Cesare Prandelli likes to change the playing system of his team according to the opponent. But his foavorite formation is the 1-4-3-1-2:
As the great principle of the game for the offensive organization, Italy adopts the “Mantaining and working ball possession to attract opponents creating free space behind them, passing the ball deeper”
SubPrinciple of the first phase – Creating the offensive game (when ball is still in defense area):
– Prefer the “Short Creation” from back (when possible) with one of the center backs. Good occupation of the space, deeply and widely (making the field larger). CBs opened widely beside the penalty area; ‘defensive pivot’ in the central area close to the penalty area; SBs wide (close to the sideline); 3 midfielders in the central zone and two forwards in the opponent’s central zone..
– “Offensive concentration” close to where the ball is – most players in the corridor where the ball is (except the center back and the side back of the opposite side) then occupying the free space in the opposite corridor..
– “Long creation” if the opponent is pressuring strongly. Long pass to the centre forward another forward or control the ball and 1-2 with a midfielder.
– Work the ball through the defensive line (carrying from one corridor to the other). The goalkeeper is one option to avoid opponent pressure.
– Passing the ball to the ‘defensive pivot’ (preferable positioned behind the two forward pressing the center backs) to organize the game – passing it to one of the sidebacks. Very important: if under pressure shall not turn around after receiving the ball.
– Getting the ball to one of the forwards (the one in the same side as the ball) from one of the 4 backs, preferably a low pass with the midfielders getting close quickly helping the forwards to keep the offensive action.
SubPrinciples of the second phase – Create striking oportunities (when ball is in the midfield zone):
– Constant support to ball carrier (creating pass lines – rhombus and triangles) through movimentation to zones around him. After bringing opponent to the ball area, put it in the opposite defensive side.
– Fill the central area (with the 4 midfielders) in a away to support the ball possession in the middle, creating free space to the side for the sidebacks (responsible for the ‘wide pitch’).
– Defensive pivot as main reference for the offensive organization, being a constante option for passing (always staying close to the ball). After receiving it, based on the reading of the situation, pass it deeply to the side or to one of the forwards in the back of opponent’s defense..
– “Offensive cover” to the forwards when they receive the ball by the middle players, to create pass lines and keep the offensive action.
– Work at the central corridor, using the high concentration of forwards, with future use of the free space created in the side areas..
SubPrincíples of third phase – striking:
– Good interaction between the two forwards (to find a path to cross the opponent’s defensive line).
– Disrupt marking with the midfielders from back lines after getting the ball to one of the forwards.
– Invididual progression of forwards with the ball when 1×1, not avoiding dribbles.
– 1-2 shooting from side line to center using nearest forward.
– Fill spaces inside penalty area for shooting by a good number of players (at least 4). Zones to be filled are defined(1st post, 2nd post, penalty mark and penalty are bounds) but not the player (anyone can occupy it, according to the position and reading of the moment when there is a cross)..
– Try always to shoot, allowing team to reorganize deffensively, avoiding to be caught unbalanced