Scouting Report: Liverpool | Stats & In-Depth Tactical Analysis

Scouting Report: Liverpool | Stats & In-Depth Tactical Analysis

This week Martin Lewis has a scouting report on Brendan Rodgers’ Liverpool side. This will not only be interesting for Liverpool supporters but also Tottenham Hotspur supporters before the big Super Sunday game. In fact supporters of any club that are yet to play Liverpool this season will find this in-depth tactical and statistical analysis interesting.

You can find Tottenham’s Scouting Report from earlier in the season here: Tottenham Scouting Report

[box_light]N.B. Please note that this is not an article – the purpose of this report is just that for it to seem like a Scouting Report please take it in such a way.[/box_light]

Liverpool – Initial information:

Screen shot 2013-03-06 at 17.15.48

  • The team is starting to fully adapt to new style is continuously improving, with more consistency in performances in games as well as a positive recent run of results.
  • They will be fully motivated to try to win for the third consecutive game in a row for the first time in the Premier League this season to try to push for 4th place in the remaining games. 
  • Very objective team in the way they want to play, embracing the philosophy brought in by Brendan Rogers of a team with a high amount of individual technical ability, dominate ball possession and initiative in each game to cause ‘Death by football‘ as well as collective, hard-working, well organised and  aggressive high pressure off the ball.

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Injury news:

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Image from physioroom.com

Offensive organisation: Screen shot 2013-03-06 at 17.28.14

  • Team set up in a fluid 4x3x3 with clear idea of how they want to play and how to adapt to different defensive pressure in different areas of the pitch from the opposition.
  • Look to play with initiative and control the game.
  • Very good dynamics and mobility to use in offensive play, with mobility from all 3 attacking players to interchange, come deep and stretch defence with runs into depth. Also mobility from Gerrard and Allen to drop deep and break lines to support attack.
  • In first phase & second phase they look to play short from the back [goalkeeper good with feet]. The centre backs will split, full-backs will be high + wide to create big and open pitch. Lucas will also drop between the centre backs to help gain the initiative & help the build up and progression of play from the back. Gerrard & Allen will split and go on the outside of the opposition central midfielders and Suarez will drop in between lines to draw the opposition defensive line further from goal to create depth to exploit.
  • If the opposition are pressing very high they will play diagonal balls over the top [from the goalkeeper] to the full-backs, [good in the air] and play on the second ball off them. By building up either way,  they have achieved their objective of drawing the opposition towards them and then getting past the oppositions first line of defensive pressure to allow them to play in between lines facing play with depth to exploit. Once they have caused the uncertainty in the front line of the opposition, they can then mix up the short build up and diagonal balls depending on the situation to cause them to drop deep & give them the space to build up.
  • Patient when reaching creation areas, with ability to penetrate depth & stretch defence to break line orientation.
  • Main threats are balls to Suarez into depth, Suarez 1v1 vs defender in the box [capacity to beat or put ball though legs of defender], inside progression from Johnson & pull back crosses from byline.
  • When defending against them, it’s important to be compact & organised to then go on and press high with a trigger.
  • Block Lucas from build up play & allow the centre backs to play the ball.
  • Make sure that the centre backs can’t find vertical passes to the feet of attacking players coming deep in between lines [also be ready to expect long balls into depth] to force one of Allen or Gerrard to come deep to receive ball, [with back to play] then press them and move up to force them to go back to Reina and long.
  • With the long ball to either fullback, you will now have the numerical advantage over them to win the second ball.

Team dynamics: 

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Defensive organisation:Screen shot 2013-03-06 at 17.28.00

  • Defensively they are courageous enough to play medium-high block with initiative from the front to press & force opposition to go long. Wide block with defensive line high, very aggressive 1v1. Team drops and becomes tighter with progression in play, with very tight lines and high numerical numbers in the middle in low block.
  •  Agger can get draw out wide, leaving only Carragher & Johnson left in the box when attacking down their left. (Look to overload in box)
  • Agger is also very aggressive and will get tight to opponent player to not give him time on the ball. Important for offensive players to use mobility to arrive and receive ball in front of the defenders for quick lay offs to create space behind them to exploit. (Draw him in between lines)
  • Space for the pull back cross as the midfielders can get caught too high and far away from the defensive line, especially in quick transitions.
  • Good aggression from Lucas, gets really tight & closes space quickly to give opponent no time on the ball in defensive transitions.
  • Coutinho doesn’t always track his man, allowing overlaps on his side.

