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Tactics

Page 28 of 31

posted on 18/1/21

SOTON vs Newcastle

--------------------------------------Onana-----------------------
----------Upamecano----------Dias---------Fofana---------------------
---------------------------------------Ndidi------------------------------------
-----------------------Valverde-----------Odegaard------------------------
Adama---------------------------------------------------------------Pulisic
--------------------------Jovic------------Rashford----------------------------

Subs - Ramsdale, Dest, Ait-Nouri, Camavinga, Szoboszlai, Reinier, Bailey

CAPTAIN - UPAMECANO
CK'S - ØDEGAARD
FK'S - ØDEGAARD
PENALTIES - RASHFORD

I want us to hold a deep defensive line to start of with so the oppo don't get an early goal. Keep things simple in the beginning and only pressure the oppo when they get in our half. When we have the ball I want the team to play pass and move football. Don't stay static, try and get in behind the oppo defence as there is a lot of pace in our attacking players. As the game goes on, when we don't have the ball I want the team to defend from the front line and pressure the oppo and try and win possession back. Do this in fits and bursts as it is a tiring tactic.

Defence
GK to be confident in box. Don't take risks. Punch the ball away if the shot is too powerful. Command your area. The back 3 is well balanced and full of pace and power. Upamecano and Fofana will be playing as the outside CB's and will look to close down the oppo wingers. Dias in the middle will marshall the defence and look to snuff out any attacks from the oppo striker/s. All 3 of these CB's are very good at playing from the back and I want them to use that ability if they have some space to dribble into from defence.

Defence Mid
Ndidi
Ndidi will be the anchor in the middle. Stay back in front of the defence and protect the defence with your life. If the oppo play an AM then stick close to him and mark him if possible.Help out Upamecano and Fofana if they come up against a winger on the wings. When in possession pass the ball out to the wings or to the CM's. Also be on the lookout for the runs of Pulisic/Adama and thread dangerous through balls to them.

Centre Mids
Valverde + Ødegaard
Valverde will be playing as a b2b CM today. He will pick the ball up from deep and use his technique and vision to find the runs of our attacking players and thread deadly passes to them. Play quick passes forward and use your agility to outmanoeuvre the oppo players. Play 1 2 quick passes with your teammates and make penetrating runs from deep. When not in possession of the ball I want him to drop deep in central midfield and try and intercept any passes the oppo will make. Shoot if you have a chance to.
Ødegaard will have a similar role to Valverde except he will be given more attacking freedom. I want him to always make runs forward and when the oppo DM has the ball I want him to put pressure on him and close him down so he makes a mistake and we potentially create a goal scoring opportunity. Use your nimbleness and pace to get away from players marking you in the middle and if you find some space shoot. If you see Ndidi and Valverde struggling in the middle being overwhelmed by the oppo then I want you to focus on helping them more defensively in the centre of midfield.

Wingers
Adama + Pulisic
These 2 will be the focal point of my attack. I want to give them the freedom to express themselves in attack. Pulisic will be looking to cut in from the left and Adama will be looking to get to the byline and to whip some balls in to the area. I want you both to try and beat the oppo fullbacks with your pace and dribbling ability but don't try too hard as if you see them doubling up on you you can either pass back or into the centre of the pitch to one of our CM's. I want you both to be aware of your teammates close to you and play pass and move 1 2's with them to try and penetrate the oppo back line. Pulisic will be allowed cut in onto your stronger foot, don't be afraid to shoot from range as you have the ability to score from long range. If there is no space to do so then take the ball to the byline and whip in crosses for Jovic to get his head on. When we are defending corners I want both of them to stay near the halfway line so we can hit the oppo on the counter attack. If we get to the byline with either of the wingers I want them to either whip in a low ball across the face of the net for our strikers to poke home or pull the ball back to just outside the box for Valverde/Ødegaard to get a shot in.

Strikers
Marcus Rashford MBE
Rashford is a striker that has the deadly combination of pace and finishing. He will look to use his pace to get the better of the oppo defence. Be vary of crosses into the box as you are decent in the air, and if you are through on goal, use your expert finishing to score. Time your runs off the shoulders of the oppo CB's and use your pace to get away from them. Play quick pass and move combinations with your teammates to fund spaces in the oppo defence.

Luka Jovic
Jovic will look to use his strength and hold up play to bring others into the game. Try and get in front of the oppo defenders and use your aerial ability to win the header and either pass the header to a teammate or get a shot on goal. Try to make runs off the shoulders of the oppo defence aswell sometimes just to mix it up and give the oppo defenders something else to think about.

Subs if LOSING BY 65MINS
Put on Szoboszlai for Ødegaard and Bailey for Adama to bring some more attacking impetus on. Reinier on for Valverde aswell and a small position change in midfield. Play a high line and put a lot of pressure on the oppo to win the ball back.

-----------------------------------Onana-----------------------
----------Upamecano----------Dias---------Fofana---------------------
--------------------------------------Ndidi------------------------------------
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Bailey---------------Szobo---------Reinier---------------------Pulisic
--------------------------Jovic------------Rashford----------------------------

Subs if WINNING BY 80MINS
Take off Ødegaard and put on Camavinga in DM. Play defensive with everyone in our own half defending for their lives, waiting to hit the oppo on the counter attack. . Take the wingers off and put on Dest and Nouri as wingbacks who'll offer a lot more defensive stability.

-----------------------------------Onana-----------------------
----------Upamecano----------Dias---------Fofana---------------------
-------------------Camavinga--------------Ndidi------------------------------
Dest------------------------------Valverde--------------------Ait-Nouri
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
----------------------------Jovic--------Rashford-------------------------------

Subs if DRAWING BY 65MINS
Bailey on for Adama
Szoboszlai on for Ødegaard
Reinier on for Jovic
Fresh legs to bring on.

posted on 18/1/21

----------------------Neuer

---------Akanji----White----Hernandez

Castagne----------SMS-------------Guerreiro

-------Chiesa-----Foden-----Depay

---------------------Kane

Pope
Simakan
Partey
Brozovic
Ocampos
Saelamakers
Malen

Chelsea are a tough proposition for us today, with plenty of pace and directness in their attacking third, whilst having a strong, sturdy back line to build from. We want to play our game on the front foot always, but today we have to avoid naivety and set up in a way that will counter their threats. We will be operating a man for man system in regards to dealing with their attack, and I think the formation and personnel we have opted for should give us a good control over the midfield areas, even with their three man midfield. We know that Chelsea will opt for a high possession game-plan, and this is fine by us, as long as we restrict their control of the ball to their third. For that, we need to see a high intensity press in the middle of the pitch, hence seeing Depay and Chiesa sit further inside, compressing the pitch and keeping it tight. Chelsea are dangerous in the wide areas, so keeping the ball in those central positions may limit their threats here also. The three at the back system, employed with two wing-backs and a holding midfielder, should make it difficult for their lone striker to find space, whilst the wing-backs will specifically look at minimalising the opposition wide attackers.

In terms of defensive shape, the formation resembles more a five at the back, with Castagne and Guerreiro sitting deeper to counter the threat of Mbappe and Neymar. We don’t want to see large empty space left in behind against these players, so will opt for a lower defensive line than usual. Ben White will be given the role of man-marking the opposition striker, whilst Hernandez and Akanji will cover the spaces in behind, and push out and support their respective FB if it seems that they are being overloaded. With these players we should be controlling the ball in the air, so must focus on mitigating the threat coming from the ground areas. SMS will help with this, by sitting on their advanced midfielder, attempting to create a disconnect between their holding midfielders and their more advanced outlets. Dealing with their wide men is more tricky. Both our FBs have the movement to keep up with these players, and, supported by their CB (and winger if necessary) we should look to keep them out wide. These players are at their most dangerous when driving on goal, and are limited when kept in crossing positions, especially with our aerial advantage in the penalty area. On top of this, by having them committ more men forward, the game should open up for us to play on the break, where we have plenty of fast players to contribute.

Offensively, we need to exploit the areas in behind their defence. Chelsea have a strong defensive pairing, so a reliance on Harry Kane may be an issue, however in this system he will demonstrate his superb hold up play, with Foden, Chiesa and Depay all playing off him. I have opted for Chiesa and Depay to play further inside, allowing for more targetted runs at the opposition central areas. I think bombarding them here not only serves to narrow the pitch, but it also makes it harder for the defenders to mark Kane out of the game, as we provide them other things to occupy their attention. This attack strategy will vary during the course of the game, with us also capable of stretching their defence to create more space. By varying such approaches, I think we make it harder for them to specifically deal with our attack by having specific players marking our key attackers. Foden will operate mainly in the pocket, but is capable of pushing into wider areas, both allowing us to outnumber specific players, but also pull their central defenders/midfielders away from their natural shape. This should create more space to be exploited centrally. Depay and Chiesa are also capable of swapping flanks, which I expect to see them do. This creates further issues for any system intended at specific man marking. Crosses delivered should be done low, to counter the aerial dominance of Virgil Van Dijk.

When the ball is lost in these advanced areas, we must look to compact the press. The players will not engage straight away, and instead drop off slightly. If they hold the ball in their back line then they are not threatening our goal. Instead the press will be engaged whenever the ball steps into the middle third, with Kane and Foden stepping onto their midfield pivot, either forcing them backwards, or winning the ball back for our attack. Chiesa and Depay will target the FBs, should they look to advance with the ball. In this scenario, the other of the two will come inside, and aid in the press of their midfield, helping us to come out on top in the all important midfield battle.

Substitutions

Ocampos for Chiesa 65 mins

Ocampos gives us fresh legs, more engaged in the pressing side of the game. This change happens whatever the score.

If winning

Simakan on for Foden 70 mins

Ben White pushes forward into a midfield pivot with SMS, whilst Simakan moves into the RCB, and Akanji operates as the middle of the back three.

Saelamakers on for Castagne 75 mins

Fresh legs in one of the wide areas they are likely to bombard.

If losing/drawing

Malen on for Guerreiro 75 mins

Hernandez operates as the LB in a back four, with Malen pushing up to operate as a support striker to Harry Kane.


posted on 22/1/21

-------------------------- De Gea ---------------------------
--------- Romero ------ Skriniar ------ P.Torres ---------
Danilo --------- Mendes ------- Prowse --------- Sandro
-------------------------- Grealish --------------------------
------------------ A.Silva -------- R.Leao ------------------

Lafont, Gosens, Merino, Maddison, Ziyech, Martial, Werner


When we don't have the ball, we will press high up the pitch, conceding very little space, Grealish will look to steal the ball within the attacking third and hopefully, quickly get it to those ahead of him. We do not give them any time on the ball and our front 2 prevent their defence hanging on to it too long or trying to play form the back as we pressurise them all the time.

If they do get to our half then we have a strong back 3 and double pivot ahead to prevent play through the middle, meaning they will need to push wide, whichever side they attack from tho I want Grealish to push to that side again to close them down and support the wingbacks, lots of pace in the front three to get at players.

When we have the ball it starts from the back moving the ball around between defence and centre midfield until the moment arrives when a pass can be made through to the front line, , there is no rush, if they come pressing we simply move it to the wide areas for them to bomb down the line and look to either cut it back or get a pass into the front three.

De Gea is our sweeper keeper, I want him involved with the defence playing out, if he has the ball I want him to find players especially the wingbacks when we are ready to attack

C.Romero & Torres, Cover the wingbacks and take the ball out of defence, use there positional sense well as they may be out paced., must do this with confidence, if they lose the ball then all numbers back to cover, if they are being pressurised then a simple pass even back to the keeper and start again, stay wide (depending on what side) to cover wingbacks if they are forward.

Skriniar - He will press the opposition striker, when we lose the ball he needs to be on top of the CF very quickly, he must intercept everything, but he has the experience to do this, don't take any risks as the CF will also be on him so move it quickly when he gets it.

Danilo and Sandro, must work very hard, they have great work rate but this must done for the whole game, get down the line, get the crosses in, two great forwards to aim for, don't worry so much about whats behind you as their is plenty cover, I don't mean forget your defence duties, just play with a bit of freedom, crosses, one-twos, cut backs and all with pace to hurt them.

