The 2022 Qatar World Cup is proving to be one of the best tournaments football fans have witnessed. The number of goalless draws and times smaller teams have outdone the more prominent names is also exciting and proves that football still remains almost unpredictable.
Knowing the sheer level of unpredictability that the Qatar World Cup has brought, it is nearly impossible to guess which team will take home the coveted trophy. However, you can make your predictions on any of the remaining teams Morocco, France, Argentina, and Croatia and stake on them with any of the Bookies featured on Betting Tips Africa.
The gap between the level of elite club football and international football has been known for quite some time. However, the distinctions in playing style have recently become more apparent. Club football, particularly the English Premier League, is characterized by a breakneck pace that stands out in two distinct ways.
(i) Firstly, the height and intensity of the press used by club (EPL) teams have increased significantly. There are variations in the intensity of the pressing from team to team, but the previous few years have seen a widespread trend toward a greater focus on closing down opponents in advanced situations in a concerted, unified, and relentless manner to win possession as quickly as possible. This is quite visible in teams like Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City, Jürgen Klopp’s Liverpool, Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal, and many more.
(ii) Secondly, the passing tempo is substantially quicker at club level as a result of differing levels of pressing. Attackers move quickly from one position to another but always within the framework of the team’s predetermined, rehearsed formation. The members of a team understand each other’s movements and can make precise, complex pass exchanges instinctively or simply by looking up for a fraction of a second.
As far as international football goes, the features mentioned above are hardly really a notable aspect. Most teams in Euro 2016 and 2020 sat deep and compact in the comfort of their own half, a strategy that was characterized by a few teams.
However, the 2022 Qatar World Cup is entirely serving us with a different ballgame. Teams are now steering away from the traditional approach to international football, and Betting Tips Africa will be highlighting THREE of the tactical systems noticed.
Do not forget that you can make more money on betting sites like Premier Bet, Betika, Sportpesa, Odibets, and more with your knowledge of football which can be widened broadly by expert predictions and analysis available at Betting Tips Africa.
The high-press is a modern tactic which involves a team actively engaging the opposition in their half. The aim is to win the ball back quickly in dangerous positions where it is more easier to carry out surgical precision attacks aided by the disorganization of the opposition’s defensive system at the time they lost the ball. On the other hand, the Counterpress is when the team switches back to their press when an attack breaks down, or they lose the ball suddenly.
Each member of the squad must be a master at keeping the ball and finding open teammates to pass it to for this strategy to work. Yet, the most impressive aspect of their play is their ability to function without the ball. They begin pushing with extraordinary vigor the moment they lose possession of the ball, which is why players in this system tend to be highly physical.
All players in a high-pressing system need to push together and understand their responsibilities. This begins with the forwards’ positioning when the goalkeeper or center backs have possession of the ball and continues all the way through the goalie, making a sweep.
The strikers aim to prevent the opposing center-backs from playing an easy pass to the midfielders by pressing them. When it comes to the opposing fullbacks, the wingers maintain a comfortable distance. This makes them appear to be under no pressure, but as soon as they touch the ball, a winger is on them to press them.
A high pressing approach off the ball has been used by possession-hungry sides like Manchester City, Liverpool, Bayern Munich, and so on. However, in the ongoing Qatar World Cup, Spain has been the champion of the high-press, although they did succumb to a penalty shootout against Morocco. It was refreshing to see a club strategy being implemented fully in a national side, though.
The “deep block,” also known as the “low block,” is referred to as the defensive shape or the defensive organization of a football team deep in their own half and closer to their 18-yard-box without the ball. Out-of-possession, “low block” also means defending the defensive third of the field.
Remaining compact in a deep position is crucial for a successful low-block, as the defense is set up in a deep formation to prevent the opponent from getting any breathing room in danger zones. Fronting the defense, the midfield and the offensive units work to minimize the space between themselves and block all passing lanes and angles into areas that can hurt them.
In an attacking sense, swift and incisive forward actions, such as passes, dribbles, switches of play, or runs with or without the ball, are essential for mounting effective counter-attacks from deeper positions in a low block. When facing the big clubs, smaller clubs will often turn to the deep-block as a solution, and so it is imperative that coaches find a way to counteract this strategy.
Morocco is one of the most successful teams to effectively utilise the low-block strategy, with their recent victory coming against European heavyweights Spain in their round-16 clash. The Atlas Lions successfully pushed La Roja into a penalty shootout, increasing their winning odds to 50%.
As an out-of-possession tactic, the mid-block aims to keep the ball out of the middle third of the field. The team’s foremost priority will be preventing the opponent from penetrating their defence. The team’s top attackers don’t get involved too deeply in the other team’s end of the field, while the defence doesn’t drop too deep. In this formation, the goalie is given a little room to work with behind the defensive line.
After retreating to the midblock, compactness becomes the top priority. However, upon possession of the ball, fast and precise attacks are the norm, as the opposing team will be slightly disorganized from pushing forward. France has been a very good user of this tactic in Qatar 2022. The likes of Kylian Mbappe, Ousmane Dembele, and Antoine Griezmann have made the French such a formidable team on fast breaks from their mid block.
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