Playing with 2 Forwards – Combination Training

When we adopt a system with two strikers, e.g. 1x3x5x2, it’s very important they develop movements that intuitively allow each other to understand the team mate’s next move.

1998/99 Euro League Champions Manchester United had two great strikers in Andy Cole and Dwight York.

Leveraging the example of these two strikers we will show through exercise contexts using the Tactical Periodization methodology how to develop such relationship.

Images and Videos created using the software TacticalPad.


The two forwards, near each other, must always be ready to play in combinations.  One forward, on the strong side, drops in between the opponent’s sectors to receive the ball while the other pushes up to receive a long pass.


-Shoot the ball low towards the posts.

BLUE DAY – Day of the SubPrinciples and of the SubSubPrinciples with increased muscular contraction:

Organization:  2v1 + Keeper.


– At the Coach’s signal the Strikers’ team mates will pass the ball to them.  The strong side Forward must be back while the other moves out and towards the goal to drag the opposing defender.  The ball is passed so that the withdrawn Forward that dummies over the ball.  The more advanced Forward receives the pass and immediately attempts a low driven shot at the goal posts.  The Forwards have 5 seconds to execute and finish.  This exercise is repeated until the Forwards have received 5 passes.

Scoring:  Goals scored in between the cones and the posts are worth 2 points.


GREEN DAY – Day of the MacroPrinciples and of the SubPrinciples with the increased duration of the muscular contraction:

Organization:  Keeper+1+8+2 v 2+8+1+Keeper


–  In the central zone of the field there is an 8v8 with the objective to make a pass on the ground to their forwards who are in different lines.  Upon receiving the pass the Forwards will try to score vs a Defender and a Keeper.  The withdrawn Forward will dummy the ball for the more advance Forward.  Upon receiving the ball the more advanced Forward will play a 1-2 with the other Forward and they will try to score within 5 seconds.

Scoring:  Goals scored between the cones and posts are worth 2 points.


YELLOW DAY – Day of the SubPrinciples and of the SubSubPrinciples with the increased speed of the muscular contraction:

Organization:  2×0+GR on both halves.


–  Place two Forwards on each attacking half.  At the Coach’s signal the ball is passed towards the more withdrawn Forward.  The withdrawn Forward dummies over the ball and from that moment on the two Frowards combine between themselves to score.

Scoring:  The Forwards team who scores first is awarded a point.


Andy Cole & Dwight Yorke in a goal vs FC Barcelona:



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By Pedro Mendonça

About Pedro Mendonça: Real Madrid Foundation - Football Coach/Professor. UEFA B Football Coach. Physical Education Teacher. Author of: "Tactical Periodization: A Practical Application for the Game Model of FC Bayern Munich"

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