Although Thiago Mendes primary role in front of the defence is to win possession and then start an attacking phase. Within this he needs to cover spaces in between the midfield and defence where the opposition’s number 10 will likely to be operating whilst also being aware when the full-backs had pushed forward. Take care of the No 10/SS is also a main focus, he isn't an out an out DM but he has a lot of grit and determination to his game so stick to him like glue and stop him becoming a threat, very good in the air so can attack long/high balls before they get to our defenders. Once he is in possession of the ball nice simple balls to those around him.

Ward-Prowse has responsibility throughout the pitch. He is expected to score goals and create chances for the front 3, whilst also helping in the defensive third. One requirement of this role are high fitness levels due to the amount of running he is expected to do and he does a lot. The box-to-box midfielder is more likely to be found on the side of the pitch where the full-back that is less efficient in the attacking third plays to provide balance on both flanks, he also has a mean shot from distance and isn't afraid to have a pop.

Grealish is in a free role I want him to dictate proceedings in the final third, either playing the through ball to the front two or use the wingers, pass in between the lines and give them something to run onto as the drive passed the defender, making late runs into the box and look for any loose ball to have a pop at goal, he, Silva & Leao aregreat finishers so look to make late runs into the area and latching onto crosses from wide areas, defending wise, I want him to harass who ever has the ball in that area, get it and move it forward as quickly as possible, also can draw players into him, therefore winning a lot of free kicks

Leao I want to be making all the runs behind the defence, drift wide and pull defenders away, quick and skillfull, look to move out to create an outlet for the wingbacks to use or indeed link with Grealish to get Silva away on goal, he and Leao both fantastic in the air, so while they aim for Leao, Silva will be making the late runs into the danger area and with a head start look to get up early and attack the crosses coming in.

Silva, must be able to hold up play for others to support, also run the channels, will sit on the last foot so he can spring them and have a shoot or sight mentality, can move central, we must always make sure he is well supported, if he cant get the shot away he will be looking to bring others into the game by dropping slightly back to get numbers for the attack he is a very tireless worker, who also helps defend from the from by harassing there back line/DM.

Captain Skriniar
Pens - A.Silva
Free Kicks - Ward-Prowse/Grealish
Corners - Grealish

Losing
70 Mins - Sandro, Danilo, Leao off, Ziyech, Martial, Werner on

-------------------------- De Gea ---------------------------
--------- Romero ------ Skriniar ------ P.Torres ---------
------------------ Mendes ------- Prowse ------------------
Ziyech ----------------- Grealish ----------------- Martial
------------------ A.Silva -------- Werner ------------------

Winning -
75 - Merino for Leao into midfield
80 Mins - Maddison for Grealish
83 Mins - Werner for Silva

Drawing -
65 Mins - Werner for Leao, Gosens for Sandro, Martial for Silva

Pens -
A.Silva
Werner
Grealish/Maddison
Gosens/Sandro
Prowse
Ziyech/Danilo
Martial

posted on 22/1/21

Comment deleted by Article Creator

posted on 22/1/21

---------------------------- Meslier ---------------------------
Mazraoui ------ S.de Vrij ------ van Dijk ------ JordiAlba
---------------- F. de Jong ------ B.Kamara ----------------
F.Torres ----------------- Neymar ---------------- A.Gouiri
---------------------------- Haaland ---------------------------

M.Bakker, N.Mendes, Bentancur, Havertz, Greenwood, Bellingham, Adeyemi

Our game is still based solely on possession football, playing from the back and quick on the break and really pressurise the opposition with an in your face performance from the front we do not allow them to play from the back as our front three play quite a high line, we want to hit them quickly so we need to press them quickly to get the ball, when we defend, the back 4 must stay solid with Kamara and de Jong ahead of them just in front harassing the man with the ball before they get to our back 4 and our midfield will be in and around the half way line, Haaland slightly higher up always on top of the CBs stopping them passing between each other, defend from the front, stop them coming forward from the back, however, if they do push forward onto us and we get the ball they will be on the back foot and will really struggle with our front 4 with Fullbacks who are always ready to pounce and hit them with pace.

van Dijk picks up the CF not much gets passed him, de Vrij spare picks up the AM if he gets away from our midfield, keep the forward(s) away from the danger area, get onto them quickly, take the ball away from them and play it out of defence, look to get it out wide quickly, The Dutch duo are comfortable on the ball so can bring it out when in no danger and look for the pass longer to the forwards to hit them with pace, both must attack high balls to get the ball away from the opposition big men. Fullbacks keep the wingers quiet, stop their attacks Keep them away from shooting areas and stop them becoming dangerous in any position by standing tall against them and keeping them on there 'bad' foot. When they attack, only one at a time, they drive down the line in support of the wingers drive on the outside making an extra man. If either get caught up field I want Kamara OR de Jong to drift to the side and this allows the fullbacks to make their way to midfield to cover. Neymar also covers by dropping back to fill in the midfield even just to follow any defender that moves up field, van Dijk and de Vrij to go up for corners, with the fullbacks and Kamara sitting back.

Kamara is our deepest midfielder sitting just in front of the CB's he will shadow there AM and not allow him to control the game, must be aware of all that is around him, be in the right place at the right time and look to cover for defensive players moving forward, he has to impose himself early on the AM to make him wary of holding onto the ball too long, will at times drop between the 2 Cbs to get the ball, once on the ball look around, head up and pick the pass that will get us moving forward quickly always making himself for a return ball from a deeper angle as he spreads it from side to side then eventually forward he is always looking for the ball to start again if need be, can be out to the fullbacks or indeed a longer ball to the front three to take the opposition out of it as they are still high up the pitch. de Jong will help stop the run of play quicker to make our defenders jobs a lot easier, protect our defence as best as possible, in possession get it to the front 3/4 but also look for fullbacks as they move into space, keep it simple, he has a very good range of pass. Either pass and move(triangles) into space or look for a piercing through ball to our front three to drive onto.Can move forward to assist and look for balls coming out so he can either, shoot or whip straight back in. Neymar central for a change is essential to our style of play, he is the link between defence and attack, as we break quickly he will look to set up our front three and at times be in an advanced No.10/CF role and look for the de Jong/Kamara/CB pass. He will drop back at times to pick it up and will look to his dribbling capabilities to get him around players, and into the danger area to unleash a powerful drive, sometimes taking a foul as he is a tricky player to mark. When in possession always head up looking for the movement of our front three to play them in, he will follow his pass and make up the numbers up front.After the pass he can push wide or central to make that extra man When he doesn't drop deep i.e when the defenders go long, he will look to form a front four as they move around and look to tear the defence apart and create space for the front 3. All of our midfield three must press the opposition and get to grips with this game very early on.

Our wingers are extremely quick, when we don't have the ball they drop back a bit to make up the numbers as they attack, push into the faces of the opposition to force them into mistakes and hopefully in the end they lose the ball, when they do lose the ball we charge at them and we do it quickly, either a long ball over defenders our defenders are superb long ball passers, go through the cms or out to one of our attacking fullbacks.however, the movement up front between Ferran and Gouiri will cause them problems drifting in an out, thus allowing Neymar to pick his moment to move into space either as a 10 or out wide. If he does push wide this will allow Ferran/Gouiri to go in central as we will have an attacking fullback up and supporting. Quick passing in triangles that will get us in and beyond their defenders and eventually to Haaland who can beat any defender with power and pace and the other wingers who will look to get into space to get a shot off, if there defence is on top then we can always go direct at times and fire early crosses especially from deep from the fullbacks into Haaland who will sit on the last foot so he can spring them and have a shoot or sight mentality, can move central, we must always make sure he is well supported, especially Neymar who at times will be right on his shoulder or alongside, if he cant get the shot away he will be looking to bring others into the game by dropping slightly back to get numbers for the attack he is a very tireless worker, who also helps defend from the from by harassing there back line/DM.

Captain - van Dijk
Penalties - Neymar
Free Kicks - Neymar
Corners - Wingers

Losing
65 Mins - Gouiri, Alba, Ferran off, Bellingham, Mendes, Greenwood on

---------- S.de Vrij --- van Dijk --- Kamara ------------
Mazraoui --- F. de Jong --- Bellingham --- N.Mendes
---------- Mason.G --- Haaland --- Neymar ------------

Winning -
75 Mins - Bentancur for Gouiri, into midfield, Kamara to play in between the lines, Neymar LW 4141
83 Mins - Mendes for Neymar

Drawing
70 Mins - Alba, Ferran, Gouiri off, Mendes, Adeyemi, Greenwood on - 442 Adeyemi RW, Neymar LW, Greenwood up top, Mednes to LB to give that extra drive down the left with Neymar

Pens
Haaland
Neymar
Mendes
Greenwood
de Jong
Bellingham/Bentancur
Mazraoui
Adeyemi

posted on 24/1/21

Attacking direct 3-4-3

At home, we go with a side that is firstly solid and strong defensively, and fit to play an explosive and direct attacking football. With an injury to their good fb we look to target them down the wings. A front 3 means we are able to get players close to Lukaku and also get at the Soton defence down the wings, two attacking wing backs in support on both sides giving an attacking overload down the flanks.

We will direct our attacks down the wings. Both wing backs will have freedom to attack, bombing down the wings and crossing for Lukaku. We will get the wing backs attacking their full backs (or where the full backs would be) at pace, linking up with with the wide forward and doubling up on this space. Overload them down the wings to create space for Lukaku and Pogba in support, and the wide forward on the opposite side.

The setup gives freedom to our attacking trio and the wingbacks going forward. Witsel is our defensive midfielder in cm, staying reserved and spreading the play, directing our attacks down the wings.

We defend in a narrow formation, limiting the space for Soton to play in. The wingback on the opposite side of play will drop back into defence forming a back four. The wb on the side of play helps the cb on the side of play (cb on side of play acts as fb) defend against the attacking winger and fb.

The defence and midfield press as a unit, ensuring there is no space between the lines for Spurs attacking mids. When defending, Witsel plays zonally in front of the cbs and will pick up the most attacking cm in the area. Pogba will play ball side of Witsel and always press the passing lanes. Pogba will pick up the 2nd most attacking cm if they break forward.

When we win the ball we attack at pace. Use the wing backs bombing forward linking with the wide forwards to create for Lukaku.

The formation also means a free role for Son. Make him impossible to man mark without leavings holes and space for our other attackers to exploit.

—————————— Gulacsi
——— Godfrey — Koulibaly — Lenglet
Hakimi —— A.Witsel —— Pogba —— Digne
—— Dembele ————————— Son H-M. ——
——————————- Lukaku

Subs. Souza, Meunier, Gaya, Ndombele, Nkunku, Diaby, Benzema

Defence

When we lose the ball high up the park we always look to win it back straight away, don’t give Soton a chance to counter. The closest 2/3 players press. Allowing others to get back into position behind the ball.

In a narrow, rigid formation, we will look to press the space, not allowing them options. Keep them from advancing to positions where they can’t hurt us, by trying to win the ball back very quickly. Then break quickly in these high positions when we do win the ball.

When Soton get past the initial press higher up the park, we drop deeper into a narrower tighter formation narrowing to the side of play, ensuring there are no gaps in the formation set out above. Our defence have fantastic pace up against their forwards, bide their time, not diving in.

Attack

We attack quickly when we win the ball aiming our attacks down the wings. If the counter is not on we look to get the wing backs and wide forwards doubling up on their fbs.

The back 3 are all comfortable on the ball and look to play out, helping us move the ball quickly having a strong base.

Lukaku up top plays his natural game, offering a forward we can go longer too, for Son and Dembele to play off, linking the play and most importantly being in the box to be the difference maker and get the goals.

Subs.
If winning after 68 mins bring on Gaya for Digne. Fresh legs and pace in an important position.
If winning after 72 bring on Ndombele for Dembele. Fresh legs in midfield. 3-5-2. More energy in Cm.
If winning after 75 mins bring on Benzema for Lukaku. Fresh pace and quality up top.

If drawing after 70 mins bring on Benzema for Dembele. 3-4-3 Lukaku plays as almost a right forward. Give Son more freedom, as the cbs two out and out forwards to deal with
If drawing after 75 mins bring on Nkunku for Digne. Hakimi rb, Lenglet lb. Nkunku rw, Son lw.

