Tactical Analysis – Heynckes’ 4-2-3-1 against Freiburg

Discussion in 'Germany' started by Covershadow, Oct 17, 2017.

  1. Covershadow

    Covershadow Member

    Aug 30, 2016
    Jupp Heynckes made his 2017\18 Bundesliga ‘debut’ on the weekend as the new\old Bayern coach. The Bavarians hosted Freiburg and earned the maximum three points with a 5-0 win. Let’s take a look at the tactics.


    The major talking points of this piece are:
    - The basic setup of the 4-2-3-1
    - Thomas Muller
    - Bayern's circulation
    - Bayern's press.


    Heynckes was known to succeed with his 4-2-3-1 when he brought Bayern the treble in 2013. There was an impressive, dynamic-duo in central midfield – Javi Martinez and Bastian Schweinsteiger were the two pressing machines – that saw them dismantle Barcelona with a 7-0 aggregate win.

    Against Freiburg, Heynckes fielded the basic shape of 4-2-3-1. Basti is of course no longer there and has been replaced by Javi’s compatriot, and former (and current target) Barca Thiago Alcantara. It was a similar set up of double pivot as Javi was deeper than Thiago and protected the space in front of the central defenders (Boateng and Hummels). At times, these three formed a diamond along with goalkeeper Sven Ulreich, at other moments Javi dropped to the first line creating a 3v2 situation against Freiburg’s first line. Thiago was not only positioned higher than Javi but with his capability and his role as ‘left pivot’, as expected, Bayern put an emphasis on ‘play making’ through the left side more often than the right one.


    Despite not his best display, the presence of Müller was unique as he was tasked a hybrid role. As the nominal 10, Müller also acted as (the secondary) 8, particularly on the right half space. He dropped deeper to cover that ground because: (1) Javi occupied the deep space around the 6, so someone needed to cover the space at the right 8 and (2) Freiburg pressed with 5-3-2 which one of the weakness was the less presence on the area beside of both wide-central midfielders. For a midfield trio in a 5-3-2 it has been well-known to be difficult to constantly cover the midfield line. This was evident given that the wide area was almost always only covered by one player. This, in turn, enabled Bayern to utilize the exterior as the outlet. Müller, Thiago, and both full backs alternately occupied such a space.

    Bayern’s ball circulation

    The presence of the triangles on each wide areas was crucial. One of the situations when the triangle provided its best effect was when Bayern switched from the left side to the right one and Kimmich – the right fullback – stayed in the middle third as Robben and Müller occupied the more advanced area.

    For full version, please click this link http://bundesligafanatic.com/tactical-analysis-heynckes-4-2-3-1-against-freiburg/

    Thanks for reading!! You can meet me on Twitter @ryantank100

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