Barcelona‘s protracted pursuit of Philippe Coutinho has finally come to fruition, and with the Brazilian now calling the Camp Nou home, Blaugrana boss Ernesto Valverde faces a slew of options for including the set-piece specialist in the starting XI.
After unparalleled success and countless trophies using a Dutch-inspired 4-3-3, Valverde has tinkered with tactics in his first season with the club. The gaffer has dabbled with 4-2-3-1 and 3-5-2 formations, but it’s a 4-4-2 set up that’s proved the most prosperous.
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Lionel Messi is given free reign to run amok as an emphasis on tiki-taka and crafty passing has shifted toward a system that values efficiency and defensive competence. The results have been nothing short of stunning as Barcelona leads La Liga without a loss and with just three goals conceded to 45 scored.
With Coutinho certain to make an immediate impact in Valverde’s starting XI, here’s a look at three ways Barcelona can line up for the second half of the season, keeping in mind that the Brazilian is cup-tied and ineligible to play in the Champions League:
4-4-2: Fabulous on the flanks
Sticking with what’s worked best, a 4-4-2 formation would see Coutinho …read more