If losing after 60 mins bring on Nkunku and Ndombele for Digne and Witsel. Nkunku lm. Ndombele cm.
If losing after 70 mins bring on Benzema for Dembele. Lukaku right forward.

posted on 25/1/21

NEWCASTLE 4-3-3

___________Chesney
Cash____Zouma___Hermoso___Shaw
____________Fabinho
________Llorente___Alberto
Kulu______Ings_______Oyarzabal

SUBS: Trent, Olmo, Goretzka, Kroos, Salah, Eze, Vardy

Captain: Ings
Penalties: Ings
Corners: Alberto
Freekicks: Alberto


The formation deployed today is so that we regain as much possession as possible higher up the pitch. We expect to have a fair portion of the ball so patience is key. Today we have pace all across the pitch. We also expect the four behind the striker to drift around a bit, getting into positions where their natural play can cause damage. The striker up front presses when we don’t have the ball and the entire team will support him cut passing lanes to help win the ball higher up. The quality of our players will allow us to break through the oppositions press. When we have the ball we will want to attract the press and use the spaces that they open up to attack.

Full backs will get forward when the opportunity arises. Our full backs are good at feeding our forward line with their ability on the ball and we aim to utilize that with their ability to get up the pitch and tactical arareness. Both fullbacks are our playmakers. We also need our full backs to widen the pitch for us. Our centre halves are good on the ball, and a long punt every now and then to utilize our pace out wide is encouraged. Both fullbacks will just keep hitting early crosses.

The DM will tactically astute in his positioning acting as a base and be in charge of driving our midfield forward. Our midfield will be flexible, if one of their midfielders steps forward, one of ours will move into the space they vacated. The DM will be the link between our defence, midfield, and forwards and because of the way he plays, he will draw the opponents forward towards him to attack the ball, pulling their team’s lines apart. This will create more spaces between the lines for our midfield and forward lines to move into. The right centre mid will be the more attacking one in his box to box role, closing down space and cutting passing lanes with his incredible energy and also driving the team forward. Playing alongside the DM will give him less areas of the pitch to cover, and shorter distance needed to win the ball back to start the next attack. Both centre mids will float between the lines during the attacking phase just behind our forwards.

Our wide forwards are space investigators and main goal threat. Drift into the crentre often to get into goal scoring positions.

If short passing options aren’t available the passing range and accuracy of our keeper will safely transfer the ball forwards via our full backs. The keeper can also dink the ball into space for the striker or wide forward to control taking out 6 or 7 opposition players in the process.

The striker’s main role will be to create space for the wide forwards. He will drop deep into a ten to drag defenders out and create space for our wide forwards to run into. This will tie into our quick short passing which is aimed at dragging their players out of position and create space between their lines. Our team will always recycle the ball to keep possession and to keep the ball moving. Salah (or whoever) will move into the striker position when the striker drops.

When we don’t have the ball we will expect our four behind the striker to drop into a 4-5-1 in support of our midfield. We will also create triangles to trap the opposition players that have the ball, cutting the passing lanes and others putting pressure on players that might receive the ball. We stop the oppositions rhythm and force them into mistakes with our pressure. To stop their counter attacks after we lose the ball, three players will swarm the ball carrier before he can get his head up to play. If they beat the immediate press when the team’s main goal is to push their play wide where they can do the least damage. Our midfielders are an integral part to our play, when we win the ball back we will create space and time for them with our team shape. There will be times when we are under the cosh and will have the option of deploying a bowl shaped 5 at the back, with the right centre mid dropping in to make closing down the opponents very effective.

Subs

70 mins: Goretzka comes on for Alberto, our legs will start to tire, so will theirs, Goretzka will add box to box ability and energy late in the game.

75 mins: Eze comes on for Oyar, a different style of forward play for the opposition to think about.

If winning 80 mins: Kroos comes on for Llorente to close out the game.

If losing/drawing 80 mins: Vardy comes on for Llorente and play 2 up front.

comment by JET (U1212)

posted on 25/1/21

ARSENAL vs. Newcastle

------------------ B. Leno
Pereira --- Kounde -- Gabriel --- Tierney
----------------- N. Kante
----------- Coutinho --- Koke
B. Saka ---------------------------- H. Barnes
----------------- S. Gnabry


Subs: Woodman, Bellerin, Ramsey, Berge, Buendia, Pepe, Edouard

Captain: Kieran Tierney
Corners: Saka/H. Barnes
PK: Gnabry
FK: Gnabry/Coutinho


GET BACK ON TRACK! The message is clear.

We have stacked the team with players in incredible form. Leno, Tierney and Gabriel have been highlights to help Arsenal to one of the best defensive records in the league this season, alongside them the brilliant Kounde top rated Sevilla player this season. Koke in midfield leading Atletico to the La Liga summit. Coutinho has been back in form this season. Barnes and Saka are two of the most inform young wingers around. Add in the proven seasoned quality of Pereira, Kante and Gnabry and we feel this XI has everything to get something from this one. We have picked a powerful, pressing team and our front three is vital to the success. Saka and Barnes are phenomonal young hungry players that excel in transition, we want them to show these qualities in this game, both are in fantastic form in real life. Through the middle the excellent Gnabry, who has been playing here for Bayern at times and also for his country. He will be the Vardy like pressing forward, and we’ve seen how well Barnes works with a forward of that ilk. We know Newcastle have lots of possession players and our team is set perfectly to counter this. The blueprint for this game is how Newcastle beat Man City earlier this season in real life.

Another big game to start the new year and a chance to show we are up there with the best in the league. We are in great league form, so a great chance to take the points. With a solid 433 we want to distrupt the opposition today, selecting players who are great in transition and will enable us to break quickly and effectively into dangerous areas, with a front three that can cause serious damage.

In goal we have Leno, one of the most in form keepers in the world right now and he’s shown his excellent ability against the best teams in England and he can do it again today and make the difference. Arsenal have conceded the least goals in the league recently, In front of him, an excellent duo of Gabriel and Kounde give us a blend of the perfect defenders. They are strong, fast and very good on the ball and amongst the best in the world in terms of 2020 form. Going forward Pereira and Tierney can offer a lot, stretching the pitch and with their attacking players with low defensive work rate, our full backs can have a lot of joy going forward. With Gabriel alongside, the highly rated Tierney can be given the confidence to play his exciting game with his debut on the left.

Pereira and Tierney have excellent overlapping qualities in attack and great delivery, driven crosses for Gnabry. They both also have recovery pace to get back and defend. N. Kante and Coutinho should also drop into LDM and RDM to counter the wide threats cutting in, with Koke then dropping in and looking to receive the ball and spring it to one of the front three who have phenomenal pace – Koke is the shuttler, transition man. Saka likes to come inside, so Pereira is the perfect overlap for him, with Kante then covering the RDM position to prevent a breakaway. The same can happen on the left when Barnes drives inside and Tierney stretching the pitch with the overlap and Kante/Koke can cover.

Kante should dominate and set the pace. Next to him Coutinho will dominate and carry the ball between the lines, moving it up the pitch. Koke also selected today for his high workrate, enthusiasm and ability in the transition to take us from defence to attack with excellent dribbling and playmaking abilities. Coutinho and Koke will be the shuttlers between midfield and attack. Koke will slip into LDM when Tierney attacks to combine with H. Barnes. In this midfield three we have players that will stop Newcastle from playing and also ensure we transition quickly and also has the technical ability to dictate possession high up the pitch and break down the opposition.

Both H. Barnes and Saka have the ability to come inside or go direct wide depending on what opportunity appears best. They will back themselves to win 1v1 dribbling battles against Newcastle’s full backs, and will look for Gnabry for whom is always in the right place, linking up with low balls into the box or taking advantage of the space he creates. Saka/H. Barnes will cut in and contribute more centrally and make late runs into the box – we’ve seen them both score plenty when doing this. The excellent Pereira and Tierney will be available for the overlap to leave Newcastle defenders guessing when we attack from wide areas. Gnabry will always be lurking in the box getting on the end of low driven balls from the wingers and full backs. Stretching the Newcastle defence will only create more room centrally for Koke and Coutinho to influence – both will act as the base for the attacks.

In Gnabry, Saka and H. Barnes we feel we have the perfect blend of youth, pace, experience, finishing and workrrate. This should be enough to cause damage to any defence. This front three should overpower them and with the structured hard working rest of the team behind them, we have an XI that can deliver all three points today.

Sub instructions:
After 60 mins – Pepe for Saka
After 70 if winning/drawing– Berge for Coutinho
After 70 if losing– Buendia for Coutinho (4231)
After 75 – Edouard for Barnes (Gnabry to LW)

posted on 25/1/21

-------------------------Neuer

--------Mukiele------Simakan------Hernandez

Castagne-------------Phillips------------Guerreiro

---------Chiesa--------Foden--------Depay

--------------------------Kane

Pope
Struijk
Brozovic
Adams
Menino
Ocampos
Immobile

I have opted for the 3-3-3-1 formation today, due to the opposition choosing to play two strikers in the advanced positions. This change means that we should be looking to main a +1 advantage in the defensive areas over their attacking players. With Mukiele and Hernandez, also, we have players that possess plenty of pace, to counter any high energy movement that the other team opts to utilise. I expect to see quick transitions, moving the balls into the wide areas and swiftly getting it into attacking areas, with minimal dawdling around the back. Our defenders are all comfortable on the ball, but quick movement should help us bypass whatever high press they operate, and both our WBs are players who excell when it comes to driving runs towards the opposition back line. We want to hit them on the attack with free-flowing, quick movement football. Off the ball we will operate our standard high press style, not allowing them space and time to move on the ball, with players looking to get tight and either keep them penned back or force them into cedeing possession to us. An alternative formation for us today is 3-3-2-2, with Depay pushing up to join Kane as a second striker, and Foden pushing slightly wider, if it is looking like Kane is struggling to cope with the attention of their back three as a lone player. With Chiesa and Depay playing slightly inside, I don’t think this change of shape will see us lose much traction in the central areas.

Defensively, I want to see us adopt a man-for-man system. Most importantly, I want to see Phillips sat on their AM, preventing them from dictating the play and running at our defence. For this, I am happy to sacrifice any sort of offensive commitment from Phillips, and instead just expect him to track this single player, helping to nullify one of Wolves’ most creative outlets. If this sees him pulled into wider areas then so be it, and Simakan will step forward and cover the central positions. Hernandez and Mukiele will be attached to the two opposition strikers, not giving them a moments space. As said before, I think these two will have the pace and movement to cope with anything thrown at them. Simakan will sit in the central areas, covering the space in behind, and operating primarily as a sweeper, mopping up anything that gets past the other two. When on the ball, I want Simakan to keep it simple, looking either for the out ball to the WBs or to Phillips, sat just in front of the defence. Mukiele and Hernandez have a bit more license to push out with the ball, and should demonstrate their attacking output by driving towards the half way line. If this is done, then Phillips should cover the vacated space as part of the back three. With Castagne and Guerreiro, I don’t want to restrict their attacking output by assigning them too much defensive workload. I expect them to be diligent in their duties, and be quick to get back, but also wish to see runs on the outside channels, to get in good positions. Off the ball, they will sit on the opposition wingers, holding them in the wide positions, and keeping them on their weaker foot, whilst breaking at pace whenever the ball is won back, and providing an outlet for the defence.

In the attacking areas, we have opted for probably our strongest options. Foden sits in the central area, but in truth he has a free role, allowed to drift into wider positions, or even play as a second striker alongside Kane, making it hard for the opposition to specifically man mark him. Getting him into dangerous areas to pick up second balls could be key, as he is a natural finisher, and provides plenty of goal threat. Depay and Chiesa sit slightly inserted into the midfield, allowing for plenty of space on the flanks for the overlapping runs from the FBs. This also helps us to congest the central areas, which I am fine with. We don’t want them playing out of the back so comfortably, should possession be lost. Naturally, Kane is the focal point of the attack. He can vary the way he attacks, either serving as an out and out striker, or dropping off slightly to allow other players to push past him and then he turns provider. I think we have the players to adopt both styles during the course of the game, and this change will again make it hard for the opposition to gang up and man mark him. With Chiesa/Catsagne and Depay/Guerreiro driving at them, we should have enough wide options to trouble their defense and try and get in behind them. When we lose possession, we must quickly engage our high press. Kane and Foden will look to press in the central areas at first, targetting the CBs as a duo, with alternating a press/drop-off system, whilst Depay and Chiesa will drop slightly deeper. They will target the opposition FBs, looking to harass them in the opposition defensive third. When the ball enters the middle third, I want to see Chiesa, Depay and Foden drop off into the midfield, congesting this area, and making it difficult for the opposition to play through, looking to win back the ball and break quickly.

