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Pirlo at Samp, how could Club America change their fortunes, the best U23 prospects in the A-League and pressing in a 3-4-3

Welcome to Monday and why not start your week with our newsletter – full of analysis, scouting and tactics. It beats reading the tabloids, no? Fill up on your football knowledge – follow the Total Football Analysis page and be part of the squad that want more than just a match report.

It’s probably fair to say that the jury is still out on Andrea Pirlo the coach – he’s now tasked with getting Sampdoria back into Serie A following their relegation last season. Selim Ben Hmida takes a closer look to see what his potential tactical approach could be.

Mexico’s Club America are the most successful team in the country’s history – but they’ve won nada in the last few seasons. Andre Jardin has been brought in and big money has been spent to change their fortunes – so what should the fans expect to see on the pitch? Fintan O’Reilly talks inverting full-backs and rotations.

Australia’s A-League is becoming a popular market for intelligent clubs looking to spend money well – for example, Westerlo have already signed Jordan Bos and Hearts are being closely linked to another player in this article. Beth Limb gets deep into the data to uncover the very best U23 options Down Under.

The 3-4-3 is a formation that provides a great deal of flexibility in the defensive phase. Teams can quickly turn their back three into a four or five. However, how practical is it to press from this shape? Kevin Martin explains in this tactical theory piece and provides real-life examples and suggested sessions for the training pitch.

The FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 kicks off on Thursday and we have tactically previewed every single team in the tournament (yes, all 32 of them) helping you understand how each team plays and who are the key players to look out for. At 314 pages, this is our biggest magazine yet and it is the only guide to the tournament you need – and it is 100% free of charge to everyone. Join coaches, national team analysts and TV pundits all over the world by getting your download now.

Fintan has taken his daily dive into our 8000+ strong archive of articles and found these which are somewhat timely given the recent football news.

It looks as though the Inter-Romelu Lukaku saga has come to an end, with I Nerazzurri seemingly pulling out of any deal to bring the Belgian back to San Siro. What next for Inter’s attack? When the forward was displaced by Kai Havertz at Chelsea, we explored the redefinition of the ‘number 9’ role — perhaps Simone Inzaghi’s side could follow a similar path and replace Lukaku with a different profile entirely?

The Republic of Ireland’s World Cup preparation has received a big blow on the week they are set to get their tournament underway, with Denise O’Sullivan a doubt after suffering an injury in a behind-closed-doors friendly versus Colombia. Read about why potentially losing the midfield maestro would be devastating for Vera Pauw’s side.

Dušan Tadić played a massive role in helping Erik ten Hag’s Ajax reach the UEFA Champions League semi-final — and very nearly, the final — in 2018/19. Now that the playmaker has left Ajax, look back on that memorable side from a few seasons back, along with Tadić’s key squad role.

Sticking with the Serbian theme, Dušan Vlahović has reportedly caught the eye of Ligue 1’s big spenders Paris Saint-Germain just one and a half seasons after joining Juventus from Fiorentina. Recap how the striker became one of world football’s most in-demand forwards a couple of seasons back in our scout report.

That’s it for this today – we are back at the same time tomorrow. Spread the word!

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