The Bundesliga game between Mainz and Wolfsburg was not an offensive spectacle but provided some tactical insights concerning the current strengths and weaknesses of each side. Whereas Mainz struggled in the beginning of the season with the second-youngest team of the league, Wolfsburg have been successful und unbeaten under their new head coach Oliver Glasner.
Our tactical analysis reveals some of Wolfsburg’s defensive tactics and deals with the issues of Mainz’s attacking approach. Moreover, we take a closer look at the impressive pressing statistics of Mainz and explain why the might get misunderstood.
Lineups and formations
Mainz coach Sandro Schwarz stuck to his preferred 4-3-1-2 formation. During the attacking phase, the full-backs were supposed to attack down the flanks and put in crosses while the striking duo constantly threatened the space behind the opposition backline.
Wolfsburg coach Glasner lined his side up in a 3-4-3. While the flanks were occupied by the wing-backs Jérôme Roussillon and William, Josip Brekalo and Admir Mehmedi positioned themselves within the half-spaces behind striker Wout Weghorst. The double-pivot in midfield consisting of Maximilian Arnold and Josuha Guilavogui covered the central areas in front of the backline during the defensive phase. And during the press, the ball near wing-back pushed slightly higher while the other one joined the central defenders to form a situational back four.
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