Between the Posts weekend preview: a look at the games we will write about next weekend
Welcome to the weekend preview of Between the Posts. In this article, you can find out which games are going to be featured as tactical match reports during the upcoming weekend – seven in total – including a little preview of these matches.
Saturday (October 20th)
Chelsea – Manchester United (Premier League), 12:30 CET
José Mourinho returns to Stamford Bridge once again. Renewing the acquaintance will remind the Portuguese manager of better times, when he was ahead of the Premier League tactically and actually competed for the title.
The last five games between these two clubs all finished with only one goal separating the sides. Chelsea have turned into a passing-and-pressing team now, though, and Maurizio Sarri’s side will aim to do just that against United. In the only other game against a fellow top-side – Tottenham Hotspur – Manchester United surprised everybody pressing high up the field. That plan worked a lot better than the 0-3 loss made it look. If Mourinho opts for the same tactic against Chelsea, we are in for a good one.
Article to be written by Peter M.
VFL Wolfsburg – Bayern Munich (Bundesliga), 14:30 CET
Four consecutive games without a win, including two straight Bundesliga defeats, have some Bayern fans scratching their head about the summer appointment of Niko Kovač.
The Bavarians have frankly looked old in recent times. It remains to be seen whether the international break has provided the German record-champion some time to figure things out, seeing that Manuel Neuer, Jérôme Boateng and Mats Hummels got exposed against Holland (3-0 loss).
Bayern will look to stop their losing skid at Wolfsburg, a mid-table team that won their first two league games of the season, but have failed to take the three points from their last five Bundesliga games. Wolfsburg is dealing with a whole host of injuries, which might make things a bit easier for Bayern.
Article to be written by Sam Planting
West Ham United – Tottenham Hotspur (Premier League), 15:00 CET
The first time these two clubs met in a competitive fixture was in 1898, when the 2-3-5 formation was still in vogue. The 210th edition (!) of this London derby kicks off Saturday afternoon, and it is safe to say football tactics have developed considerably in the meantime.
Tottenham look like they have done over the past seasons. A playing style with so much freedom and positional changes that it is sometimes hard to say what formation is exactly fielded by Mauricio Pochettino.
Even though The Hammers have been the fifth biggest spender in last summer’s transfer window, Manuel Pellegrini has been struggling to implement his philosophy at West Ham United. Pellegrini has especially been struggling to find the right balance in midfield, switching back and forth between 4-2-3-1 and 4-3-3.
Article to be written by Josh Manley
Villarreal – Atlético Madrid (LaLiga), 17:30 CET
Diego Simeone and his boys are working their grind-it-out-magic again. Atlético have scored nine goals in their first eight LaLiga games this season – only eight teams in the Spanish top flight have scored less than the Rojiblancos… and Atlético are somehow one point away from claiming the top spot on the league table. The two new faces in the squad, Rodri Hernández as former captain Gabi’s replacement in midfield and Thomas Lemar as an extra playmaker on the wing, have integrated into the team slowly but nicely.
On Saturday, Atlético will face another tough, 4-4-2 playing team in Villarreal, a team that has struggled to score as well. With six goals scored and eight points from eight games, Villarreal are drifting close to the relegation spots.
Article to be written by José Perez
FC Barcelona – Sevilla (LaLiga), 19:45 CET
If you thought Atlético’s current situation is weird… check out Barcelona. Barça have failed to win in four straight LaLiga games, but can reclaim the top spot on the league table with a home win against current league leader Sevilla.
New manager Pablo Machín has made some changes to this Sevilla side. They set up in a 3-5-2 formation, that consists of a weird, but effective mix of a lot of creativity in the center of midfield with Éver Banega, Franco Vázquez and Pablo Sarabia combined with a swift, direct counter-attacking playing style. Strikers André Silva and Wissam Ben Yedder have thrived because of these tactics so far – with twelve goals scored through eight rounds, the Portuguese-French striking partnership has been the most effective attacking duo in LaLiga this year.
Article to be written by Sérgio Ramos Sampaio
Sunday (October 20th)
AC Milan – Internazionale (Serie A), 19:30 CET
This game is called Il Derby della Madonnina, as it is a symbolic battle for the statue of the Virgin Mary on the top of the Duomo in Milan. This game often stands for everything you can expect from a Serie A game: intense and tactical battles that are decided by street smartness.
Luciano Spalletti’s Internazionale have been struggling throughout this season, not being the better team in several games, but eking out win after win nonetheless. Inter have now won six competitive games in a row, are third in the league and have six points from two Champions League games. What it all actually means will be put to the test against Gennaro Gattuso’s well-organized AC Milan on Sunday evening.
Article to be written by Erik Elias
Monday (October 22th)
Arsenal – Leicester City (Premier League), 20:00 CET
Do not sleep on Leicester City, guys. They have very comfortably played themselves towards the upper half of the Premier League table. Their nominal starting eleven now contains three English internationals in Harry Maguire, Ben Chilwell and Jamie Vardy. Leicester have lost four games, three of those with a one goal deficit.
Arsenal have done the same as Internazionale so far this season: win without playing well – the 1-5 victory over Fulham at Craven Cottage being the exception. Under Unai Emery, there is less freedom for players to switch position. Mesut Özil, for instance, sees less of the ball and plays a more restricted role on the outside of attacking midfield. It remains to be seen whether Arsenal’s hot streak can continue against Leicester City on Monday evening.
Article to be written by Neill Barclay