Feature, Symbolbild, der Spielball auf dem Sockel mit Bundesliga Logo. Deutschland, Stuttgart, 05.03.2022, Fussball, Bundesliga: VfB Stuttgart vs Borussia Moenchengladbach, Saison 2021/2022, 25. Spieltag, Mercedes-Benz Arena Foto: A2 Bildagentur/Peter Hartenfelser DFL/DFB REGULATIONS PROHIBIT ANY USE OF PHOTOGRAPHS AS IMAGE SEQUENCES AND/OR QUASI-VIDEO. *** Feature, symbol image, the match ball on the base with Bundesliga logo Germany, Stuttgart, 05 03 2022, football, Bundesliga VfB Stuttgart vs Borussia Moenchengladbach, season 2021 2022, 25 match day, Mercedes Benz Arena Foto A2 Bildagentur Peter Hartenfelser DFL DFB REGULATIONS PROHIBIT ANY USE OF PHOTOGRAPHS AS IMAGE SEQUENCES AND OR QUASI VIDEO

The first game of this weekend’s Bundesliga action saw Schalke take on Mainz with both teams at opposite ends of the Bundesliga table. Schalke were looking to build on their impressive start to the season under new boss David Wagner; while Mainz, following a poor start to the season, were looking to build on last week’s win and start a climb up the table. In the end, it was Schalke who got the win and climbed temporarily into the Champions League places, and in this tactical analysis we will look at what went wrong for Mainz, and one common theme in Schalke’s offensive tactics which exploited an ongoing weakness in the Mainz team.


Mainz lined up in their usual 4-3-1-2 diamond while Schalke played in a 4-2-3-1 shape, often pressing with two up front. Mainz simply lacked quality technically for the vast majority of the game, struggling to win offensive duels and struggling to create chances as a result of their shape, as I will move onto in this analysis.

Bundesliga 2019/20: Schalke Mainz tactical analysis tactics

Schalke press

Schalke’s press was effective in the game in limiting Mainz’s build-up, and Mainz’s lack of quality and poor shape in the build-up also helped this. Below we can see an example of Schalke’s press, with two players up front pressing the centre-backs while the wide midfield players press Mainz’s high full-backs. Mainz therefore often had no options other than to play the ball down the line to the marked full-back, or go long…

If you want to read the full tactical breakdown of this game, head over to totalfootballanalysis.com or click HERE

Artwork by @chapulana

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