With the efforts and emotions of the enormously entertaining Euro 2020 still enduring, it’s hard to believe that preseason for many European clubs is already underway. To further set the stage for the impending season, it’s worth taking a moment to reflect on last season’s tactical trends. Tallied below are the most popular formations in Europe’s top five leagues as per UEFA association club coefficient (Premier League, La Liga, Serie A, Bundesliga and Ligue 1). Enjoy!
There were moments during Chelsea's Champions League final win when you couldn't quite believe how well Reece James was coping with the pressure of the occasion. Of course, even before kick-off in Porto, everyone knew how much quality the Redbridge-born right-back possessed, but his performance over the course of 90 minutes was genuinely enough to take your breath away. Indeed, that sharp intake of breath when City found space around the box was replaced by a sigh of relief after James almost single-handedly thwarted every attack.
What a game. After beating Manchester City twice already this season, Chelsea entered the 2021 UEFA Champions League final with a slight psychological advantage. They absolutely delivered on that promise, winning the match by a score of 1-0. Thomas Tuchel became only the second manager since Jurgen Klopp to beat Pep Guardiola three times in a row, leading his Chelsea team to the Champions League trophy in his first six months in charge. Here is our tactical analysis of the final.
After a slow start to the season, Zinedine Zidane's Real Madrid are now flying on all cylinders, currently on a 14-match unbeaten streak that's propelled them toward the top of La Liga and the UEFA Champions League semi-finals. Zidane doesn't have the same squad that won him the Champions League in three back to back years between 2016 and 2018, but he is getting the best out of what he has at his disposal once again. After a massive 2-1 win over Barcelona in El Clasico this past weekend and the side securing a place in the UEFA Champions League semis, the side could be on a path toward victory in either competition. As a result, we now take a look at the tactics Zinedine Zidane has deployed throughout the 2020-21 season at Real Madrid.
Leicester City spent the entirety of the 2019-20 season in the top four, only to miss out on Champions League football on the final day with a devastating defeat to Manchester United. With Leicester's recent 3-2 loss to West Ham United, the Futbol Masterminds examine the Champions League football race that appears to be tighter than ever before, with the Hammers and Foxes competing with the likes of Liverpool and Chelsea for a spot in next season's competition. The panel also discuss whether clubs should spend money on transfers or youth academies, what's been missing for Brighton & Hove Albion this season, and the upcoming Champions League fixture between Dortmund and Manchester City. Submit questions and follow the show @futbolmasterminds on Instagram, or on themastermindsite.com.
As requested by virtually everyone, the Futbol Masterminds panel discuss whether or not Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappe have officially dethroned Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo in the quest to be the world's best. The panel also discuss the big moments from the North London derby, the La Liga title race and Chris Wilder's unfortunate sacking from Sheffield United. Follow @mastermindsite and our new Instagram @futbolmasterminds to submit your questions every weekend before the show.
After breaking onto the scene with FK Molde in 2018, Erling Haaland has had a quick rise to becoming one of the very best footballers on the planet now in 2021, at the tender age of twenty years old. This season the Norwegian striker has taken his game to new heights, scoring a remarkable thirty-two goals in twenty-eight matches across all competitions. He's particularly impressed in the UEFA Champions League, leading Dortmund into the Quarter Finals with ten goals in six matches so far. Here is a tactical analysis of one of the greatest phenoms in the history of the Bundesliga - Erling Haaland.
After his incredible performance against FC Barcelona, many now regard Kylian Mbappe as the next coming of Lionel Messi, with some even suggesting he's already taken over as the world's greatest player. It was clear as day that Mbappe was going to be a world beater when he first stepped onto the scene with AS Monaco as a seventeen-year-old. But the Frenchman has progressed just as many hoped he might, which cannot be said about most of the seventeen-year old's who have burst onto the scene like Mbappe. Now a well established front-man for PSG, Mbappe is once again leading his team's charge toward the UEFA Champions League final just as he did last season. This is a tactical analysis all about PSG's Kylian Mbappe.
Jesse Marsch is one of the most buzzworthy managers in the world of football at the moment. Since taking over at Red Bull Salzburg for Marco Rose, the American has developed a reputation as a tactical innovator and one of the most exciting young managers in the game. However, it's not as though Salzburg's record is anything out of the ordinary from previous managers. The buzz and attention surrounding the former MLS superstar is instead much more about how Marsch's tactics and coaching styles have been out of the ordinary. His open communication regarding his coaching philosophies and principles of play has also been welcome, and only increased the manager's growing reputation. Here is a tactical analysis of Jesse Marsch's Red Bull Salzburg.