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Udinese’s Struggle to Break Through: Analyzing the Stagnant Flanks and Defensive Challenges

Udinese’s recent draw against Cagliari may have brought some slight progress amidst the difficulties they have encountered in recent weeks. However, it falls short of the significant leap they needed, especially with upcoming challenging matches against Fiorentina and Napoli. Sottil’s classic 3-5-2 formation was once again employed, with the inclusion of Ebosele from the start to provide more attacking impetus. The midfielders were positioned close to the forwards, aiming to exert pressure on the three defenders of the Sardinian team right from the beginning.

Despite these adjustments, breaking the deadlock proved to be a challenge. The defense held up reasonably well, although Luvumbo on the left side of the Udinese squad caused significant problems for the opposition, especially when he had the energy to do so. However, the lack of cutting edge in the attacking department remains a concern. Sottil is striving to involve the wing-backs more frequently, but they continue to struggle to provide the desired impact. The crosses have been few and far from accurate, particularly for Lucca, who only truly came alive when he combined with Thauvin. It is worth noting that at least two promising opportunities arose from this partnership, which could have resulted in goals for Udinese. Unfortunately, Thauvin missed the moment in the first instance, indicating a lack of killer instinct, while the striker failed to deceive Radunovic on the second occasion.

The match against Cagliari also brought two setbacks for Udinese, with Kabasele and Ebosse ending up in the infirmary. The extent of their injuries is yet to be determined, but it is particularly unfortunate for Kabasele, who had just returned from a lengthy recovery after a cruciate ligament injury. Despite the absence of the two injured defenders, Sottil remained committed to his 3-5-2 formation, introducing the young Guessand, who managed to navigate through the game with a few nervy moments. However, if Udinese is to effectively implement a three-man defense, there needs to be significant improvement on the flanks. So far, the team has posed very few threats in the opponent’s penalty area. Alternatively, with the return of Pereyra and a fit and available Success, it might be advisable to support Lucca differently. In this match, Lucca received very few playable balls, and this aspect is crucial for Udinese’s aim to reach the 40-point mark.

Udinese’s draw against Cagliari indicates some progress, albeit minimal, in their recent struggles. The team’s defensive stability was commendable, but their attacking prowess remains a concern. Sottil’s attempts to utilize the wing-backs have yielded limited success, and the absence of threat from the flanks has hindered Udinese’s ability to penetrate the opposition defense effectively. With key players returning from injury, it is crucial for the team to find alternative ways to support Lucca and create more opportunities in the attacking third. Only then can Udinese hope to achieve their target of 40 points.

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