Substitutions

If winning

Brozovic on for Foden 65 mins

A more workmanlike player, dropping slightly deeper to support defensively.

Adams and Ocampos on for Castagne and Chiesa 70 mins

Reshape of right side. Mukiele RB, Adams CB. Fresh legs RW.

If losing/drawing

Ocampos on for Chiesa 65 mins

Fresh legs. New option.

Immobile on for Mukiele 70 mins

Phillips into CB, Immobile up top with Kane

posted on 25/1/21

------------------- Courtois --------------------
Justin --- M.De Ligt --- Ramos --- F.Mendy
----------- Casemiro --- McKennie ----------
J.Sancho ------- E.Hazard ---------- L.Sane
---------------- A.Griezmann -----------------

Subs:
Mendy, E.Garcia, Aouar, Fabian, J.David, Belotti, Morata

Captain: Ramos
Free Kicks: Hazard
Penalties: Griezmann
Corners: Wingers

Tactics:

We look to keep the good times rolling as we aim to continue our fine run of form in the cup. We make 6 changes from our last match as we freshens things up and aim for our third big win on the bounce.

As always, moving the ball at speed will be the focus of our play as we go with an attacking 4-2-3-1 formation today as we aim to for the win.

Our DM & CM pivot will marshall the middle of the park allowing Hazard free reign in the #10 role. He will be flanked by Sancho and Sane who both offer blistering pace down the flanks in support of Griezmann in the middle, offering a perfect blend of pace, trickery and unpredictability that will cause plenty of problems for their defence.

When they’re in possession we sit deep in a tight 4-5-1 formation. By taking away the space in behind we feel that we are taking away a large part of their gameplan as we force them to try and play through a brick wall in front of them. As they push men forward feel that we then have the perfect players to hit them at pace on the counter.

Defence:

We go with a strong defensive unit at the back, packed with pace and quality as we look to nullify the threat posed by the oppositions attack. If the opposition play one up top then Ramos will mark. Strong, aggressive and a great reader of the game we feel he has all the tools to deal with any opponent. De Ligt will act as cover, sweeping up and offering cover in behind to eliminate any balls over the top. The Dutchman sweeping up from the back and immediately looking to get us on the counter with his fantastic vision and passing.

James Justin has been one of the best FB's in the Prem this season and rightfully deserves his place in the side whilst Ferland Mendy has been equally impressive on the other flank. Our fullbacks will stick tight to the wide men, safe in the knowledge that they have supporting cover in behind with De Ligt also drifting across to offer additional support. When in possession they have license to push forward with both having great quality in the final third. We look to draw the opposition onto us by sitting deep when they are in possession, limiting the space in behind and drawing them further up the field creating space for us to hit them on the counter.

Midfield:

Casemiro will be our main holding player in the middle. An all action player we rely on his fantastic tenacity and high level work rate to break up the opposition play, winning back possession and setting us up on the counter as we look to get the ball into our creative players as quickly as possible. He’ll pick up their most advanced AM and cut out their supply line. He’s also a fantastic passer which will be key in winning the midfield battle and ball retention.

Alongside him we have McKennie, an absolute stand out in Serie A this season this lad is a dynamo. Pressing, tackling, passing, scoring this lad does it all. He brings incredible work rate and alongside Casemiro we have a high energy midfield pairing capable of covering every blade of grass. They will protect the defence and get in the face of the opposition. We look to set the tempo and these two will be the catalyst, dispossess the opposition, get the ball to our playmakers and wreak havoc at the other end.

Forwards:

In attack we go with four heavy hitters as we aim or goals. Hazard plays centrally, looking to drift between the lines making himself extremely difficult to be picked up and causing a mismatch in this area of the field. We look to get him on the ball and go at the opposition, a player with fantastic link up play and an for goal he also has license to push up top alongside Griezmann as we go for goals.

Sane and Sancho offer quality from the flanks. Both will be direct, going at the opposition with speed. In one on one situations they can be deadly and with the opposition likely to be concerned with Hazard through the middle there is every chance these two can find space to expose on the flanks. With a powerhouse frontline we go for goals, both wingers will look to cause problems, cutting inside and going direct for goal one moment and driving down the line, bamboozling the opposition before whipping the ball into the box the next.

Griezmann plays through the middle and will have a talented supply line around him. The brief is simple, get into the box and put the ball in the back of the net. With the number of quality attackers we have around him Griezmann could well find himself in one on one match ups in which he thrives. He has license to drop deep pulling their CB's with him and creating space for our wingers to attack in behind. As always he'll be on his toes ready to pounce on anything that chances that fall his way with the Frenchman one of the best finishers in the business.

If winning:
80 mins: Hazard & McKennie off, Aouar & E.Garcia on. Shut up shop time as we move to 5-4-1 to see out the win.

If drawing/losing:
75 mins: Mendy & McKennie off, Aouar & Belotti on. We pile on the pressure as we switch to a back three. Aouar adds creativity in the middle whilst the poacher Belotti joins Griezmann up top. Goals.

posted on 25/1/21

SOTON vs Man City

--------------------------------------Onana-----------------------
----------Upamecano----------Dias---------Fofana---------------------
---------------------------------------Ndidi------------------------------------
-----------------------Valverde-----------Lo Celso------------------------
Bailey------------------------------------------------------------Richarlison
---------------------------Isak------------Rashford----------------------------

Subs - Ramsdale, Demiral, Ait-Nouri, Camavinga, Szoboszlai, Wirtz, En-Nesyri

CAPTAIN - UPAMECANO
CK'S - LO CELSO
FK'S - LO CELSO
PENALTIES - RASHFORD

I want us to hold a deep defensive line to start of with so the oppo don't get an early goal. Keep things simple in the beginning and only pressure the oppo when they get in our half. When we have the ball I want the team to play pass and move football. Don't stay static, try and get in behind the oppo defence as there is a lot of pace in our attacking players. As the game goes on, when we don't have the ball I want the team to defend from the front line and pressure the oppo and try and win possession back. Do this in fits and bursts as it is a tiring tactic.

Defence
GK to be confident in box. Don't take risks. Punch the ball away if the shot is too powerful. Command your area. The back 3 is well balanced and full of pace and power. Upamecano and Fofana will be playing as the outside CB's and will look to close down the oppo wingers. Dias in the middle will marshall the defence and look to snuff out any attacks from the oppo striker/s. All 3 of these CB's are very good at playing from the back and I want them to use that ability if they have some space to dribble into from defence.

Defence Mid
Ndidi
Ndidi will be the anchor in the middle. Stay back in front of the defence and protect the defence with your life. If the oppo play an AM then stick close to him and mark him if possible.Help out Upamecano and Fofana if they come up against a winger on the wings. When in possession pass the ball out to the wings or to the CM's. Also be on the lookout for the runs of Bailey/Richarlison and thread dangerous through balls to them.

Centre Mids
Valverde + Lo Celso
Valverde will be playing as a b2b CM today. He will pick the ball up from deep and use his technique and vision to find the runs of our attacking players and thread deadly passes to them. Play quick passes forward and use your agility to outmanoeuvre the oppo players. Play 1 2 quick passes with your teammates and make penetrating runs from deep. When not in possession of the ball I want him to drop deep in central midfield and try and intercept any passes the oppo will make. Shoot if you have a chance to.
Lo Celso will have a similar role to Valverde except he will be given more attacking freedom. I want him to always make runs forward and when the oppo DM has the ball I want him to put pressure on him and close him down so he makes a mistake and we potentially create a goal scoring opportunity. Use your nimbleness and pace to get away from players marking you in the middle and if you find some space shoot. If you see Ndidi and Valverde struggling in the middle being overwhelmed by the oppo then I want you to focus on helping them more defensively in the centre of midfield.

Wingers
Bailey + Richarlison
These 2 will be the focal point of my attack. I want to give them the freedom to express themselves in attack. Richarlison will be looking to cut in from the left and Bailey will be looking to cut in from the right onto his stronger left foot. I want you both to try and beat the oppo fullbacks with your pace and dribbling ability but don't try too hard as if you see them doubling up on you you can either pass back or into the centre of the pitch to one of our CM's. I want you both to be aware of your teammates close to you and play pass and move 1 2's with them to try and penetrate the oppo back line. When they cut in don't be afraid to shoot from range as you have the ability to score from long range. If there is no space to do so then take the ball to the byline and whip in crosses for Isak to get his head on. When we are defending corners I want both of them to stay near the halfway line so we can hit the oppo on the counter attack. If we get to the byline with either of the wingers I want them to either whip in a low ball across the face of the net for our strikers to poke home or pull the ball back to just outside the box for Valverde/Lo Celso to get a shot in.

Strikers
Marcus Rashford MBE
Rashford is a striker that has the deadly combination of pace and finishing. He will look to use his pace to get the better of the oppo defence. Be vary of crosses into the box as you are decent in the air, and if you are through on goal, use your expert finishing to score. Time your runs off the shoulders of the oppo CB's and use your pace to get away from them. Play quick pass and move combinations with your teammates to fund spaces in the oppo defence.

Isak
Isak will look to use his strength and hold up play to bring others into the game. Try and get in front of the oppo defenders and use your aerial ability to win the header and either pass the header to a teammate or get a shot on goal. Try to make runs off the shoulders of the oppo defence aswell sometimes just to mix it up and give the oppo defenders something else to think about.

Subs if LOSING BY 65MINS
Put on Szoboszlai for Lo Celso and Wirtz for Bailey to bring some more attacking impetus on. Play a high line and put a lot of pressure on the oppo to win the ball back.

-----------------------------------Onana-----------------------
----------Upamecano----------Dias---------Fofana---------------------
--------------------------------------Ndidi------------------------------------
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Wirtz---------------Szobo-------------Valverde------------Richarlison
--------------------------Isak------------Rashford----------------------------

Subs if WINNING BY 80MINS
Take off Lo Celso and put on Camavinga in DM. Play defensive with everyone in our own half defending for their lives, waiting to hit the oppo on the counter attack. . Take the wingers off and put on Demiral and Nouri as wingbacks who'll offer a lot more defensive stability.

-----------------------------------Onana-----------------------
--------------Upamecano----------Dias---------Fofana-------------------
-----------------------Camavinga---------Ndidi------------------------------
Demiral-------------------------Valverde--------------------Ait-Nouri
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
----------------------------Isak--------------Rashford-------------------------

Subs if DRAWING BY 65MINS
Wirtz on for Bailey
Szoboszlai on for Lo Celso
En Nesyri on for Isak
Fresh legs to bring on.

posted on 27/1/21

PORTSMOUTH vs Bournemouth (4-3-3)
Injuries: Zielinski, Barrela,Gomez,Ederson
Tough game at home against the master tactician that is Elsie. We all know he likes to go 4-3-3 with a fluid possession game of football. But we have the personnel to go and match up with him and dictate our will on the game. We show the maximum respect do our job professionally with total efficiency and come away with the points, we can’t take anything for granted or his side will hurt us.

………………………Maximiano……………..
Walker………Bonucci……..Romagnoli….Castro
…………..Koke………Kessie……….Eriksen…….
Ronaldo……………….Dybala…………..Insigne
Subs: Turati(GK), Chiellini, Hysaj, Jorginho, Alli, Aguero, Jiminez

Being a long time since I wrote normal tactics so bare with

By its very nature the 4-3-3 is an attacking formation but it’s its tactical flexibility that gives it it’s appeal. We’re often accused of having precious little pace or width at the back, this goes some-way to ending that particular weakness without compromising our attacking fire-power.

B’mouth are in for a rude awakening today, they may have the slick samba skills with the snake hip dance moves whilst running the line, but they’re not ready for an old school ground with snow on the pitch, and whilst they’re trying to get their legs moving we’re gonna be snapping around them keeping them honest.

