FC Liefering: maximising goalscoring opportunities

I have always been intrigued with teams associated with Red Bull. On the emotional side of things, I have many things to say, but I’m not going to as this is an article analysing the performance of a team. I will focus on FC Liefering in this article, Red Bull Salzburg’s reserve team in the 2.Liga in Austria. Currently, they are second on the table.

In this article, I will analyse their goalscoring opportunities and how they maximalise their end product. I will use data and video provided by Wyscout to assess this and will focus on their last five games: Grazer AK, Vörwarts Steyr, Blau-Weiss Linz, SV Horn and Kapfenbergere SV. The data was retrieved on December 2nd 2021.

Formations

FC Liefering did play four of the fives games in the same formation: a 4-3-1-2. The midfield trio supported the defence and aided the attacking midfielder and two strikers. Only in the game against SV Horn this was slightly different. They began with a 4-1-4-1, trying to give more in attack – but as they were behind and the game progressed in need of goals, they changed to a 4-3-1-2 after 60 minutes.

Goalscoring opportunities

If we look at the last five games we can see in the Wyscout data that there have been 48 goalscoring opportunities for FC Liefering. Wyscout classes a goalscoring opportunity is a clear chance to score a goal. This still remains relatively vague, but we will go into that in the next section when we look at the actual shots and their xG.

GameScoreOpportunities
Grazer AK3-013
Vorwärts Steyr1-18
Blau-Weiss Linz0-03
SV Horn3-211
Kapfenberger3-213

There are not many conclusions to be drawn, other than how many opportunities FC Liefering need to score a goal. 10 goals have been scored by the side with 48 opportunities, meaning that on average Liefering need 4,8 opportunities to score a goal.

Shots

As said opportunities are a bit vague – let’s take a look at the shots per game and how many xG they generate for FC Liefering. We will do this to see if FC Liefering gets themselves in good positions.

GameScoreShotsxGxG per shot
Grazer AK3-0201,720,09
Vorwärts Steyr1-1121,770,15
Blau-Weiss Linz0-050,220,04
SV Horn3-2191,50,08
Kapfenberger3-2151,960,13

In the two draws against Steyr and Linz, FC Liefering have underperformed their xG as they didn’t score more than their xG would suggest. If we look at the games against Grazer, Horn and Kapfenberger – they have overperformed their xG and scored far more than the chances would suggest. Now this doesn’t say a lot on it’s own, but if we look at the number of shots taken in those game and the xG generated from those shots, we can say that most shots taken had a significant low xG – which means the probability of scoring a single shot, wasn’t very high.

Goals

As stated above, FC Liefering have scored 10 goals from 48 goalscoring opportunities and in this part of the analysis we will have a look at three goals scored in those, to see how they maximise the goalscoring opportunity.

In the video above you see the goal vs Kapfenberger which starts with constructing from the back. In this it’s very important that the central defenders progress and carry the ball to the opposition’s half and in doing so enabling full backs to go high. Together with the three-man midfield and #10 – they form a diamond and aided by the two strikers.

As soon as the ball goes to a flank, Liefering try to overload this with the full-back, wide-midfielder, a striker and the #10 – in wich they are in a 4v3 situation and via combinations, try to play out of the press. The left full back inverts and goes into zone 14, after which he delivers the ball to the striker who is in the position to fire on goal from inside the penalty area – although he needs two attempts to slot home from here.

In the video above you see the goal vs SV Horn which starts with constructing from the back. In this game there was more forward pressure from the opposition, so in this light – the transitioning needed to be strong from Liefering. What they sought to do was to get the ball as quickly as possible form their own defensive third to the attacking third (or opposition’s defensive third).

Intercepting the ball by the left full back and from that moment on, everything was concentrated on going forward. While the attacking players on the left side did progress and occupy that flank – dragging defenders to that side – the striker made a movement forward in order to receive the long ball. The long pass went past the defensive line and the striker could control it and finish it decently. Direct impact from the interception and with one pass there was a goalscoring opportunity.

In the video above, you see FC Liefering in the game against Grazer AK and their attack begins when they get possession of the ball in the middle third. All movement is going forward and they try to overload the central areas and dominate those areas, as they are looking to find a way to the box.

When they enter the attacking third, they want to get as many numbers in the box, as quick as possible. You can see that the moment of the deciding steps, it is a 6v6 situation – meaning they want to get as high of a chance possible to score that goal. As the cutback is played there are 3 clear options who can have a chance of scoring. In the end the ball goes to the player making a run towards the six-yard box and he scores.

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