Hello sports fans, as the World Cup continues, check out the formation supremacy at Brazil 2014.
The road to the most popular sporting event on the planet is a long one. The World Cup is not just a 32-team soccer extravaganza, which takes place over the course of roughly four weeks every four years. It is the end product of nearly two years’ worth of qualifying tournaments, preliminary matches, and eliminations.
The process is divided by FIFA’s six confederations — Africa; Asia; Europe; North, Central America and Caribbean; Oceania; and South America — with each region having its own system to select which nations will represent it at the World Cup.
The African zone uses three rounds to eliminate 38 of its 58 member nations and end up with four groups of five teams in the fourth stage. Each group winner advances to the World Cup to give Africa a total of four representatives, plus the hosts South Africa, which is given an automatic bye.
After three preliminary rounds, the field is reduced from 43 to 10 teams, which are drawn into two groups for the fourth round. The two group winners and the two runners-up qualify automatically for the World Cup.
The third-placed teams from each group square off in a home-and-away series with the winner advancing to the playoff with the winner of the Oceania zone.
The European zone alone includes 53 teams competing for a 12 slots in South Africa. It is also separated into two rounds. The first consists of 8, round robin, home-and-away groups of 6 teams as well as 1 round robin, home-and-away group of 5 teams. Each of the eight group winners qualifies automatically for the World Cup. The best eight runners-up, as determined by points totals, advance to the second round.
In round two, the eight teams are paired into four home-and-away series decided by aggregate goals, with the winners advancing to the tournament.
North, Central America and Caribbean (CONCACAF)
This is by far the most complicated region with four rounds of qualifying to whittle down 35 teams to three or four slots. With several sets of small group stages and home-and-away knockout matches, it heavily favors the region’s powerhouses like the United States and Mexico.
Qualifying culminates with a single six-team, home-and-away group from which the top three teams go to the World Cup. The fourth-placed team can still qualify, but it faces a home-and-away tie with the fifth-placed side from the South American region.
The Oceania region uses the tournament at the South Pacific Games to determine which countries will compete for its single slot in the World Cup. The top three finishers at the South Pacific Games, along with one pre-seeded side, form a four-team group in the second stage of qualifying.
The winner of that group will earn a two-game playoff against the fifth finisher in the Asian Zone for a place in the World Cup.
South America (CONMEBOL)
The South American contingent at the World Cup is determined by a single 10-team league, in which each side plays every one else twice. The top four qualify automatically and the fifth-placed nation faces a playoff against the fourth finisher from the North, Central America and Caribbean Zone.
While the quality of player at a coach’s disposal is the fundamental factor in how a team performs, soccer formations can also have a decisive influence on the course of a game. Some professional coaches swear by particular formations, with Fabio Capello known as a 4-4-2 man, Jose Mourinho an advocate of the 4-3-3 and Rafael Benitez a believer in the 4-2-3-1. Here is a look at five popular formations in modern day soccer.
This is a tried and trusted formation that has brought success for many coaches. Still the most popular formation in world soccer, the 4-4-2 ensures good balance throughout the side, typically with one defensive midfielder employed, and one of the front men playing behind the other.
This formation may look like an attacking one on paper, but this is not always the case as a coach such as Mourinho can instruct the two wide players in the front three to drop back and arrest the attacking forays of the opposition wide men, meaning it can look more like a 4-5-1 at times. But it can also be conducive to fluid attacking play, with Barcelona and Arsenal both implementing the formation.
Not as popular as it used to be, it is a much rarer sight to see top level coaches playing with three central defenders. But it ensures good strength in numbers when defending, and makes it hard for opposition teams to counterattack. The formation is tough on the wing-backs who are expected to make lung-bursting runs forward, while also carrying out their defensive duties. The onus is also on two of the central midfielders to get forward regularly.
Champions League coaches regularly employ the 4-5-1, especially away from home as they look to keep things tight at the back and play on the counterattack. When coaches want to pack the midfield and make it hard for the opposition to penetrate their team, they will often opt for the 4-5-1, which is a tiring system for the lone striker who must hold up the ball and make runs.
The 4-2-3-1 can be difficult to defend against if the three players behind the striker have the craft and skill to draw opposition defenders out and supply balls for their teammates. The two midfielders who sit in front of the back-four also means increased solidity, with both needing to be strong defensively, and at least one good enough to collect the ball from the defenders and play good quality passes to the team’s more attacking players.
Hope you like this edition, join me again for the next one, till then, have a nice day and poke in some goals for now and the future.
(Plus + )Goals give a good count and edge over others, even if the inputs tally.
(Minus – )Goals also give a setback when all inputs tally. Only goals and consistency that makethe difference in life.
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