We’re going to try and play a variant of “total football” our midfield and attack are perfect for this, and they’ll sit in or push on accordingly, all this with the swiftness of mind and razor sharp decision making will make B’mouth’s job of tracking the man more difficult.
The great thing about total football is It promotes the ideology that "no one part is bigger than the sum of the team" – and is typically played in a fast-paced fashion so as to outsmart the opposition team.

Maximiano – Highly rated Portuguese shot-stopper comes in for the injured Ederson, take no risks, do the basics right and it’s all good, we’ll need you as a sweeper keeper for todays game.

Walker and Castro – both full of energy and we’ll need that today as they get up and down the pitch, supporting the attack and adding the width as our wingers cut inside. Defensively stay on your feet don’t dive in, jockey him and wait for support, don’t let them cut in, send them down the line.

Bonucci – The Libero is now extinct but this is the role he would have played, great defender but comfortable on the ball, will bring it out and move us forwards when he releases he slots into the midfield as that unit then move forwards

Romagnoli – He’s the muscle in the duo, big strong and good in the air, a traditional centre-half, with the ball nothing fancy, keep it simple

Kessie – The ball winning midfielder, strong and athletic, he’s the one who looks to attack the ball whilst the other 2 close off the passing options.

Eriksen – The heart beat of the side, he’s the playmaker, pass and move, get it back and move it on, has a great shot from distance so is free to chance his arm.

Koke – goes to box, great engine on him and a very good passing range, the inter play between him and Eriksen will pull B’mouth out of shape for our forwards to exploit.

Ronaldo and Insigne – both inside forwards rather than pure wingers, they’ll drift from wide to central it’s all about creating space and being on the end of the return pass as they cut inside, as they attack the space between full-back and centre-back our full backs make the run to take the b’mouth full-back away.

Dybala – gets the nod over Aguero based on suitability, this isn’t an out and out number 9’s job. For this to work the player needs good dribbling, first touch, passing, technique, anticipation,composure, decisions, off the ball, teamwork, vision, work rate, acceleration, agility, balance, pace, stamina. That is literally the definition of Dybala arguably the perfect #10

This entire system is based on two tenets which are the utilization of space and fluidity of positions. Space is a key component as the aim is to make the pitch as big as possible when attacking and as small as possible when defending. In order to make this work, we’ll press almost maniacally with an emphasis not being on cutting passing lanes but on swamping the opposition player with the press. For the press to be successful, the team employ a high defensive line to further compress the pitch, making the playing area small for the opposition to transition, I know a high defensive line can be risky but Castro and Walker are quick enough to get back and make the cover tackle should Bonucci and Romagnoli be breached.

Subs 65 mins – winning or drawing

Aguero > Dybala
Jorginho > Koke

Losing 65 mins
Aguero > Eriksen
Go 4-2-4
………………………Maximiano……………..
Walker………Bonucci……..Romagnoli….Castro
…………..,,,,,,,,,,,Koke………Kessie………. …….
Ronaldo…………Aguero…….Dybala…………..Insigne
And leave that useless dutch nonsense in the archives

posted on 27/1/21

Oooooh good. Some light reading for me to do

posted on 27/1/21

comment by Lubo - We're Home! (U14008)
posted 5 minutes ago
Oooooh good. Some light reading for me to do
----------------------------------------------------------------------
I hope you enjoy it

comment by Welshy (U1348)

posted on 27/1/21

SHEFFIELD UNITED v Newcastle United

-----------------Dubravka
Lamptey, Kjaer, T. Silva, Grimaldo
----------Gallagher, Höjbjerg
----Bale, James, Saint-Maximin
------------------Mertens

Subs: Kelleher, Vrsaljko, Williams, Nández, Lainez, Brooks, Verschaeren

Captain: Thiago Silva
Free Kicks: Bale/James
Penalties: Mertens

Our defensive unit consists of Simon Kjaer and Thiago Silva paired up at centre-back, Tariq Lamptey at right-back and Álex Grimaldo at left-back, with Conor Gallagher and Pierre-Emile Höjbjerg as our midfield ‘double pivot’ screening them.

This ‘double pivot’ is the key to our team and in Gallagher and Höjbjerg we have a perfect pairing to initiate attacks by distributing the ball in an intelligent fashion, to be key players in circulation and to prevent dangerous opposition attacks, being disciplined in positioning and limiting space in between the lines.

The strength of our double pivot is that Höjbjerg can press the ball without leaving lots of space, as Gallagher can maintain a good position to react if the initial press is bypassed. Our double pivot will offer huge defensive stability and will ensure that a structured shape is maintained.

Having two defensive midfielders centrally prevents others being dragged out of position to press.

Helping the defenders maintain solid positioning is a key part of Höjbjerg's role, he will press almost anywhere in his own half to allow defenders to stay in the defensive line.

With Höjbjerg running his socks off for the team, our high tempo will be dictated by his partner in holding midfield, Conor Gallagher.

Gallagher is not just your “win the ball and pass it on to the closest player” – there is a real creative mind in his locker, but it’s his ability to be the shield of the back four and then be creative once he gets the ball that makes Gallagher such a talent.

The attacking unit consists of Gareth Bale, James Rodríguez and Allan Saint-Maximin as our band of three attacking midfielders with Dries Mertens as our lone central striker.

Our 4-2-3-1 is set up to have that wonderful ‘springy' quality - it absorbs pressure without breaking and then snaps back with surprising force.

In defence our 4-2-3-1 covers space very effectively, with the band of three attacking midfielders and centre forward able to press the opposition high up the pitch while the two defensive midfielders ensure that there is no space left in front of the defence. Then the back four can either play a high line, compressing the space even further, or drop deeper as preferred.

Once we have won the ball back, often by Gallagher or Höjbjerg, then our 4-2-3-1 can spring into attack.

Lamptey and Grimaldo can surge up the wings in the knowledge that Gallagher and Höjbjerg can drop into the space left behind if needed. As they come up the wings, both Gareth Bale and Allan Saint-Maximin, who are excellent in tight spaces and fantastic dribblers will cut inside or make runs into the box.

James Rodríguez, our attacking central midfielder’s low centre of gravity will enable him to navigate away from defenders. James is blessed with an instant first touch and can dribble with the ball at such a close proximity to his feet that it makes him almost impossible to tackle this creative passer with his quick flicks and one-touch passing, will combine exceptionally well with Bale, Saint-Maximin & Mertens to create openings and goal scoring opportunities for each other.

Upfront, Mertens clinical finishing means that he is always a danger in the opponent's box. He has the ability to find space for himself or his teammates even when he is tightly marked by defenders. He'll drop deep at times, but will also spend much of his time playing on the shoulder of the opponents’ deepest defender, stretching play and threatening to break in behind with his electric pace.

Subs on 75 mins
Brooks on for Bale and Verschaeren on for Saint-Maximin

Double substitution - Lots of fresh energy, trickery and pace in the last 15 minutes to look to unlock the opposition’s defence for a late goal regardless of the score line.

posted on 28/1/21

Bournemouth (4-3-3) Round 14 away to Portsmouth
Captain: Ibañez
Vice-Captain: Simón

-----------------Simón
Molina--Ibañez--Araújo----Olivera
---------Zubeldia----Pessina
----------------Gonçalves
Antony---------------------------Baeza
-------------------Suárez

SUBS: Safonov, Aarons, Carmo, Assunção, Guimarães, Sancet, Paulo


SUMMARY: This week we go with a 4-3-3 set up although we will be a tad more conservative and operate with one holding/defensive midfielder (Zubeldia) who will be complimented with an energetic box to box midfielder (Pessina). In front of them Gonçalves will operate as the link between midfield and attack. This I feel will give us a better balanced midfield and while being absolutely defensively sound with 2 ‘sitting’ Pessina will also be allowed the freedom (when the time arises) to link with Gonçalves and attack. I think this set-up lets us link up quickly with our attack while at the same time that little bit of extra cautiousness means it will be easy for us to close the door in midfield with all 3 players as comfortable sitting and breaking up attacks if necessary.
We want to play a nice tidy and crisp passing game. Our aim is to move the ball forward as quickly and as effectively as possible. When we have the ball we will use it wisely and when we don’t have the ball then we will press our opponents all over the park with high urgency to win it back. We want to keep the ball on the deck and attack as a team and equally as important defend as a team. This team is bursting with pace. We will utilise that to our advantage and make the pitch wide and use our flying wingers to cause all sorts of mayhem. It will also be a tool that we use to hit opponents on the counter where we know we can out pace any team.
Goalkeeper: Simón is a big mobile keeper and very athletic. A great shot stopper, he will communicate with the back 4 and be commanding with the high ball. He will not take any risks. He is a great distributor with both hand and foot and we will look to this as a way to launch quick attacks.
Defence: Our 2 full backs are there firstly to defend and make sure they stay on the right side of their opponents whether they be out wide or cutting inside. When we are on the attack they will be allowed to use their power and pace to provide the overlap on the flanks. They both have the power and the lungs to work the touchline for 90 minutes. They will make the pitch wide and always offer themselves as an option in attack. Our 2 centre halves are big 6 feet plus ball playing defenders. Both good in the air and equally as good with the ball at their feet. They will be asked to do the simple things well. Be aggressive but controlled in the tackle and never lose your man when defending dead ball situations. They will be able to bring the ball out of defence but if in doubt take absolutely no chances and clear it. Both big men will be a real aerial threat at set pieces.
Midfield: We will operate with one holding/defensive midfielder (Zubeldia). He will be the midfield general. A physical pacey midfielder he will be there to boss this area for us. Breaking up play and filling in as an extra defender if one of our back 4 has ventured forward. He will be there to protect the defence and do a lot of the unseen dirty work in the centre of the park. He is essential to our game plan and while sitting deep will still offer a lot with his great passing ability. He also has a thunderbolt right foot. He will be complimented with a deep sitting box to box midfielder (Pessina). He has a more conservative role this week and while being a little more constrained than normal he will still have the opportunity to bomb forward when the time is right. They will both have to put a defensive shift in and both are very strong in the tackle. We will look at their enthusiasm and relentless pressing of the opposition as a way to hopefully get a bit of a grip on the midfield and at the very least not make it plain sailing for the opposition. In front of them Gonçalves will operate as the link between midfield and attack.
Wingers/Centre Forward: When in possession both Antony and Baeza will be expected to go for the direct approach and use their power and speed to take on the opposition defence and beat them and bring Gonçalves, Pessina and Suárez in to play. They can vary their attacks as they see fit. Both players can play all across the middle so don’t be surprised to see them swapping wings. At times Pessina may sit a bit deeper allowing Gonçalves to slot in between both wingers, just behind the CF.
As well as an attacking force both wingers will also have to put a defensive shift when called upon and act as back up for their respective full backs.
Suárez starts as the CF. He won’t be short of support or ammunition with the attacking talent behind him. Great playing off the shoulder of the last man he is deadly in and around the box. A bag of energy and very strong we will also look for him to hold up and bring others in to play if it doesn’t seem to be on for him. We will look to get bodies in the box when attacking so he should always have an outlet. He is also great in the air and will provide an option from set pieces. When the shot is on he will take it but we also want to put himself about in the box and think that his lightning pace will be a real handful for defences. He will also be alert to any scraps in and around the goal. He has the ability to produce something sublime and create a chance out of nothing.
Free Kicks/Corners: Gonçalves, Baeza or Antony with Ibañez, Araújo, Zubeldia and Suárez to offer an aerial threat. Gonçalves and Baeza (with his thunderbolt left foot) may try their luck with several free kicks from distance.

Substitutions: (75 mins) If winning (and comfortable) then 3 like for like subs – Carmo for Ibañez, Assunção for Zubeldia and Paulo for Suárez.
If losing (70 mins) then switch to a 4-1-3-2 and replace Pessina with Paulo and Antony with Sancet. Fresh legs and 2 attackers that carry a goal threat about them. We will look to their pace and freshness to offer us something different.
------------Zubeldia
Sancet---Gonçalves---Baeza
--------Paulo -----Suárez

posted on 30/1/21

Attacking direct 3-4-3

At home, we go with a side that is firstly solid and strong defensively, and fit to play an explosive and direct attacking football. With an injury to their good fb we look to target them down the wings. A front 3 means we are able to get players close to Lukaku and also get at the Soton defence down the wings, two attacking wing backs in support on both sides giving an attacking overload down the flanks.

