VfL Wolfsburg – Eintracht Frankfurt: Wolfsburg’s Zeal Decides Intense Duel (1-2)
Wolfsburg and Eintracht Frankfurt entered this match with starkly contrasting fortunes. But the form book firmly went out of the window in an affair between two sides whose intensity and aggression in defensive organization both enabled periods of dominance and glaring windows of opportunity to the opposition.
Tactical analysis by Emmanuel Adeyemi-Abere.
Wolfsburg have enjoyed a strong campaign under the stewardship of new manager Oliver Glasner. Vying to consolidate sixth place and in turn Europa League qualification, the hosts entered this fixture following a resounding 4-1 victory against Bayer Leverkusen. Given this display, Glasner deployed the same starting eleven that won so emphatically in that midweek fixture.
On the other hand, Eintracht Frankfurt are mired in a torrid run of form with the impending threat of a relegation dogfight. Currently lying in 14th place, Adi Hütter’s men are winless in their last six games, finally breaking their losing streak with a 3-3 draw against SC Freiburg. Hütter again opted for a 3-4-1-2 formation and made four changes to the lineup from midweek, most notably restoring captain David Abraham to a rickety defense that has conceded no less than 21 goals during their winless streak.
Frankfurt’s pressing sets the tone
As could have been expected from a side coached by Hütter, Eintracht Frankfurt stifled Wolfsburg’s buildup aggressively, shifting into a 3-1-4-2 system to press during the early proceedings of the game. Daichi Kamada and André Silva sprinted diagonally towards the center-backs in order to trigger the press. In conjunction with the man-marking by the central midfielders, the guests sought to isolate Wolfsburg on the flanks where the . . .