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!
In a highly contested affair, Italy and Spain played out a 1-1 draw after extra time, and needed penalty kicks to settle the match. After missing just one of their spot kicks, Italy sent themselves through to the final of the tournament, extending their impressive unbeaten run to 33 matches in all competitions. Here is our tactical analysis of the match!
When establishing a style of play, all top-level managers face the same pragmatic questions: How will positional defenders become functional attackers (and vice versa) as changes in possession occur? Where is the balance between earnest advancement and cautious reserve? And how is that equilibrium expressed, implicitly and explicitly, on the team sheet?
For much of Jurgen Klopp’s Anfield reign, Liverpool have favored a 4-3-3 shape. In this system, the Reds have enjoyed defensive solidity, offensive prowess and become one of the most dominant forces in world football. The results speak for themselves regarding the effectiveness of this shape, with the well-rounded formation taking Liverpool to Champions League and Premier League success. While the Reds weren’t always ruthless in their title-winning season, few can deny that they were efficient. But is it time for Klopp to freshen things up? Well, he may have the chance to try something new in 2021-22.
Euro 2020 has officially kicked off, with Italy smashing Turkey to pieces in the second half of the opening fixture. The match was a fairly dull affair in the first half, with Turkey defending resolutely, and Italy only got going once they abandoned their attempts to have all of the possession. By relinquishing more control over to Turkey, Mancini's team ultimately gained more control in the final third and were able to unbalance Turkey's defensive structures to win the match comfortably 3-0. Here is our tactical analysis of the match.
The England National Team heads into the UEFA European Football Championship in scintillating form, with a crop of players that some argue could rival the golden generation at the 2004 edition of the tournament. However, this time, hopes are even greater for The Three Lions, as Gareth Southgate's squad not only has a wealth of depth, but also tactical flexibility. With the hope and promise that Southgate's squad could pick up silverware for the first time since 1966, we take a look at how they might approach the competition, tactically and beyond.
Since taking over in 2018 from Aston Villa's Dean Smith, Thomas Frank has turned Brentford from an average to below average Championship side, into a nearly unstoppable one, with now two back to back playoff finals in two seasons. Frank's tactics emulate the same principles as some of the world's best managers and teams in the modern era, with unique takes that have turned The Bees into one of the most efficient sides in the division. Even if they can't make it happen in the playoff final for the second year running, Brentford appear as though they will be in the Premier League sometime very soon, due to their excellent recruitment, and Frank's exceptional management and tactics. Here is our tactical analysis of Thomas Frank's Brentford in 2020-21.
It was just two years ago when two English clubs squared up in the UEFA Champions League Final, with Liverpool gaining the edge over Tottenham Hotspur. Now in 2021, two completely different English clubs will be facing off, as Chelsea and Manchester City have bested the rest to make it all the way to the final. Here is our tactical preview of the 2021 Champions League final.
After the sacking of Lucien Favre in December, assistant coach Edin Terzic was given the interim role at Borussia Dortmund. Unfortunately for the first time manager, things could not have gotten off to a rockier start. Terzic won just six of his opening thirteen matches in charge, forcing Dortmund into a difficult situation heading into the final third of the season with a spot in next season’s UEFA Champions League in their sights. However, in recent weeks, Edin Terzic has grown his reputation, with Borussia Dortmund now on a 4 match win streak in the league as they charge toward the top four…maybe even three. So with that, we provide a second tactical analysis on Edin Terzic‘s Borussia Dortmund, and their chances of finishing top four this season.
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.