We will direct our attacks down the wings. Both wing backs will have freedom to attack, bombing down the wings and crossing for Lukaku. We will get the wing backs attacking their full backs (or where the full backs would be) at pace, linking up with with the wide forward and doubling up on this space. Overload them down the wings to create space for Lukaku and Pogba in support, and the wide forward on the opposite side.

The setup gives freedom to our attacking trio and the wingbacks going forward. Witsel is our defensive midfielder in cm, staying reserved and spreading the play, directing our attacks down the wings.

We defend in a narrow formation, limiting the space for Soton to play in. The wingback on the opposite side of play will drop back into defence forming a back four. The wb on the side of play helps the cb on the side of play (cb on side of play acts as fb) defend against the attacking winger and fb.

The defence and midfield press as a unit, ensuring there is no space between the lines for Spurs attacking mids. When defending, Witsel plays zonally in front of the cbs and will pick up the most attacking cm in the area. Pogba will play ball side of Witsel and always press the passing lanes. Pogba will pick up the 2nd most attacking cm if they break forward.

When we win the ball we attack at pace. Use the wing backs bombing forward linking with the wide forwards to create for Lukaku.

The formation also means a free role for Son. Make him impossible to man mark without leavings holes and space for our other attackers to exploit.

————————— H.Lloris
——— Godfrey — Koulibaly — Lenglet
Hakimi —— Tielemans—— Pogba —— Digne
—— Dembele ————————— Son H-M. ——
——————————- Lukaku

Subs. Souza, Meunier, Witsel, Ndombele, Nkunku, Diaby, Benzema

Defence

When we lose the ball high up the park we always look to win it back straight away, don’t give Soton a chance to counter. The closest 2/3 players press. Allowing others to get back into position behind the ball.

In a narrow, rigid formation, we will look to press the space, not allowing them options. Keep them from advancing to positions where they can’t hurt us, by trying to win the ball back very quickly. Then break quickly in these high positions when we do win the ball.

When Soton get past the initial press higher up the park, we drop deeper into a narrower tighter formation narrowing to the side of play, ensuring there are no gaps in the formation set out above. Our defence have fantastic pace up against their forwards, bide their time, not diving in.

Attack

We attack quickly when we win the ball aiming our attacks down the wings. If the counter is not on we look to get the wing backs and wide forwards doubling up on their fbs.

The back 3 are all comfortable on the ball and look to play out, helping us move the ball quickly having a strong base.

Lukaku up top plays his natural game, offering a forward we can go longer too, for Son and Dembele to play off, linking the play and most importantly being in the box to be the difference maker and get the goals.

Subs.
If winning after 72 bring on Ndombele for Dembele. Fresh legs in midfield. 3-5-2. More energy in Cm.
If winning after 75 mins bring on Benzema for Lukaku. Fresh pace and quality up top.
If winning after 80 mins bring on Meunier for Hakimi. Fresh legs in important position

If drawing after 70 mins bring on Benzema for Dembele. 3-4-3 Lukaku plays as almost a right forward. Give Son more freedom, as the cbs two out and out forwards to deal with
If drawing after 75 mins bring on Nkunku for Digne. Hakimi rb, Lenglet lb. Nkunku rw, Son lw. 442

If losing after 60 mins bring on Nkunku and Ndombele for Digne and Tielemans. Nkunku lm. Ndombele cm.
If losing after 70 mins bring on Benzema for Dembele. Lukaku right forward.

If red card, Dembele makes way. 342 counter, bring on below for Dembele
Lloris bring on Souza
Cb bring on Witsel
Cm bring on Ndombele
Rwb or lwb bring on Meunier. Hakimi to lwb
Rw or lw - no sub
Lukaku - Benzema

posted on 30/1/21

-----------------------Neuer

Castagne---Soyuncu---Hermoso---Hernandez

----------------------Brozovic

-----------Alberto-------------Foden

Ocampos---------------------------------Depay

-----------------------Kane

Woodman
Bellerin
White
Adams
Barnes
Chiesa
Onuachu

A change of shape for today’s game, with us instead opting for a 4-3-3, which we have avoided playing much of this season. I think this formation allows for us to flood the middle, and thus give ourselves a chance to control this key area, whilst maintaining a strong attacking trident, and not leaving ourselves exposed defensively. I want to see us maintaining the quick movement style we have employed through the rest of the season, employing a 2-3 touch system in the defensive and middle thirds of the pitch. Transitioning and recycling the ball quickly is a key aspect of our game, so as to get ourselves into attacking positions as often as possible. We have the pace in transition to support this approach, and the use of two primarily techincal midfielders in the three will give us that little burst of creativity that we may need to unpick Leicester’s staunch backline.

The defensive structure today is pretty simple. I don’t want any of these players overcommitting to join the attack, so Castagne and Hernandez will instead sit on Leicester’s wide attackers, keeping them held out in the wide areas, on their weaker feet, away from danger areas. Both these FBs are blessed with plenty of pace, meaning they should be able to keep any runs in behind in check. The flat back four should play a middle line, thus not allowing for excess space left in behind, for these players to run into. In the centre, Hermoso will serve as the sweeping defender, whilst Soyuncu will man mark the opposition striker, keeping tight to him and not allowing him the space to move or any time on the ball. We believe, that by suffocating these creative outlets, we can attempt to limit the chances that Leicester make for themselves, and help nullify their attacking presence. As part of this, I also expect Brozovic to go man for man with their attacking midfielder, not allowing him to dictate the play by sticking on him and harassing his movements. Through doing this, we hope to limit their advanced creativity, and push them back down the pitch, into the press engaged by our more offensive and mobile players. The role Hermoso will play is simple, operating in the central spaces, looking to mop up any balls that may escape Brozovic and Soyuncu, and make himself busy. On the ball, these defensive players should be presented plenty of options, with players out wide, and one of Foden/Alberto dropping off to provide a slightly deeper option in midfield. It is important not to dally in possession, and work the ball into the offensive areas as quickly as possible, but all players are comfortable on the ball, so moving it quickly should present few problems.

The transition in the midfield will largely be performed by Alberto and Foden, two creative, technical players. They will participate in the quick movement of the ball into advanced areas, by helping us dictate the play when we have possession. Both will constantly provide options for the other, whilst also having Brozovic holding, and advanced options, as well. Kane can be allowed to drop off slightly, with Depay and Ocampos pushing off him, which I think will create troubles for their defence, especially if they try to man-for-man Kane. Depay and Ocampos will operate primarily as inside forwards, coming into the pitch, as opposed to sticking out wide. We want the majority of the play to come through the central areas, but we can stretch the play if we so choose. Kane is a natural threat in front of goal. He has all the attributes we want to see in a striker, with high energy, an aerial presence, and natural finishing. Creating chances for him is the utmost concern, and in the players we have surrounded him with I think we have creators. Alberto and Foden will alternate which pushes forward further, but both are dangerous in attacking positions. This alternation will make it harder for the opposition to track the midfield runners, as they never know which player to track. Whichever other, will sit slightly deeper, and look to mop up loose balls and recycle the play, hopefully creating a persistent threat, that is bound to create chances, no matter the quality in the opposition defence.

When the ball is lost, our press is engaged. Kane will play the high press, applied to their central defensive players, whilst one of Ocampos or Depay will join him. The other will drop back, and operate as part of a three man press beginning in the middle third. It should look like this, for example.

------Alberto--------Foden--------Depay

----------Ocampos--------Kane

By doing this, I think we congest the middle third, making it difficult to play through, whilst also ptroviding pressure on the defensive players, making it hard for them to just pass around the back. With our man-for-man marking at the back, I hope that this will work in conjunction to make it difficult for the opposition to play any form of incisive possession game, forcing them into long balls, which our defensive players will hopefully mop up.

Substitutions

If winning

Mostly about keeping ourselves fresh and doing what we were already doing but at an increased energy.

Bellerin on for Castagne 70 mins

Alberto and Ocampos off for Adams and White 80 mins

Change to a 3-4-3

-------------------Neuer

------White---Soyuncu----Hermoso

Bellerin---Adams---Brozovic-----Hernandez

------Depay------Kane------Foden

A bit more of a low block to break down.

If losing/drawing

Barnes and Chiesa on for Ocampos and Alberto

Operating more of an advanced 4-1-4-1, with two AM players in the second 4. Depay tucks inside alongside Foden, Chiesa on the right, Barnes on the left.

posted on 30/1/21

--------------------------- De Gea ----------------------------
--------- Pavard -------- Romero --------- Konate ---------
Danilo ---------- Soucek --------- Prowse --------- Sandro
--------------------------- Maddison --------------------------
---------------- A.Silva --------------- Werner ---------------

Lafont, Gosens, McGinn, Coman, Hudson-Odoi, Ziyech, Leao


When we don't have the ball, we will press high up the pitch, conceding very little space, Maddison will look to steal the ball within the attacking third and hopefully, quickly get it to those ahead of him. We do not give them any time on the ball and our front 2 prevent their defence hanging on to it too long or trying to play form the back as we pressurise them all the time.

If they do get to our half then we have a strong back 3 and double pivot ahead to prevent play through the middle, meaning they will need to push wide, whichever side they attack from tho I want Maddison to push to that side again to close them down and support the wingbacks, lots of pace in the front three to get at players.

When we have the ball it starts from the back moving the ball around between defence and centre midfield until the moment arrives when a pass can be made through to the front line, , there is no rush, if they come pressing we simply move it to the wide areas for them to bomb down the line and look to either cut it back or get a pass into the front three.

De Gea is our sweeper keeper, I want him involved with the defence playing out, if he has the ball I want him to find players especially the wingbacks when we are ready to attack

Pavard and Konate help cover the wingbacks and take the ball out of defence, use there positional sense well as they may be out paced., must do this with confidence, if they lose the ball then all numbers back to cover, if they are being pressurised then a simple pass even back to the keeper and start again, stay wide (depending on what side) to cover wingbacks if they are forward.

C.Romero - He will press the opposition striker, when we lose the ball he needs to be on top of the CF very quickly, he must intercept everything, but he has the experience to do this, don't take any risks as the CF will also be on him so move it quickly when he gets it.

Danilo and Sandro, must work very hard, they have great work rate but this must done for the whole game, get down the line, get the crosses in, two great forwards to aim for, don't worry so much about whats behind you as their is plenty cover, I don't mean forget your defence duties, just play with a bit of freedom, crosses, one-twos, cut backs and all with pace to hurt them.

Although Soucek's primary role in front of the defence is to win possession and then start an attacking phase. Within this he needs to cover spaces in between the midfield and defence where the opposition’s number 10 will likely to be operating whilst also being aware when the full-backs had pushed forward. Take care of the No 10/SS is also a main focus, he isn't an out an out DM but he has a lot of grit and determination to his game so stick to him like glue and stop him becoming a threat, very good in the air so can attack long/high balls before they get to our defenders. Once he is in possession of the ball nice simple balls to those around him.

Ward-Prowse has responsibility throughout the pitch. He is expected to score goals and create chances for the front 3, whilst also helping in the defensive third. One requirement of this role are high fitness levels due to the amount of running he is expected to do and he does a lot. The box-to-box midfielder is more likely to be found on the side of the pitch where the full-back that is less efficient in the attacking third plays to provide balance on both flanks, he also has a mean shot from distance and isn't afraid to have a pop.

Maddison is in a free role I want him to dictate proceedings in the final third, either playing the through ball to the front two or use the wingers, pass in between the lines and give them something to run onto as the drive passed the defender, making late runs into the box and look for any loose ball to have a pop at goal, he, Silva & Werner are great finishers so look to make late runs into the area and latching onto crosses from wide areas, defending wise, I want him to harass who ever has the ball in that area, get it and move it forward as quickly as possible, also can draw players into him, therefore winning a lot of free kicks

Werner I want to be making all the runs behind the defence, drift wide and pull defenders away, quick and skillfull, look to move out to create an outlet for the wingbacks to use or indeed link with Maddison to get Silva away on goal, he and Werner both fantastic in the air, so while they aim for Werner, Silva will be making the late runs into the danger area and with a head start look to get up early and attack the crosses coming in.

