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What to look for VS Courage

Gotham returns to Red Bull Arena this Saturday at to take on the ever dangerous north Carolina Courage. Here are some things you should look for.

North Carolina plays a very narrow 4-2-2-2 formation. The advantages of this formation is to overwhelm teams with numbers on one side of the pitch. It allows for quick passing and short distances to travel to recover balls that you lose. Gives the opponent less time and space to operate.

The disadvantages are that if every player isn't pressing together the other team can pass through and pull your press apart. Due to pulling the opposite side winger to the middle of the field a long switched ball can make your entire team have to track all the way across the field to recover.

A team like Gotham is set up to take advantage of this set up. Allie Long is a master of switching the point of attack and buying herself that extra second or two of time to find those diagonal switches. She is the key to this game. Look for North Carolina to attack Long to avoid this fate. However, Gotham has plenty of players who can hit long range passes out of traffic such as Kawasumi and Dydasco.

I expect Gotham to dominate the courage at home. They should be able to sit back and cause the courage to chase the game through continuously switching the point of attack through long diagonal passes.

Margaret Purce and Paige Monahan are out from injuries. I expect Sheehan may earn her first start as a Gotham player.

I also expect Onumonu to have another fantastic match. When teams play in a 4-2-2-2 formation the outside backs need to come forward to provide width in the attack. This leaves space behind for Onumonu to stretch her legs and operate. I expect Onumonu to get behind often and force the courage to back off their press.

Prediction: 2-0 Gotham

Gary Gibson

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