1. FC Kaiserslautern – SV Sandhausen preview

Michael Frontzeck is expected to send his team in the same successful system, 4-4-2, which can change in 4-5-1, but is forced to replace suspended captain and key player Moritz, with rumors pointing veteran Altintop having the best cards. It remains to be seen if his fitness is enough to fulfill this role. The movement when attacking might be with Jenssen in a more central position and Osawe roaming to the left unmarked and trying to use his pace. Add to this Borrello’s inside runs, which are supposed to confuse Sandhausen’s defense. These moves should space on the flanks for the full backs to cross the ball into the box. Spalvis will be there fighting with the strong Sandhausen defenders for each ball, but he could also drop deep to create space for Osawe or Borrello. With an overload in central midfield (with Jenssen’s movement), Kaiserslautern should be able to dominate the possession most of the time.

Although so many players are injured, Kenan Kocak can revert to a 3/5 back line, with Karl again available. So we can see them in a 5-4-1 defensive shape and 3-4-3 when building up play. This will probably mean one central midfielder less than the hosts, so not much possession. Their usual tactics is safe defense first (they have the best defense in the league) and fast transition after winning the ball (14 out of 39 chances created away from home from this scenarios and 6 goals). This way they will try not to offer Kaiserslautern enough time to take defensive positions.

Can Kaiserslautern unlock Sandhausen’s defense, or the guests will prove to be a tough nut to crack? The host offensive power is improved under the new coach, with 7 positional attacks and 4 counter attacks ending with shots against Kiel, while Sandhausen had only half of these values last round (4/2).

Missing players:
Kaiserslautern: Albaek, Przybylko, Halfar, Modica (injured), Moritz (suspended).
Sandhausen: Wooten, Roßbach, Herrmann, Gipson, Zejnullahu, Kulovits, Klingmann (injured).

Possible lineups and team shapes:

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Serban Ciulei

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