Oliver Glasner‘s tactics are an obvious continuation of the one favoured by his predecessor Adi Hutter, although the formation has been slightly adjusted to a 1-3-4-2-1 shape.
Eintracht‘s set-up with three central defenders allows them to form a quartet with the goalkeeper who is responsible for bringing the ball into play. The two central midfielders (Sow, Jakic) are usually positioned deeper while the wing backs are positioned higher which creates a 3 + 2 structure in their own half. The width in this phase is provided by the wing backs, who look for space in the half spaces. When this fails they move aggressively between the lines and can receive progressive passes closer to the centre.
Central defenders usually play in line with the goalkeeper at the base of a four-man triangle (sic!). The narrow position of the central defenders in this phase allows the team to be more compact if they lose the ball in defensive third, while not limiting their ability to stretch the playing space.
Just as often their defensive shape takes the form of a 1-5-2-3 still with the wing backs positioned low, but in this scheme the central midfielders move up to join the forwards and press higher. One of the central midfielders then plays very high up (even on the rivals’ defensive line) while the second takes up a position at the back. The wing backs then press the opponent’s central midfielders and side defenders with the task of closing down zones.
Glasner’s pressing is not always high or intense, but always intelligent in which the players hold their assigned position and then they reach out to the rival and close the zone when the action is moving in that direction. The 1-5-2-3 formation sometimes turns into a 1-5-4-1 which allows the Eintracht a wider positioning and a higher pressing line. After recovering the ball they immediately launch a quick counter-attack.
In the transition phase their only task is to make progressive passes into the offensive third as quickly as possible. The advanced forward (Borre) in this phase looks for space and very often runs behind the defensive line waiting for the pass from the offensive midfielders (Lindstrom, Kamada) who also often appear in the box area rotating their positions and becoming the most advanced players on the team when their striker cannot lose marking. The left wing back (Kostic) takes up the highest possible position on the pitch as soon as the ball is intercepted creating a very dangerous counter-attacking structure.
When building a positional attack they stretch the game and use the rotation of positions. In the action building phase they adopt a 1-3-2-5 shape but in the opponent’s half the players get a lot of freedom to find free spaces for themselves, so maintaining the width and fluidity of the game sometimes determines a different team shape. Eintracht is a team that prefers fast direct and progressive vertical play and when they get into good starting positions they often go down the wings using their wing backs and the unpredictable movements of the offensive front three.