Next Page: Pressing Patterns & Triggers (use page numbers or Quick Navigation below)

Liverpool Scouting Report: Quick Navigation

Dynamics, Initial Info & Stats | Pressing Patterns & Triggers

Pattern & Combination PlayImplications of substitutions

[box_light]All of the stats from this article have been taken from the Opta Stats Centre at EPLIndex.comSubscribe Now (Includes author privileges!) Check out our new Top Stats feature on the Stats Centre which allows you to compare all players in the league & read about new additions to the stats centre.[/box_light]

Pressing Patterns & Triggers:

Pressing in opposition half

  • Initiative to press high and from the front in a 4x1x4x1 formation to force the opposition to go long.
  • Defensive line will be high & Lucas becomes a 6, where there is lateral space either side of him.
  • When the opposition defender is facing play with the ball, the team will drop and look to block all short passing options to force them to go long or progress with the ball to far, to then take the ball off them.
  • The triggers to start pressing again are: poor touch, poor weight on a pass, player turning to face sideways or own goalkeeper[back to play] with the ball and any vertical passes into central midfield.
  • With long balls, the defensive line will drop. Here they are vulnerable to central midfielders breaking lines and winning the second ball in the areas next to Lucas.

Initial press from Suarez:

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Progression from defender:

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Dropping after vertical pass:

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Block compactness when defending in own half:

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Creating overlap on their left hand side to draw Agger out:

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Offensive transitions[first 10 seconds after losing the ball]:

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  • Quick transitions from Reina.
  • Initial ball to depth for Suarez.
  • Gerrard has the vision & ability to penetrate depth with quick, early and perfectly weighted passes.
  • If initial ball isn’t on they will circulate ball & regain shape.
  • Especially when the ball is won deep, they will often go back to the goalkeeper in order to re-organise and regain position to build up play. Important to press Reina quickly to force him to go long to not allow them to regain position and organisation.

 

Quick transitions from Reina:

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Quick balls to depth from Gerrard:

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Defensive transitions[first 10 seconds after losing the ball]:

  • High intensity and strong reaction to the area of the ball. 
  • For the first 5 seconds they will press high and condense the space around the ball in order to win it quickly or force opposition to go back to the goalkeeper and long. If the ball isn’t won, they will drop to a medium block & wait for a trigger to start pressing again.
  • Quick transitions can exploit them down their right hand side in the space behind Johnson and Carragher.

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Set plays

Offensive corners:

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Short corner:

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Defensive corners:

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Offensive frontal free kicks:

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Defensive frontal free kicks:

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Defensive free kicks from the side:

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Next Page: Pattern & Combination Play (use page numbers or Quick Navigation below)

Liverpool Scouting Report: Quick Navigation

Dynamics, Initial Info & Stats | Pressing Patterns & Triggers

Pattern & Combination PlayImplications of substitutions

[box_light]All of the stats from this article have been taken from the Opta Stats Centre at EPLIndex.comSubscribe Now (Includes author privileges!) Check out our new Top Stats feature on the Stats Centre which allows you to compare all players in the league & read about new additions to the stats centre.[/box_light]

Pattern and combination play

Short build up shape :

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Short build up patterns:

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Long build up patterns:

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Dynamics of the left hand side:

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Suarez dropping deep to allow Gerrard to break lines:

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Inside progression from fullbacks:

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Drawing Agger between lines:

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Next Page: Implications of Substitutions (use page numbers or Quick Navigation below)

Liverpool Scouting Report: Quick Navigation

Dynamics, Initial Info & Stats | Pressing Patterns & Triggers

Pattern & Combination PlayImplications of substitutions

[box_light]All of the stats from this article have been taken from the Opta Stats Centre at EPLIndex.comSubscribe Now (Includes author privileges!) Check out our new Top Stats feature on the Stats Centre which allows you to compare all players in the league & read about new additions to the stats centre.[/box_light]

Implications of substitutions

Henderson and Sturridge will offer the team different dynamics.

Henderson can play on the left, with inside defensive movements to allow more overlaps from Enrique and increasing the frequency of central midfielders breaking lines:

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Sturridge will play upfront, with Suarez as a 10 and Allen dropping to the bench. This will mean more of a 4x2x3x1 system, with Henderson moving inside again to cover the space Suarez leaves, overlaps from Enrique, Suarez used more for creation [can break lines as well as play combinations in between lines & penetration in-depth] and Sturridge plays more of an on the last shoulder of the defender, using his immense mobility and hunger for goals to always be in areas to exploit depth & follow-up second ball off the goalkeeper:

2013-03-08 23.01.14

[box_light]All of the stats from this article have been taken from the Opta Stats Centre at EPLIndex.comSubscribe Now (Includes author privileges!) Check out our new Top Stats feature on the Stats Centre which allows you to compare all players in the league & read about new additions to the stats centre.[/box_light]