Tactical Analysis: Preview - Leicester City v Liverpool
Game of the weekend in the Premier League takes place at the King Power Stadium as Leicester City play host to Liverpool FC on Saturday afternoon (12:30pm kick-off BST).
Liverpool have begun the season well, with three wins out of three league games putting them top of the table.
From an attacking point of view, the combination of Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah is as potent a strike-force as there is in the division. There are all skilful, have good pace and know where the back of the net is, so the Leicester back-line will have their hands full.
Looking at some early season statistics, they back this statement up. Liverpool have the second highest shots total in the division so far with 56. Worrying for their opponents, they have only 27 shots which puts them in 18th on that particular league table.
In terms of tactical approach, the two teams have a similar style although play different formations. They can counter attack at pace, and it is often said that they are most dangerous when they don't have the ball because as soon as they win it back, they can break and punish teams who perhaps over commit in attacking them.
Both Claude Puel and Jurgen Klopp operate a back four with their teams, with Leicester applying a 4-2-3-1 while Liverpool play a 4-3-3. We've set these up using the Formation function in Globall Coach with the line ups from their previous Premier League fixtures.
That said, though, The Reds have Milner and Keita who can sit deep in the midfield to provide added protection for the back four, with Wijnaldum allowed a bit of freedom to join the attackers further forward which would then mirror Leicester's set-up.
The aforementioned differential in shots on goal between the two sides can be evened up somewhat by set pieces. Leicester have the likes of Wes Morgan and Harry Maguire who come up from the back and offer a big threat with their physicality and aerial prowess. Below is a Globall Coach animation and accompanying video of a corner routine they used against Manchester United.
Liverpool can be threatening from set pieces too, and have scored from a corner kick against West Ham United on the opening day of the season (Daniel Sturridge). LFC have also shown their intent to work on set pieces by appointing a specific coach to work on throw ins (read more here), demonstrating that they are keen to take advantage of marginal gains as much as possible.
It should be an intriguing battle. While Liverpool are clear favourites, with Firmino, Sane and Salah who will trouble any defence in the country, the pace and guile of Iheanacho, Gray, Maddison and Pereira will certainly cause some problems for the Liverpool rearguard. They will look to try and get Gray and Pereira in the wide positions pushing Liverpool's full backs deeper as Alexander-Arnold and Robertson love to bomb forward and have excellent delivery from wide areas.
Want to see how Globall Coach be used by clubs to help prepare for an upcoming fixture? Read a blog by Brooklyn Italians head coach Dominic Casciato on how they use the software (click here).