Silva, must be able to hold up play for others to support, also run the channels, will sit on the last foot so he can spring them and have a shoot or sight mentality, can move central, we must always make sure he is well supported, if he cant get the shot away he will be looking to bring others into the game by dropping slightly back to get numbers for the attack he is a very tireless worker, who also helps defend from the from by harassing there back line/DM.

Captain Prowse
Pens - A.Silva
Free Kicks - Maddison
Corners - Maddison

Losing
65 Mins - Ziyech for Danilo, Coman for Sandro 3232 attack at will with fresh pace and energy
75 Mins - Leao for Werner straight swap

Drawing -
65 Mins - Gosens for Sandro, Leao for Werner, fresh legs
75 Mins - Ziyech for Danilo more attacking down the right

Winning -
75 Mins - McGinn for Werner, into midfield and shore it up, Gosens for Sandro, fresh legs
83 Mins - Leao for Silva

comment by JET (U1212)

posted on 30/1/21

ARSENAL vs. Tottenham

------------------- B. Leno ---------------------
Pereira ---- Kounde -- Gabriel --- Bertrand
------------------- N. Kante --------------------
---------- T. Partey ----- Gundogan ----------
B. Saka --------- S. Gnabry ------ H. Lozano


Subs: Martinez, Mukiele, Bissouma, Coutinho, Brandt, Sabitzer, Watkins

Captain: Bernd Leno
Corners: Saka/H. Lozano
PK: Gnabry
FK: Gnabry/Lozano


Time to get back on track in the league with a big derby win today.

We have stacked the team with players in incredible form. Leno and Gabriel have been highlights to help Arsenal to one of the best defensive records in the league this season, alongside them the brilliant Kounde top rated Sevilla player this season. Gundogan is redhot for City right now and Lozano and Saka are two of the most inform young wingers around. Add in the proven seasoned quality of Pereira, Kante and Gnabry and we feel this XI has everything to get something from this one. We have picked a powerful, pressing team and our front three is vital to the success. Saka and Lozano are phenomonal young hungry players that excel in transition, we want them to show these qualities in this game, both are in fantastic form in real life. Through the middle the excellent Gnabry, who has been playing here for Bayern at times and also for his country. He will be the Vardy like pressing forward, and we’ve seen how well Lozano works with a forward of that ilk. We know Tottenham have lots of possession players and our team is set perfectly to counter this.

Another big game to start the new year and a chance to show we are up there with the best in the league. We are in great league form, so a great chance to take the points. With a solid 433 we want to distrupt the opposition today, selecting players who are great in transition and will enable us to break quickly and effectively into dangerous areas, with a front three that can cause serious damage.

In goal we have Leno, one of the most in form keepers in the world right now and he’s shown his excellent ability against the best teams in England and he can do it again today and make the difference. Arsenal have conceded the least goals in the league recently, In front of him, an excellent duo of Gabriel and Kounde give us a blend of the perfect defenders. They are strong, fast and very good on the ball and amongst the best in the world in terms of 2020 form. Going forward Pereira and Bertrand can offer a lot, stretching the pitch and with their attacking players with low defensive work rate, our full backs can have a lot of joy going forward. With Gabriel alongside, the highly rated Bertrand can be given the confidence to play his exciting game with his debut on the left.

Pereira and Bertrand have excellent overlapping qualities in attack and great delivery, driven crosses for Gnabry. They both also have recovery pace to get back and defend. N. Kante and Partey should also drop into LDM and RDM to counter the wide threats cutting in, with Partey then dropping in and looking to receive the ball and spring it to one of the front three who have phenomenal pace – Partey is the shuttler, transition man. Saka likes to come inside, so Pereira is the perfect overlap for him, with Partey then covering the RDM position to prevent a breakaway. The same can happen on the left when Lozano drives inside and Bertrand stretching the pitch with the overlap and Kante can cover.

Kante should dominate and set the pace. Next to him Partey and Gundogan will dominate and carry the ball between the lines, moving it up the pitch. Partey also selected today for his high workrate, enthusiasm and ability in the transition to take us from defence to attack with excellent dribbling and playmaking abilities. Gundogan and Partey will be the shuttlers between midfield and attack. Kante will slip into LDM when Bertrand attacks to combine with H. Lozano. In this midfield three we have players that will stop Tottenham from playing and also ensure we transition quickly and also has the technical ability to dictate possession high up the pitch and break down the opposition. Physically we should dominate the midfield battle.

Both H. Lozano and Saka have the ability to come inside or go direct wide depending on what opportunity appears best. They should also alternate wings. They will back themselves to win 1v1 dribbling battles against Tottenham’s full backs, and will look for Gnabry for whom is always in the right place, linking up with low balls into the box or taking advantage of the space he creates. Saka/H. Lozano will cut in and contribute more centrally and make late runs into the box – we’ve seen them both score plenty when doing this. The excellent Pereira and Bertrand will be available for the overlap to leave Tottenham defenders guessing when we attack from wide areas. Gnabry will always be lurking in the box getting on the end of low driven balls from the wingers and full backs. Stretching the Tottenham defence will only create more room centrally for Partey and Gundogan to influence – both will act as the base for the attacks.

In Gnabry, Saka and H. Lozano we feel we have the perfect blend of youth, pace, experience, finishing and workrrate. This should be enough to cause damage to any defence. This front three should overpower them and with the structured hard working rest of the team behind them, we have an XI that can deliver all three points today.

Sub instructions:
After 60 mins – Sabitzer for Saka
After 70 if winning– Bissouma for Gundogan
After 70 if drawing – Coutinho for Gundogan
After 70 if losing– Coutinho for Kante (Partey to DM).
After 75 – Watkins for Lozano (Gnabry to LW – Watkins CF)

posted on 31/1/21

---------------------------- Bounou ----------------------------
W-Bissaka ------ S.deVrij ------ van Dijk ------ B.Chilwell
----------------- F.de Jong ------ Locatelli ------------------
F.Torres ------------------- Ilicic ------------------- Neymar
---------------------------- Haaland ---------------------------

Meslier, Kamara, Bentancur, Havertz, Greenwood, Gouiri, Calvert-Lewin

We like playing from the back and quick on the break and really pressurise the opposition with an in your face performance from the front we do not allow them to play from the back as our front three play quite a high line, we want to hit them quickly so we need to press them quickly to get the ball, when we defend, the back 4 must stay solid with Locatelli and de Jong ahead of them just in front harassing the man with the ball before they get to our back 4 and our midfield will be in and around the half way line, Haaland slightly higher up always on top of the CBs stopping them passing between each other, defend from the front, stop them coming forward from the back, however, if they do push forward onto us and we get the ball they will be on the back foot and will really struggle with our front 4 with Fullbacks who are always ready to pounce and hit them with pace.

van Dijk picks up the CF not much gets passed him, de Vrij spare picks up the AM if he gets away from our midfield, keep the forward(s) away from the danger area, get onto them quickly, take the ball away from them and play it out of defence, look to get it out wide quickly, The Dutch duo are comfortable on the ball so can bring it out when in no danger and look for the pass longer to the forwards to hit them with pace, both must attack high balls to get the ball away from the opposition big men. Fullbacks keep the wingers quiet, stop their attacks Keep them away from shooting areas and stop them becoming dangerous in any position by standing tall against them and keeping them on there 'bad' foot. When they attack, only one at a time and mostly Chilwell to be fair, they drive down the line in support of the wingers drive on the outside making an extra man. If either get caught up field I want Locatelli OR de Jong to drift to the side with this allows the fullbacks to make their way to midfield to cover. Ilicic also covers by dropping back to fill in the midfield even just to follow any defender that moves up field, van Dijk and de Vrij to go up for corners, with the fullbacks and Locatelli sitting back.

Locatelli is our deepest midfielder sitting just in front of the CB's he will shadow there AM and not allow him to control the game, must be aware of all that is around him, be in the right place at the right time and look to cover for defensive players moving forward, he has to impose himself early on the AM to make him wary of holding onto the ball too long, will at times drop between the 2 Cbs to get the ball, once on the ball look around, head up and pick the pass that will get us moving forward quickly always making himself for a return ball from a deeper angle as he spreads it from side to side then eventually forward he is always looking for the ball to start again if need be, can be out to the fullbacks or indeed a longer ball to the front three to take the opposition out of it as they are still high up the pitch. de Jong will help stop the run of play quicker to make our defenders jobs a lot easier, protect our defence as best as possible, in possession get it to the front 3/4 but also look for fullbacks as they move into space, keep it simple, he has a very good range of pass. Either pass and move(triangles) into space or look for a piercing through ball to our front three to drive onto.Can move forward to assist and look for balls coming out so he can either, shoot or whip straight back in. Our midfield maestro Ilicic central for a is essential to our style of play, he is the link between defence and attack, as we break quickly he will look to set up our front three and at times be in an advanced No.10/CF role and look for the de Jong/Locatelli/CB pass. He will drop back at times to pick it up and will look to his dribbling and passing capabilities to get him around players, and into the danger area to unleash a powerful drive, sometimes taking a foul as he is a tricky player to mark. When in possession always head up looking for the movement of our front three to play them in, he will follow his pass and make up the numbers up front.After the pass he can push wide or central to make that extra man When he doesn't drop deep i.e when the defenders go long, he will look to form a front four as they move around and look to tear the defence apart and create space for the front 3. All of our midfield three must press the opposition and get to grips with this game very early on.

Our wingers are extremely quick, when we don't have the ball they drop back a bit to make up the numbers as they attack, push into the faces of the opposition to force them into mistakes and hopefully in the end they lose the ball, when they do lose the ball we charge at them and we do it quickly, either a long ball over defenders our defenders are superb long ball passers, go through the cms or out to one of our attacking fullbacks.however, the movement up front between Ferran and Neymar will cause them problems drifting in an out, thus allowing Ilicic to pick his moment to move into space either as a 10 or out wide. If he does push wide this will allow Ferran/Neymar to go in central as we will have an attacking fullback up and supporting. Quick passing in triangles that will get us in and beyond their defenders and eventually to Haaland who can beat any defender with power and pace and the other wingers who will look to get into space to get a shot off, if there defence is on top then we can always go direct at times and fire early crosses especially from deep from the fullbacks into Haaland who will sit on the last foot so he can spring them and have a shoot or sight mentality, can move central, we must always make sure he is well supported, especially Ilicic who at times will be right on his shoulder or alongside, if he cant get the shot away he will be looking to bring others into the game by dropping slightly back to get numbers for the attack he is a very tireless worker, who also helps defend from the from by harassing there back line/DM.

Captain - van Dijk
Penalties - Neymar
Free Kicks - Ilicic/Neymar
Corners - Wingers

Losing -
65 Mins - Havertz for Ilicic straight swap, Greenwood for Chilwell, 3412 more attacking
75 Mins - Bentnacur for de Jong straight swap

Drawing -
70 Mins - Havertz for Ilicic, Bentancur for de Jong, both straight swaps

Winning -
75 Mins - Kamara for Ilicic, goes in between defence and midfield becoming the DM/man marker
83 Mins - Greenwood for Haaland

posted on 31/1/21

Attacking 4-3-3

We play an attacking 4-3-3 to dominate possession, best form of defence is them not having the ball. As you’d expect with a possession gameplan we will be patient in the first two thirds of the park, this means we will move the ball quickly and at pace but will not force the play, let them chase us tiring them physically and mentally. Fernandes is the exception as we give him freedom to play more direct balls from deeper areas.

In the final third we give all players freedom to use their quality to create and produce magic to open up the opposition.

Up top we go with a front 3 full of pace, the wingers stay high and wide in possession, stretching Leeds defence and setting the side up perfectly for the possession play. In front of the defence Luiz and Thiago’s are the perfect two for the possession, play with Fernandes playing an Iniesta role as attacking Cm with freedom to drift. Everyone in their best position, in a formation and system that suits everyone playing their natural game.

Both cbs are strong defensively, with great physicality. Luiz in front offering a strong, athletic dm presence. The rest of the midfield and attackers are tasked with pressing the ball, Thiago offers intelligence in midfield a master at pressing the space, Fernandes brings energy and intensity. The front three also hard working and will press in high areas and win the ball back quickly.

