Opponent Analysis: How can Villarreal beat Barcelona?
Coaching and backroom staff spend a considerable amount of time trying to prepare for an upcoming opponent.
Commonly known as opponent analysis, club staff will analyse tactical trends, set-piece strategy and a whole host of other elements to prepare the players in the best way possible for an upcoming match.
Villarreal take on FC Barcelona this weekend and could move within a point of Xavi’s side who got off to a winning start in the club legend’s first game against RCD Espanyol last weekend.
In this post, we take a closer look at how Villarreal could prepare for Saturday’s game by using the Opponent Analysis application.
The Opponent Analysis application can be used for a wide range of pre-match analysis including a unique look at the opposition’s tactical trends, key players to watch out for and much more.
This data-driven method of analysis can act as a quick starting point for any Opponent Analysis before moving to video footage. For instance, the tactical trends could flag a certain area of strength in the opposition that can then be passed to the coaching staff via video football to inform their tactical approach.
At an early stage of the season, it can often be hard to fully prepare for an upcoming opponent who could have new players or even a new coach. Therefore, the application allows you to analyse specific matches across seasons to gain a more detailed picture of what the team will be facing.
For Villarreal, facing Barcelona means a difficult battle against one of the league’s top sides. Although league form has fluctuated this season, the Catalan giants have a plethora of world class players.
In preparation to face Xavi’s side, there are a number of key findings that arise from the Opponent Analysis report. In terms of looking at the tactical trends of Barcelona in their Game Principles, they stand out with Chance creation and Build-up play – including Short passing, Dribble overload and Chance creation on the flank.
In the graphic below, we see how Barcelona’s Chance creation relative to other La Liga sides this season is impressive in most areas while notable high performance in Dribble into box.
Figure 1. FC Barcelona’s chance creation so far this season
There are a number of key players for Unai Emery’s side to be aware of in this regard – including Memphis Depay. As a result of this analysis, Emery could be likely to create a tactical plan that nullifies the Dutch international’s attacking qualities.
For more Opponent Analysis information on Barcelona, you can download the full report below.
Emery and co. will be eager to climb up the table after a difficult start to the LaLiga campaign. Getting one over Barcelona at the Estadio de la Cerámica could be the start of a resurgence for the Yellow Submarine.
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