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How can we overcome a 1-4-4-2 formation?

I coach a women's team wide range in age 16 - 54 , when the stars align we are a very strong team hard to beat and very stingy when it comes to goals against, the games we do lose are usually 1-0 games,The exception comes when we play a team that plays a 1-4-4-2 ,what makes it worse is that we play a 4-4-2 and are very successful with it, but when it comes to defending against it my Defense and Mids become confused. I have not had any luck in figuring out a way to explain to my team how to defend against it.

Any ideas on an easy way to fix this?

Thanks

Ok, we have to discuss options here as there are a number of solutions depending on your team’s strengths and weaknesses.

Most teams will want to retain one more defender than forward to act as cover in front or behind the defence. Whether the spare defender is in front or behind depends on the degree the opposition stretch play using one or two high forwards. The important thing about the spare defender is that she remains in touch with the marking defenders or they will be isolated in a 1 v 1 position potentially with plenty of space to exploit.

Where should that spare defender come from?

Three options:-

  1. Drop your Centre Midfield (Centre Half) deeper playing a tight back three allowing your right and left backs (right and left Halves) to push into midfield, playing four v four: thus Right and left Midfield with Right and Left Back against their four man midfield.
  2. Drop the Right or Left back to mark one of the two forwards; retaining one of the central defenders as sweeper. If the ball is on the attacking left, the right back will be pushed up into midfield and left back will be deep, marking a forward and vice-versa.
  3. Finally, if you want to risk more to press the game, then you can elect to push one of your central midfielders to pressure the opposition central defenders playing one versus ne through the pitch – a high risk high reward strategy requiring high levels of fitness. You may have to get your older players on-side if you want to try this!

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  • or access our tried and tested plans