Tactical Analysis: SL Benfica Vs FC Porto

Introduction 

Another classic encounter to come out of the ‘O Classico’ in the Primera de Portugal. Porto were on a pretty good run with only 1 loss all season in the league at the hands of Sporting Lisbon. Benfica were leading the league so a win here would get them that much closer to securing the league title for their fourth consecutive year.

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Tactical Analysis: Atalanta 0-0 Fiorentina 

Introduction

The latest encounter between Atalanta and Fiorentina resulted an excellent contest. Both teams had missing players in their starting line-ups, Bernadeshi and Tomovic on the bench for Fiorentina and Kessie missing for Atalanta. Atalanta were in great form coming into this league fixture with 4 straight wins in the month of February including an impressive away win at Napoli the previous week. Fiorentina however had been knocked out of the Europa League by Borussia Monchengladbach and had 1 win and draw and 2 losses to AC Milan and Roma.

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LEFT BEHIND: SEVILLA AND BARCELONA SLIP, REAL GAINS GROUND

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Source: Getty Images

As the title race nears an end the drama that accompanies it has always been exhilarating, even more than watching your favourite team cruise past teams. The latest round of La Liga (Round 27) saw major damages distributed to Sevilla and Barcelona, two teams fighting for the title alongside Real Madrid, the latter which managed to surmount a very incentive Betis side.
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Barcelona and Real Madrid gain vital points, while Sevilla continue to entertain the masses

The latest round of La Liga (11/2/17-12/2/17) saw all three title contenders win their respective games. Sevilla overcome a strong Las Palmas side away, on the other side Real Madrid dispatched Osasuna even though they looked a bit shaky whiles Barcelona purloined the exhibition with a strong performance, which saw them decimate Copa del Rey final opponents Alaves, after losing at home earlier this season against them. 

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Tactical Analysis: Real Betis 3-3 RC Celta Vigo

Introduction

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Real Betis were playing their 4th game under Victor Sanchez with the previous three encounters resulting in 2 home wins and an away loss. Celta Vigo was coming into this match with just 1 away win in the League during the 2016-17 campaign. Last Season, both matches between Betis and Celta ended in draws.

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The La Liga title race reaches boiling point

 

Source: sportskeeda.com

Week 17 of La Liga saw a major blow delivered to league leaders Real Madrid allowing Sevilla and Barcelona to move a point and two closer respectively, though Real Madrid still has a game in hand. Atletico might not be far off as they are currently six points adrift their city rivals and Real’s next game might decide if they’re also back in the title race. I go on to look at the remaining games for the current top three La Liga teams. Real Madrid. The league leaders will host Celta at home in the Copa del Rey and they will look to bounce back from their first loss since April 2016. That game will be crucial because if they have been mentally subjugated from the last minute loss to Sevilla then it will most likely extend to their next league matches. Out of their remaining twenty-one matches, 8-11 of them has the potential to cause trouble for Los Blancos.

 

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Tactical Analysis: A profile of Napoli’s build-up play

Under the tactical guidance of Maurizio Sarri, S.S.C. Napoli have emerged as the quintessential heartthrob of Italian football. The Serie A mainstays, once inspired and enlightened by the spellbinding heroics of a certain Diego Armando Maradona, Napoli are now praised for the attacking flair indoctrinated within tactical game plans, inevitably showcased within each respective encounter. Naples’ footballing representatives are now a favourite among enthusiasts of the tactical side of the Beautiful game, and this is perhaps due to how Sarri’s tactical style contradicts the Italian football stereotype to such an extent. With a slight pinch of romanticism, what attracts analysts as well as supporters alike is how Napoli act within the transition phase of build-up play. But perhaps the most important component in regards to the progression of build-up (the continuation of flow, the excitement!) is the continuity and intelligence of the team, which are perhaps exerted by the midfield in particular.

When in possession of the ball, three separate aspects of overall build-up play exemplify how thorough, incisive and intelligent Napoli can be. Yet, the analysed aspects would  in some cases prove to be incompetent for Napoli during transitional phases without the sheer significance of overall team and combination shape/s, as well excellent positional awareness.

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