half for Klopp.
In the last games of the season, Leverkusen used an interesting approach in their positional play, creating a 3-2-2-3 (midfield-box) staggering from the initial 4-2-3-1 shape, which basically changed the whole dynamics of their positional play.
31 games in, Jena was 8 points away from safety.
7 games later, they finish 1 point ahead of the relegation zone.
Coach Lukas Kwasniok introduced his own table for these 7 games and put it in the change room.
They won 6 of the games.
According to several statistics (expected goals against – xGA, shots allowed, passes allowed per defensive action – PPDA) Eibar is on the top of the rankings in the La Liga. Therefore I decided to take a look into their defensive organization, analyzing their main principles and movements in their main 4-4-2 system (in high-press/mid-block/deep-block, plus their 4-1-4-1 system), whilst also highlighting their main weaknesses.
Free State Stars took on Mamelodi Sundowns in a crucial final league game in the South African ABSA Premiership. The home side badly needed a result to avoid relegation to the National First Division, while a win would secure back to back league titles for the away side.
The basis and main principle of Liverpool’s 4-3-3 pressing system is to keep the ball at the central zones, therefore preventing the be moved by horizontal circulation, which usually -if done well- stretches the defensive structure both in the vertical and horizontal axis.
I detailed the new goal kick rules made by FIFA and potential strategies for it. I touch on the effect it will have on build-up as well as pressing!
You don’t start a new league every day. You better do it the right way. Would the happenings on the field live up to the expectations raised from outside of it?