Saturday, July 23, 2011

Azkals vs Kuwait, Leg 1 Preview

One of the best things about football is its unpredictable nature. That, coupled with possible formations, team selections and a host of other factors like suspensions and injuries help conjure up a frenzy of football punditry ahead of games.

An example would be the game on July 23 pitting the Azkals against the mighty Kuwait. With skipper Aly Borromeo and midfield dynamo Stephan Schrock ruled out due to suspension, and Paul Mulders and Chris Greatwich unavailable due to club commitments, it would be very interesting to see who Coach Michael Weiss chooses to his starting eleven.

The game of "IF you were Coach Weiss, who would you select?" is on.
Here's my take :

This is a 4-2-3-1 formation, a variation of the 4-5-1 formation.The goal of a five man midfield is to congest the lanes and pack the midfield like a can of sardines. Anton del Rosario moves in to fill for the suspended Aly Borromeo. Roel Gener is preferred over Jason Sabio at the right. 

Jason de Jong's return to national duty could not have come at a more fortuitous time. With Kuwait enjoying a very strong attack, pressure to stop the attack will not just be on the back four, but on the two defensive midfield shields as well. 

Wing play would be essential for us to get a result. If Chieffy Caligdong is able to push up in the left wing, this will relieve pressure on the Azkals and will in turn put pressure on Kuwait. If James Younghusband can find time and space to deliver telling crosses, who knows what can happen?

Angel Guirado normally plays as a striker up front, but against Kuwait, his presence as an extra man in midfield may be where he is more needed.  His linkup play with Phil should be impeccable and their understanding should be spot on. Time to leave the egos in the locker room and play some team ball.

It is  my sincere hope that we stay compact and defend aggressively for the 90 minutes. If we are able to limit the damage in the first leg, then there is all to play for in Manila.

Any thoughts on the formation? How would you like to lineup the Azkals against Kuwait?

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