Scouting Bayer Leverkusen ahead of United game
Manchester United vs Bayer Leverkusen. The Red devils after a controversial Champions League exit at the hands of Real Madrid last season, aim to kick off their 2013/14 Campaign with a victory at home to 2002 Champions League runners-up Bayer Leverkusen on Tuesday evening.
5th placed Manchester United come into this game after a convincing 2-0 victory at home to newly promoted Crystal Palace. A game in which £27.5M man Marouane Fellaini made his United debut.
Bayer Leverkusen who are currently in the Champions League spot in the Bundesliga table have started the season magnificently. The German side have won 4 out of 5 league games this season and are only 3 points off top spot. Their only defeat this season came away from BayArena, which should give some form of optimism to the United fans.
Bayer Leverkusen boss Sami Hypia, who Manchester United fans are well familiar with, lines his team up in a 4-3-3 formation predominantly. The midfielders Bender/Rolfes, Castro and Reinartz often interchange roles/positions. Ideally, Reinartz is situated in the centre of the midfield trio, with Bender and Castro on either sides of the German. A double pivot of Bender/Rolfes and Reinartz may also be deployed to provide stability, allowing Gonzalo Castro to play off talisman Stephan Kießling. Part of the former Liverpool captain’s Philosophy is fixated on the marauding fullbacks. Boenisch and Hilbert are normally situated high up the pitch, bombarding forward from their fullback positions. As they attack, space left in defense is normally protected/covered crucially by midfielders Reinartz and Bender,
One of Bayer Leverkusen’s key tactic is overloading the midfield. Bayer aren’t known to play possession football, rather they sit back and soak pressure, before hitting their opponents on the counter. Stefan Reinartz is expected to man-mark whoever David Moyes opts for in the attacking midfield position; either Shinji Kagawa, Ryan Giggs or Wayne Rooney.
In attack, Heung-Min Son and German International Sidney Sam will provide width for Sami Hypia’s side. Sidney Sam, whose promising displays this season merited him an international cap last week, has been brilliant this season. The 1.74m forward has scored 4 goals and provided 2 assists this season. Manchester United have only scored 6 all season, On the other flank, United’s summer target has also been decent in his debut season for Bayer. Both wingers like to come infield, which leaves a lot of space on the flanks for the fullbacks to make marauding runs.
The man United should be wary of on Tuesday night is German international Stephan Kießling, Bayer Leverkusen’s best player. Bundesliga’s highest scoring player for the 2012–13 season with 25 goals has started this season in similar fashion. The tall forward already has 4 goals and 3 assists to his name this season. Across Europe’s top 5 leagues, only Barcelona midfielder Cesc Fabregas has more assists than him.
This season, Bayer Leverkusen have played 5 league games, won 4, scored 11 and conceded 6. United should not take Bayer lightly, the German club are capable of pulling off a surprise at Old Trafford on Tuesday evening, in David Moyes’ first Champions League game as Manchester United manager.
Check out the original article on Vince’s blog – http://futbolterritoryblog.wordpress.com/
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