Atltico has the 4th worst defense in Serie A and will have changes against Santos

photo: Marcelo Gonalves/Fluminense

Germn Cano scored twice in Fluminense’s 5-3 rout of Atltico

Considered by many as one of the pillars of the multi-championship team in 2021, Atltico’s defensive system has been the subject of criticism in 2022. With 13 goals conceded, Galo has the 4th worst defense in Serie A of the Brazilian Championship and must have changes to face o Santos for the 11th round, on Saturday (11), at 7 pm, in Mineiro.

Only Juventude, Botafogo and Ava conceded more goals than Atltico in the Brazilian. The team gacho the vice lantern, with 17 goals conceded; Cariocas are in 15th position, with 15 goals conceded, while Leo is 16th in the table, with the same 15.

The defensive work led by coach “El Turco” Mohamed was already being criticized. The Argentine coach is trying to implement a change in philosophy at Galo in relation to Cuca’s work, which involves marking in higher areas of the field and more aggressive post-loss pressure, in order to try to regain possession as soon as possible.

Emelec fans show confidence for the duel with Atltico

The problem is that the team has had difficulties to assimilate the new strategy. Against Fluminense, on several occasions, Atltico showed compaction problems when coming up to disturb the opponent’s ball out: with quick triangulations, Tricolor broke free from the pressure and found large spaces between the white lines to progress with the ball.

After-loss pressure was also errant. When losing the ball, Galo accumulated players in the sector in an attempt to close passing lines close to the rival, but they had little coordination in the movements and, most of the time, allowed Fernando Diniz’s team to get out of this “war zone” without major difficulties.

Opponents’ quick offensive transitions (counterattacks) have also been a problem. It is not uncommon to see Atltico suffer counterattacks in moves of numerical inferiority, with the defensive midfielders advanced in the field and a large space to be covered in front of the defensive line.

Finally, another issue to correct the defensive depth control. That is, control of the space ceded to the back of the defense line. Diniz’s team managed several vertical passes on the back of Galo’s defense, which left goalkeeper Everson exposed to hand-to-hand situations with Fluminense forwards. Headache for “El Turco” Mohamed.

Changes against Santos

On the left side, Rubens should leave the team for the return of the titular and selectable Guilherme Arana. If he chooses to change the defensive configuration even more, El Turco can promote the return of Guga, who had been praised for his good performances, in the place of Mariano on the right side.

Despite criticism of the recent defensive performance of midfielders Allan and Jair, the tendency is that both remain in the starting lineup against Santos. If you want to select a player with more marksmanship in the sector, Mohamed can opt for Otvio’s entry, but this is an unlikely alternative.

In attack, other changes can happen. Keno’s return puts Eduardo Sasha’s recent title at stake. Ademir, who comes from bad performances on the right wing, could leave the team. In this case, Svio appears as the most likely replacement.

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