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[av_heading tag=’h3′ padding=’10’ heading=’LET’S TRY TO UNDERSTAND WHAT ADVANTAGES IT PROVIDES BY LOOKING AT THE ITALIAN EXAMPLES OF JUVENTUS AND FIORENTINA’ color=’custom-color-heading’ style=’blockquote modern-quote modern-centered’ custom_font=’#ffffff’ size=” subheading_active=” subheading_size=’15’ custom_class=”][/av_heading]

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Author: Mattia Fontana

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They weren’t able to go beyond the Champions League round of 16, but Massimiliano Allegri’s Juventus is still one of the most interesting teams at the moment.

In the top spot of the league after a comeback built on 19 wins and a draw, protagonist of a new undefeated streak record in Serie A (973’) and exciting to watch on a tactical level as well.

If the first post-Conte year had a squad capable of going from 3-5-2 to 4-3-1-2, the second year with Allegri as coach resulted in a line-up that is able to slide between two formations depending on the phase of the match.

What does it mean to change formation during the course of the game and what advantages does it provide?

Let’s try to understand it by looking at the Italian examples of Juventus and Fiorentina.
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DEFENSIVE JUVENTUS 4-5-1

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JUVENTUS FORMATION EVRA DEEP 3-5-2

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OFFENSIVE JUVENTUS GOAL BY POGBA

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In the image above you can see how Juventus manages to even go from a 4-5-1 formation in defensive phase, with Pogba and Alex Sandro alternating on the left. This was the defensive choice used to better cover the spaces against Bayern Munich, although usually Allegri opts for a 4-4-2 formation. In the second image, we see how in the offensive phase the formation transforms into a 3-5-2. And in the third one, how this formation contributed to the build-up to Pogba scoring.
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FIORENTINA DEFENSIVE PHASE

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FIORENTINA OFFENSIVE PHASE

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The most interesting characteristic of Paolo Sousa’s Fiorentina is how a 4-4-2 formation in the defensive phase integrates with a 3-4-3 in the offensive push phase.

The mechanisms of the left corridor are decisive.

At the top we can see how Fiorentina sets up without the ball with Pasqual (but generally this is Marcos Alonso’s role) as left back and Borja Valero as outside midfielder. At the bottom we see how – in the offensive phase – the side defensive push implies a diagonal move toward the centre of the pitch (both in the circle), where the play can best be developed.
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CONCLUSIONS:

  1. The formation change during the course of the game is a tactical weapon that never gives the opponent points of reference, complicating matters in terms of man-marking;
  2. In the defensive phase the 4-4-2 formation tends to prevail, in other words, this line-up allows players to cover the spaces better than any other. Teams that need balance draw significant benefits from this, given the shorter distance between the different components of the squad;
  3. This type of play could even come from the need to cover up a few shortcomings on the part of the backs, a position where it is becoming harder and harder to find top shelf talent;
  4. In the offensive phase, it also allows the slower players to attack the space between the midfield and the opposing defence.

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Mattia Fontana
Mattia Fontana, Eurosport Italia editor.
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