Supercopa de Espana Analysis from MBP School of Coaches
Barcelona and Athletic Club meet this Sunday in the final of the Supercopa de Espana.
With the help of MBP School of Coaches, we’ve highlighted and analysed the strengths of each side and looked at what might make the difference on the night.
The inclusion of Pedri in the side has meant a change in their style and structure of attacking play. Koeman’s side have returned to their usual 4-3-3 formation with the famous attacking trident up top.
This means the team can play more fluently when moving forward. It often sees the central striker – Messi or Griezmann – dropping deep and playing as a false nine, which gives the central midfielders another out ball.
This system also allowed Frenkie De Jong to press forward and drop in to the pocket behind the forwards, while Pedri and Sergio Busquets sit in the holding roles.
Barcelona will stick with the defensive structure they adopted at the start of the season with a 4-2-3-1 when defending zonally. This will vary when they are pressing opponents and the attacking midfielder will push further up the pitch while the wingers will track the opposing fullbacks in a 4-4-2-type formation.
The Bilbao club are still trying to find their exact winning formula under their new coach.
What we can be sure of, however, is that they will play under Marcelino’s usual philosophy of controlling the match while defending and transitioning well from defence to attack.
We saw in the semi-final that the Basque side are extremely organised defensively in all areas of the pitch. They know exactly when to press and when to be organised which allwed them to prevent Real Madrid playing out quickly from the back by pressing high.
They normally line up in a 4-4-2 formation which turns in to a 4-1-3-2 when the opposing side have the ball close to their own area.
Something that stands out in the Bilbao side is the number of players who pressure the ball in their opponents’ half in an attempt to overrun them and force them in to errors. This allows them to win the ball back in dangerous areas and quickly punish opponents, as they did for the first goal against Real Madrid.
Lastly, another important characteristic of Marcelino’s side is their transition from defence to attack.
When defending their own area, they usually move to two blocks of four, leaving two forwards high up the pitch. This means that when they win the ball back, they can play it forward quickly to the front men who usually find themselves in space ready to launch a counter-attack.
Both sides are going through transitional periods, but do have certain strong points in their play that have to be considered going in to the game.
Barcelona have vastly improved defensively and the inclusion of youngster Pedri has allowed them more fluid movement going forward and has seen them move the ball much more quickly.
On the other hand, Athletic Club are still finding their feet with their new system. Their defensive discipline is what has stood out most since Marcelino took over as well as their fast transitions from defence to attack.
We’re sure that if both sides can play to their strengths, that we’re in for a great final.