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Author: Mattia Fontana

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Germany had qualified for Euro 2016 as the first team in Group D, but only the Czech Republic – of the winning formations in a group – had conceded more goals (14 compared with 9). And yet, now the Mannschaft faces the quarter finals challenge against Italy as the only formation that has not yet yielded a goal in Euro 2016, with Neuer who has not allowed a score for an impressive 424’.

Credit for this seems to go to a few measures, especially offensive, adopted by Joachim Loew.
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PRESSING

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Germany’s true defensive and offensive strength lies in pressing. No national team in the world applies it as consistently as they do. Despite the many quality midfielders on the starting line-up, the team masks the defensive difficulties in one-on-one defensive situations with a very high ball recovery average. In the image in question, Slovakia tries to rely on Marek Hamsik to gain a little breathing room.

But Julian Draxler attacks him immediately and the Mannschaft finds the space for an offensive transition orchestrated by four players, already preventively manoeuvring to get open, thanks to their tendency to collaborate with the pressing. Spain did none of this. Now Italy will not be as lucky.
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OFFENSIVE LINE-UP

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Germany’s offensive phase has been further perfected with the return of Mario Gomez as a starter in place of Mario Gotze and with the addition of Kimmich on the right wing in place of Howedes. The team has gained in terms of depth and the quality of their crosses, but also in offensive manoeuvres, coordinated better with Muller as centre halfback.

In the ball possession phase, Germany lines up with two players who have the task of staying wide on the outside lines in order to give at least three others (centre forward and two other players) the chance to attack centrally with as much freedom as possible. Whoever sets up the play has various options. Including the option of spreading out the move the play over to the weak side in the event that the spaces are crowded.
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BAYERN OFFENSIVE LINE-UP

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The similarity to Bayern Munich is unsettling in appearance, but slightly different in substance. In fact, the two players who are asked to play on the outside lines in the Guardiola system tend to be the forward wings (in other words, Douglas Costa and Robben). On the German national team, on the other hand, they are almost always the two fullbacks (Hector and Kimmich).

All of this works together so that less effort is required, since the two sides do not have to receive and cut inside to the centre of the pitch to finish (as occurs in Guardiola’s formation), but at the most they will go deep and cross. All of this also works together to ensure that the team is much more stable – and able to return quickly in the event of an opposing counter attack – in the defensive phase.
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Mattia Fontana
Mattia Fontana, Eurosport Italia editor.
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