Marcelo Gallardo has used a variety of systems, finding ways to adapt and keep his opponents guessing but the key attacking patterns are always visible and that's to create superiorities. River Plate's attacking shape resembles a 2-3-5 mostly, or a 3-2-5.
Gallardo looks to dominate the central areas which is where they create their overloads, high and central, with only the wingers giving the side width. To create depth and play centrally, they'll look to recycle the ball and invite the opposition to press looking to create gaps to play line-breaking passes and get in-between the lines.
Not only do they look to play narrow, but they are also very horizontally compact which helps the side prevent counter-attackers when losing the ball. The attacking pro is that the team can create numerical superiorities that forces the opposition to react and allows Gallardo's men to retain the possession well.
Strengths of 4-1-3-2
- Anchorman shielding the back four.
- The shape promotes numerical superiority in central areas.
- The two wide central midfielders can help protect the full-backs.
- A number 10 links midfield to attack. Operates in Zone 14.
- Against 4 at the back formations, the two strikers can go 1v1 with central defenders.