VS .................................... TEAM INDNYC/CRAPPY ............................................................................................ TEAM 2MUFC0 / THEON .................................................. TEAM INDNYC/CRAPPY Key Points - The team set up is all about Maradona. He is THE GOAT as far as I am concerned and if allowed to play even close to his best, capable of winning the game against any opposition. - Hierro is capable and has the license to join the midfield battle as required. He is intelligent enough footballer to know as and when to time his position in defence or midfield. - Rivaldo is going play a key role to run the channel in opposition's defence. He played the exact same role in Brazil 2002 and his movement would be key to disrupt opposition's defensive positioning. Opposition based thoughts Midfield battle - Given opposition's squad my best guess they will start with a MF 4 ala Cryuff's dream team. On face of it, the battle looks lop sided but you can't ask for a worse 3 opponents than Maradona, Keane and Lerby to go up against in MF (Not to mention Hierro being a factor there plenty of time too). Attack - I am struggling to see how opposition's defensive set up is going to keep out Riva+Rivaldo+Maradona. Especially when you have Koeman in there, a pretty attacking CB. I known Haan is capable of dropping into defence but he is not capable of taking on Maradona in anyway. Once any of the full backs join the attack, it is going to get even worse. When Alaba is up his flank, who is tracking who between him, Rivaldo and Maradona?. Even if the opposition will have more possession, our team is capable of countering well and opposition's set up seems ill suited to stop the same. Defence - The opposition as a whole lacks players who can provide natural width. I know the whole Cryuff's dream team thesis but that is a very hard formation to get right and I don't buy it as a perfect system anyway. Up against a tight defensive line, not to mention a 5 man one, concentrating too much of the play through the middle seems like a bad tactic. Having Thiago Silva and Abidal around Hierro also means we would be able to deal with the either wide forward much better than a normal 4 man back line would. Both Gullit and Cryuff would also fall into an area manned by trio of Hierro, Keane and Lerby. I know opposition will claim that likes of Neeskens would also be a factor but presence of Gullit is directly going to impact his role aka Holland 74 IMO. Overall, we believe we have a more cohesive team and key players in better match ups against opposition players to swing it in our favour. TEAM 2MUFC0 / THEON FORMATION: Cruyff 3-4-3 Our team is inspired by Holland '74 and the Barcelona 90-94 Dream Team under Johan Cruyff. The team has been built around Cruyff in terms of personal, formation and philosophy - we have proven partnerships all over the pitch and are setup to dominate the match against the opposition. In attack Cruyff will be playing his false #9 role with Hristo Stoichkov and Faas Wilkes as roaming wide forwards - the physicality and technical quality of Stoichkov ('94 Ballon d'Or winner who scored 91 goals in 174 games for Cruyff at Barcelona) well complimented by the goalscoring dynamism of Wilkes (Cruyff's hero growing up, who rattled 35 goals in 38 games for Holland). The epitome of a 'total footballer' and '87 Ballon d'Or winner Ruud Gullit is moved into a central attacking position able to influence the game with his pace, strength, creativity and movement, regularly interchanging with the front three in a fluid, Dutch set-up. In midfield Neeskens/Van Hanegem/Haan provide the perfect '74 Holland totaalvoetbal base - set to dominate possession whilst also providing immense defensive steel in the middle of the park. Defensively the team is marshalled by Ronald Koeman - arguably the finest defensive passer in the history of the game and the archetypical sweeper for this style. He will replicate the role he played in Cruyff's Barcelona, running the game from the back and launching counter attacks with his exquisite passing. On the right Burgnich remains the gold standard as a defensive right back and he will look to tuck in besides Koeman (as he did for Picchi in the Grande Inter side of the mid-60's). Partnering Koeman in the left is Paolo Montero, a physically gifted defender in terms of speed and power but also more than competent on the ball. In goal is Andreas Kopke, IFFHS World's best keeper in 1996 and German footballer of the year 1993. WHY WE WILL WIN: Dominance of possession: With an abundance of ball-playing ability throughout the side we will look to dominate territory and dictate the game, suffocating the supply to Maradona who will be operating in central areas vs our crowded midfield three. With the amount of possession and offensive quality throughout the side we are bound to create chances and score. Complimentary style: The core of our team is made up of players who know and succeeded in the total football philosophy - this chemistry throughout the side enhances the performance of the team as it did in ‘74 and Cruyff's Dream Team. Distribution from deep: An undoubted legend of the game and regular one man defence for Cruyff’s Barcelona, in this sort of set-up Koeman becomes turbo-charged in terms of his influence. With Burgnich and Montero tucking in and Haan capable of dropping into the back line when needed, Koeman has the perfect platform to instigate attacks and provide the platform for our possession based style in midfield and attack. Opposition defence: If the opposition go with the same back line as last round our attackers will enjoy a lot of success. Abidal was a fine left back, but a tier below what’s required as a LCB against Cruyff, Gullit, Neeskens and co. Thiago Silva is also a weak link in their backline, normally there is nothing wrong with him in earlier rounds but against GOAT level players he's not proven. We also expect Cruyff to cause problems for Hierro. Irwin played the majority of his best football as a LB in a back four, he is out of position as a RWB.