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Could Man City’s Pep Guardiola switch to a flat 4-4-2?

Could Man City's Pep Guardiola switch to a flat 4-4-2?
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Tactical Analysis: Could Man City’s Pep Guardiola switch to a flat 4-4-2 in the next couple of seasons amidst the arrival of Julian Alvarez and Erling Haaland?

Man City signing both Julian Alvaréz and Erling Haaland suggests one thing and one thing only; Pep Guardiola is sick to death of having forwards who are ruthless finishers. What’s interesting about Man City next season is that Bernardo Silver, Phil Foden, and Jack Grealish at false 9 enables Man City to have an overload in the build-up when those guys dropped deep, and that was on top of their already special technical quality – won’t be the case with Haaland and Alvárez.

That would suggest Man City could possibly be easier to press but in the same vein are also more likely to score in transitional situations thanks to the difference in profile up front (runners in behind vs #10’s). We could see a more end-to-end version of Pep’s City next season.

Tactically, it means Man City won’t have *as* much control on but they’ll still pin most teams back anyway because their technical level is off the charts and they don’t necessarily need an overload in the build-up to pin teams back. However, they’ll have more goals overall.

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Games where Man City outclassed Real Madrid tactically for example but still lost are less likely to happen next season despite the game possibly being closer from a tactical perspective because Haaland and Alvárez are less likely to miss chances than makeshift forwards are.

Man City also struggled in situations where they went 1-0 down because they lacked firepower in the front line. That certainly won’t be the case next season with the added quality in attack but it’ll be an interesting watch as their games become more end-to-end and transition-based.

However, as I said, Pep Guardiola’s elite tactics and Man City’s elite technical quality and physicality out of possession will see them control most games with the ball regardless of them having a natural centre forward as opposed to a false 9, but they’re certainly more pressable tactically now.

But again, with that comes the risk of Haaland, Kevin De Bryune and whoever else Man City have the luxury to field destroying you in transition. It could mean Pep Guardiola plays a double pivot with Bernardo deep more often because he’s impossible to press and then they can let the front four do their thing.

Mark my words, within 2 seasons from now, Pep Guardiola will go flat 4-4-2.

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