The central trio have the quality to dominate possession with the cbs behind them. We have a front three full of pace, looking to stretch the opposition and create space for our midfielders to exploit.

In defence Luiz drops behind the other two cms who press the play as the trio narrow, similarly in attack Luiz stays deepest but the trio do not play so narrow. We have a defence full of pace and great energy in front so play a reasonably high line, helping us press Arsenal in high areas, and aiding distribution out from the back line.

Laporte the man marker as he is the stronger physically and can dominate in the air next to Marquinhos who is free to use his reading of the game and pace to sweep up. In midfield, the trio narrow in front with the cm opposite play dropping behind, allowing the other two to press with cover. Closing down the space, narrowing to the side of play. Win the ball back from Leeds quickly before they can get anywhere.

Quick passing and moving to find space in between the opposition lines. Using the pace of our wide forwards and fbs (one bombs forward at a time) to create space as we push forward.

We have a cm duo who can both drop deep to offer an option and collect the ball from defence. Likewise a fluid front three, who can switch positions or drop deep to collect the ball from midfield. This fluidity will help the players to get away from their markers, catch the opposition out and create space.

As we move forward we get quick one twos in the opposition half. With this fluid front three, Thiago supports creating and linking the play, Fernandes gets in and around the box looking for the final ball or shooting.

Positional structure, in addition to our technical players will be key to our quick passing possession gameplan going forward. Our approach in build up is to play a flexible asymmetric shape, giving bodies on different lines to increase the options we have in possession, and to create gaps in the opposition, and space for our players.

———————————— Schmeichel———————————
R.James ——Marquinhos —— Laporte —— D.Alaba
————————————— D.Luiz————————————
————————- Thiago.A —— B.Fernandes —————
—————————————————————————————
Sterling ——————— L.Martinez ————— S.Mane


Subs. Henderson, Theo.H, Neves, Mount, Felix, Mahrez, Jesus


Defending high

When we lose the ball the closest player presses the ball, the second closest presses the obvious passing channel. As they’re doing this everyone gets into a narrow rigid formation behind the ball in position to press high up the park. Stop them breaking and press them high up the park.

In a narrow, rigid formation, we will look to press the space, not allowing them options. Keep them from advancing to positions where they can’t hurt us, by trying to win the ball back very quickly. Then break quickly in these high positions when we do win the ball.

As Leeds advance into higher areas of the park and into our half, our shape will resemble a 4-1-3-2. Winger on the side of play drops deep and Luiz drops behind the other two cms pressing the space behind the two cms pressing the ball, sweeping up danger behind them and in front of the defence.

Lautaro and the remaining wide forward in the space in between the opposition defence and midfield, and either side of their dm. This will make it difficult for their to dm to circulate possession back to their defence.

The wide man on the side of play that drops and the two cms (Thiago and Fernandes) are the trio pressing the ball, and look to force Leeds backwards. With the two forwards left forward this is where we look to press the opposition into mistakes and win the ball in high areas. With pace to join the attack quickly and overload Leeds.

When Leeds get past the initial press higher up the park, we drop deeper into a narrower tighter formation narrowing to the side of play, ensuring there are no gaps in the formation. Our fb’s have fantastic pace up against their wide forwards, bide their time, not diving in.


Subs.


If winning after 70 mins bring on Jesus for Lautaro. More pace up top.
If winning after 75 mins bring on Mount for Fernandes. Strong defensively and hard working, fresh energy in Cm.
If winning after 75 mins bring on Mahrez for Sterling.

If drawing after 70 mins bring on Jesus for Sterling. More direct and goal scorer.
If drawing after 75 mins bring on Felix for James. 3-5-2.

If losing after 65 mins bring on Mount for Luiz. Thiago to dm.
If losing after 70 mins bring on Felix got Sterling. Fresh trickery to get us back in it.
If losing after 80 mins bring on Mahrez for R.James. 3-5-2.

posted on 31/1/21

NEWCASTLE 3-5-2

———————-— ter Stegen
————— Fabinho - Hummels - Shaw
Llorente - Goretzka - Kroos - Verratti - Robbo
——————— Salah - Immobile

Subs: Zouma, Modric, Henderson, Tonali, Kulusevski, Ings, Oyarzabal

Captain: Chiellini
Set piece: Trent/Dybala
Penalties: Salah

Today we line up with a three man defence to create a solid base. Point of this system is to create space for the deep lying midfielder to play in and counter the press. Creating a system to make the deep lying midfielder press resistant by making a space for him to constantly drop in and receive the ball.

In possession, the wing backs are expected to keep the width for the team and progress with the team to their box. Our main method of direct progression is direct passes and layoffs through the lines and we do this all over the pitch. From centre half into the number 8 and the number 8 lays off to the number 6. The 6 then plays into the striker and again laying off to the 8. Crucial for that is the use of triangles between the players.

We have two excellent and complementary forwards who thrive on direct balls. They can hold up play or drop off. To complement their play we will play very vertically, especially if the centre backs can bring the ball out and then look to play the strikers in directly. When done well this could help create 3v4 or 3v3 situations.

Our centre centre back will be the one that breaks the line and passes into midfield, very occasionally galloping up the field to join the attack. He will be able to break the offense, midfield, and even the defensive line with just one pass. Of course this is not always the case, so if there is no direct way to get the forwards involved he will use his dribbling ability to pass the first defending line where he will then be able to play a line-breaking ball out of a midfield position. If the opposition have blocked the passing lanes to the strikers, the CCB will use his overview to switch the point of the game. He will then make a long-range pass out wide to one of the wing-backs who usually have a lot of space in front of them.

When one striker has the ball, the other will run forward centrally to open up spaces with midfielders exploiting the spaces providing passing and layoff options.

Attacking play style

We also look to width to create chances. We attack in a 3-3-4 formation with both wingbacks joining to become a front 4. At least one wingback looks to push high and isolate his opposite man. The inside midfielder will then push outwards to create overloads in wide areas, assisted by a striker dropping off - the other striker and midfielder are then able to make runs against the opposition CBs also making deeper runs into the box.

Defensive play style

Defensively we become a 5-3-2 when under periods of sustained pressure. We will create a compact defensive shape of 5 defenders and 3 midfielders very close to the backline. The forwards work defensively to help regain possession by reducing space for the opponents.

We look to press man for man higher up the pitch and try to shoo the opposition into wide areas by allowing the opposition fullbacks some space leaving them as the easiest pass options. This allows us to congest the middle making us hard to play through. When engaging the press out wide, there is often space behind the opposition wingbacks into which we can attack. Particularly effective against teams playing 433/4231 as we can go man for man across the pitch killing their possession play.

Defensive transitions

First and foremost get all men back into the defensive shape, return very very quickly into this shape and add more numbers than opponents have attackers. Make space tight. Most important are the two wingbacks as they have to drop back into the defensive line quickly very often during the game. A formidable and organized defence keeping things tight at the back, allowing an extremely solid foundation from which to attack.

Offensive transitions

We need to also be great on the counter. When the ball is won, the strikers look for out balls. On the break they are joined by a CM and one of the wingbacks.

Subs.

65 mins - Henderson on Kroos off. Fresh legs.

70 mins losing - Oyarzabal on Verratti off. Struggling to break them down so we need to stretch them. 3-4-3 Oyar left salah right Immobile central

75 mins losing - Ings on Immobile off. Get behind their defence.

75 mins winning - Tonali for Goretzka. Calm things a bit.

posted on 31/1/21

Capt and Set piece kroos

posted on 1/2/21

--------------------- Mendy --------------------
Cancelo --- De Ligt --- Ramos --- Reguilon
----------- Casemiro --- De Bruyne ---------
M.Asensio ----- Griezmann ------ E.Hazard
------------------- Abraham ------------------

Subs:
Sanchez, Ake, Aouar, Fabian, Asensio, Belotti, Morata

Captain: Ramos
Free Kicks: De Bruyne
Penalties: De Bruyne
Corners: Wingers

Tactics:

We looking to keep the good times rolling and continue our fine run of form in the North London Derby. We welcome back a number of key men with our big hitters looking to put another 3 points on the board.

We make a slight tactical tweak with Abraham coming in to lead the line. This allows Griezmann to drop slightly deeper. Operating between the lines in the space between their CB & DM this will allow the Frenchman to really thrive.

Abraham offers the perfect outlet, he's a big body with excellent hold up play allowing us to move the ball forward quickly as we move from defence to attack in the blink of an eye.

Whilst he has his attacking qualities Abraham's real purpose will be to occupy the opposition's CB's. Almost acting as a decoy at times his presence will free up our real dangermen to do damage. He's a big frame to deal with, offering pace in behind and an aerial threat he will be a real handful keeping their CB's occupied all afternoon.

This will create a wealth of space for Griezmann to do damage whilst also freeing up Asensio and Hazard to go one on one against their fullbacks.

De Bruyne of course is our x-factor, operating slightly deeper he will be free from the shackles of their DM giving him the freedom to run the game. He has license to push forward, forcing the opposition to pick their poison in either trying to contain Griezmann or the advancing De Bruyne. With such a variety of attacking threats to deal with we aim to cause them defensive headaches all afternoon with a multitude of attacking threats in our lineup. As Tino aptly put in our previous match, our aim is to cause more damage to their defence than they can to ours.

Defence:

We go with a strong defensive unit at the back, packed with pace and quality as we look to nullify the threat posed by the oppositions attack. If the opposition play one up top then Ramos will mark. Strong, aggressive and a great reader of the game we feel he has all the tools to deal with any opponent. De Ligt will act as cover, sweeping up and offering cover in behind to eliminate any balls over the top. The Dutchman sweeping up from the back and immediately looking to get us on the counter with his fantastic vision and passing.

Our fullbacks will stick tight to the wide men, safe in the knowledge that they have supporting cover in behind with De Ligt also drifting across to offer additional support. When in possession both Cancelo and Reguilon have license to push forward with both having great quality in the final third. We look to draw the opposition onto us by sitting deep when they are in possession, limiting the space in behind and drawing them further up the field creating space for us to hit them on the counter.

Midfield:

Casemiro will be our holding player in the middle. An all action player we rely on his fantastic tenacity and high level work rate to break up the opposition play, winning back possession and setting us up on the counter as we look to get the ball into our creative players as quickly as possible. He’ll pick up their most advanced AM and cut out their supply line. He’s also a fantastic passer which will be key in winning the midfield battle and ball retention.

De Bruyne slots alongside him giving us a world class CM duo as we look to take hold of the game. Starting in a slightly deeper role he has freedom to roam and pull the opposition apart. A player with superb vision he will look to get on the ball as much as possible, dropping deep and looking to release Griezmann centrally or Asensio and Hazard on the flanks as we play at pace. He has license to push forward alongside when we’re in possession, causing them a defensive nightmare as we have a threat from every angle. With a fantastic strike from range we also encourage him to go for goal with a potential thunderbolt on the cards at any moment.

Forwards:

In attack we go for goals. Griezmann plays in the hole, looking to drift between the lines making himself extremely difficult to be picked up and causing a mismatch in this area of the field. We look to get him on the ball and go at the opposition, a player with fantastic link up play and an eye for goal he also has license to push up top alongside Tammy as we go for goals.

Hazard and Asensio offer quality from the flanks. Both will be direct, going at the opposition with speed. In one on one situations they can be deadly and with the opposition likely to be concerned with KDB and Griezmann there is every chance these two can find space to expose on the flanks. With a powerhouse frontline we go for goals, both wingers will look to cause problems and have license to cut inside and go for goal at any moment.

Abraham plays through the middle and will have a talented supply line around him. As well as great hold play he offers a real threat in the air and with great delivery from our fullbacks we really want him to attack any balls in the air. Play on the shoulder of the last man and as always be on your toes in the box, ready to pounce and finish anything that comes your way.

If winning:
80 mins: Abraham & Asensio off, Ake & Aouar on. Shut up shop time as we move to 5-4-1 to see out the win. We move to a back five whilst an adding additional defensive cover in midfield. Griezmann takes over the CF role.

If drawing/losing:
75 mins: Reguilon & Abraham off, Aouar & Belotti on. We pile on the pressure as we switch to a back three. Aouar’s introduction free’s up KDB to push forward with Asensio & Hazard on the flanks and the poacher Belotti joining Griezmann up top. Goals.

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