Ireland: defensive, and no reason to change

“Giovanni Trapattoni has guided Ireland to their first major tournament for a decade, yet there are still questions about his tactics. His basic approach barely needs further explanation from the diagram on the left. There’s a standard back four, two hard-working central midfielders, two wingers who run with the ball, with a support player dropping off a main striker. It’s a 4-4-2, a 4-4-1-1 if you like, but near enough the most basic system imaginable in modern football.” Zonal Marking

Portugal 6-2 Bosnia: Portugal better all over the pitch (and Bosnia’s complete reshuffle at half-time doesn’t help)
“Paulo Bento’s side wobbled midway through the match, but overall deserved to progress to Euro 2012. Bento made no changes from the first leg, persisting with a 4-3-3 formation with Helder Postiga upfront. Safet Susic kept his midfield and attack in tact, but made suspension-related changes at the back. Sasa Papac was available again so started at left-back to replace Sejad Salihovic. This was a completely different match from the first leg – much more open and also much quicker.” Zonal Marking

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