In one of the games of the Bundesliga season so far, SC Freiburg held onto their narrow lead over Vfb Stuttgart, grinding out an important result that sees them enter the top four - ahead of Borussia Dortmund. Here is our analysis of the match!
Although Mauricio Pochettino hasn't had the best start to life with PSG, much hope and promise for the future remains, given his early time in charge so far and the team's form in the UEFA Champions League. The Parisians are yet to lose a game in the Champions League under Pochettino, and despite a disappointing loss to Lille in Ligue 1, remain in the hunt for a treble. The league title that the Argentinean desperately craved at Tottenham is still within reach, and will certainly come even if not this season. So with that, here is a Tactical Analysis of Mauricio Pochettino's PSG so far in 2020-21.
Since Antonio Conte's arrival at Inter Milan, the Italian giants have transformed into the most effective side in all of Serie A. Other than disappointments in the UEFA Champions League and losing last season's Europa League final, Conte's start to life at San Siro has gotten off without a hitch. I Nerazzurri narrowly missed out on the title to Conte's old side Juventus last season by one single point, and this season they look favourites to finally dethrone the Old Lady from securing another crown. But the results and the performances are not the only impressive components about Antonio Conte's functional Inter Milan. The Italian manager's tactics have been remarkable as they have been throughout his career, and so many players have taken their games to new heights under the influence of the former Premier League winner. Here is a tactical analysis all about Antonio Conte's Inter Milan in 2020-21.
West Ham United have had an extraordinary season thus far. However, against second-place Manchester United, they failed to play with any conviction, almost as though they didn't believe in themselves to win the match. It was a confusing performance from the Hammers, who have achieved positive results against the likes of Leicester, Spurs, and even Manchester City this season. Here is Amelia-Toni Adejobi's Tactical Analysis of United's 1-0 win over the Hammers.
Despite Manchester City's incredible form in recent weeks, the feeling going into the weekend's Manchester derby was that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer could get a result yet again, as he had done in four out of his five previous meetings against Guardiola's team. Led by their robust defensive structure and impeccable counter attacking play, that's exactly what happened. Manchester United played with heart and fervidity and eventually succumbed Manchester City to their first loss since November 2020. Here is a tactical analysis of Manchester United's 2-0 win over Manchester City in the derby on March 7th, 2021.
Despite losing by a horrific 5-1 scoreline to VFB Stuttgart, Lucien Favre's sacking from the helm of Borussia Dortmund came at a strange time, with the club topping their UEFA Champions League group and no new manager in sight. Assistant coach Edin Terzic was given the interim role and unfortunately for the Black & Yellows, things could not have gotten off to a rockier start under the German coach. 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 so much work to do in the quest to reclaim a place in the UEFA Champions League for next season. But after switching formations against Sevilla, Dortmund have found form again and have now won three on the spin, against big-hitters Sevilla, arch-nemeses Schalke 04, and relatively small-hitters Arminia Bielefield, who troubled Bayern Munich just weeks before. This recent run of form has culminated at the same time as two key decisions - Terzic's formational change away from the 4-2-3-1, and the announcement of Marco Rose as the club's future manager. The announcement gave Dortmund a massive lift and allowed them to regain confidence and focus. But Terzic and co also deserve some credit for the team's recent performances, posing some smart tactical tweaks along the way. Here is a tactical analysis of Edin Terzic's Borussia Dortmund, and whether or not they can make the top four this season.
After two successful years with Red Bull Salzburg, German coach Marco Rose made a return to his home country to take on the role as Borussia Monchgengladbach manager for the start of the 2019-20 season. Rose has continued his success with Gladbach so far since taking charge and has only enhanced his reputation as a manager, with 50% of his matches won and his team well within the hunt for the top for again. Under Dieter Hecking, Gladbach had a win percentage of 43%, and played primarily in a 4-4-2 Diamond or 4-3-1-2 shape. Rose has since changed Gladbach's formation to primarily a 4-2-3-1, focusing more on quick transitions and the importance of fullbacks in build-up phases. His side haven't been spectacular this season, but they've been missing a few key figureheads and at the very least have continued to play some fantastic football. Now that Rose looks prepared to take over at Borussia Dortmund in time for next season, we take an in-depth look at the tactics he's deployed in 2020-21. Here is our updated 2020-21 tactical analysis of Borussia Monchengladbach under Marco Rose.
Recently, I did a second Aston Villa Tactical Analysis discussing how Dean Smith's side went from narrowly escaping relegation in 2019-20 to now being genuine contenders for the Europa League in time for next season. The same could be said of West Ham United. Although David Moyes' side escaped relegation by a greater margin, they've also been better than Villa by a narrow margin again this season, just in a much different place in the table for both. Like Aston Villa, West Ham United are also contenders for a place in next season's Europa League with their performances in the league in 2020-21. With Villa being one of their top challengers for a top six finish, doing the double over the Lions has also boasted well for the Hammers as they go into the final third of the season. Here is a tactical analysis of West Ham United since they shifted from a 5-4-1/3-4-3 formation to a 4-2-3-1.
After surviving relegation by a single point in 2019-20, few would have imagined Aston Villa to have such a stellar season in 2020-21. Instead of battling for relegation, they've been battling for a place in Europe, beating the likes of Liverpool, Arsenal and Leicester City along the way. Perhaps most impressively out of anything, beyond the results which have unequivocally been spectacular, Dean Smith's side have just been so much fun to watch. They've been tactically intriguing in their shifting systems and styles of play, but also just so full of life this season with Grealish and co leading their charge toward European football. Here is our latest Tactical Analysis all about Dean Smith’s Aston Villa, including why the Lions look destined for European football next season.
Since losing Raul Jimenez to a horrific head injury in November 2020, Wolves have picked up just 8 points in 11 matches. They've stumbled down the table to 14th, and they look a far cry from the side that finished 7th in previous back to back seasons. Without Raul Jimenez and a sudden abandonment of their back-three mantra, Nuno Espirito Santo's side look like a team that lack a clear identity to win football matches. This comes as a surprise, given that Wolverhampton had one of the clearest identities in the league two seasons in a row before this one. After their toothless performance in the second half against West Bromwich Albion, leading to a 3-2 defeat, we take a look at what's gone wrong for the Raul Jimenez-less Wolverhampton Wanderers in 2020-21.