Schalke 04 – Borussia Dortmund: Schalke’s Midfield Diamond Unable To Stop Dortmund (1-2)
The clash between rivals Schalke 04 and Borussia Dortmund contained interesting tactical setups and a derby mentality of either side. Dortmund managed to win due to their well-organized play in possession and Schalke’s reactive match-plan.
Schalke is experiencing a disastrous season so far and was in dire need of points going into this match, to be able to keep up with other mid-table teams in the Bundesliga. Borussia Dortmund on the other hand were league leaders and thus clear favourites to win this match.
Typically for Schalke’s manager Domenico Tedesco, is that he adjusts his team’s formation to the strengths and weaknesses of the opposition. As Dortmund recently struggled to create goal-scoring opportunities against sides with central compactness, Tedesco opted to play in a formation with a back-four, a diamond in midfield and two strikers up front. Due to the injury of three strikers, Tedesco lined up midfielder McKennie in the attack. Moreover, Amine Harit replaced Suat Serdar in central midfield compared to their recent draw against Hoffenheim.
Lucien Favre had to replace the injured central defender Dan-Axel Zagadou and brought in Manuel Akanji as a replacement. The Swiss coach undertook a surprising change in the attack by lining up Paco Alcácer as the only striker instead of Mario Götze. This did not have an impact on the tactical formation, as Favre sticked to his usual 4-2-3-1 formation.
Schalke’s suicidal diamond press and Dortmund sustaining possession
The match got off to an energetic start due to an early goal. Whereas Schalke impressed with their force in attacking and defending set-pieces last season, they have been strugglin a bit more this . . .