Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Dunga's influence on Brazil still evident.

After the World Cup one of the biggest criticisms of the Brazilian manager Dunga was that he was playing too defensive a brand of football, not allowing the Samba Boys demonstrate their flair and creativity. Upon his ouster it was hoped by many fans of La Selecao that they would return to a style of yesteryear. Surprise surprise, what appears to be the line up for today's match will feature a 4-3-1-2

L'équipe probable contre la France : Julio Cesar - Daniel Alves, Thiago Silva, David Luiz, André Santos - Elias, Lucas, Hernanes - Renato Augusto - Robinho, Pato

In form with Brazil
3 deep lying midfielders? That is more of a Catenaccio of Italian fame....with 7 players lined up deeper on the pitch. Granted, the Brazilian fullbacks are really much more oriented to pushing forward than in defending - Daniel Alves being the more offensive oriented of the pair. Watch him play for Barca and at times it appears Barca have a 3 man back line with Alves constantly pushed high into the opponent's 18 yard box. However this is necessary if you are playing with a 3 man holding midfield - the fullbacks are expected to provide the width and flanking attack that wold usually be assumed by wide midfielders or wingers. Of course the front pair of Rohinho and Pato are lethal enough on their own, with Pato on quite a goal scoring run as of late for Brazil. Yet without Kaka to anchor their midfield, will the two front men be able to get the service necessary to spring the French defense? Of course Menezes could push up Augusto and play a more offensive 4-3-3 formation, however that might make Brazil very vulnerable in the midfield and open up a lot of space for Malouda, Menez and Gourcuff.

The key for France will be how does Malouda and Menez deal with the marauding Brazilian fullbacks and will they force the French fullbacks - Sagna and Abidal to hold deeper for fear of the Brazilian flanks coming in from deep? With Brazil lining up two high strikers it will most likely force the French back line to also hold a deeper line - Rami and Mexes will need to look for Diarra and M'Vila to shadow one of the Brazilian striking tandem to allow a French center back some freedom to cover. Offensively it will be interesting to see how France will be able to get the space necessary for Benzema to create and hopefully put necessary pressure on the Brazilian goal. I could see the Real Madrid striker drift wide at times to take the space most likely vacated by Alves and look to make some runs from these angles, force the Brazilian center backs to have to move wide to cover. This could open some diagonal channels for the likes of Malouda and Menez to run into, and hopefully have a Gourcuff that has found his passing boots.

Should be an interesting tactical match. I see it ending 1-1, goals from Pato and Diarra.

Allez les Bleus!

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