Breakdown: The Big Squeeze – when possession kings clash

Adelaide United and Brisbane Roar are two sides keen to hoard possession – the tactical battle was all about who can implement their style more effectively.

Often, the most fascinating tactical battles aren’t the clear clashes of style, because when two opponents have different approaches to the game the overall pattern is predictable.

When a possession based side comes up against a counter-attacking team, for example, like Melbourne Victory against Western Sydney Wanderers, the immediate clash is obvious, and although the manner of the home side’s victory was out of left field, the actual tactical conflict was as expected.

When two sides that share the same philosophy meet, however, it’s not entirely clear who can impose their game. Adelaide United against Brisbane Roar was a direct confrontation between two sides keen to hoard possession.

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By Tim Palmer

Tim is a football coach, writer, analyst and sports scientist. He is currently Assistant Technical Director, Head of Player Development & Video and a coach at NWSF Spirit, as well as working with the Pararoos. Previously, he has worked as an analyst with the Socceroos, and in the A-League.

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