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Counter Pressing like Liverpool F.C. – 4 vs 2 to 6 vs 4

Counter pressing is a very simple and understandable concept. Instead of falling back into the ordinary defensive position when losing the ball, your team immediately presses against the ball to prevent a counterattack of the opposing team and tries to regain possession of the ball.

One of Jürgen Klopp’s key philosophies and fundamental to his success is this style of play, which he implemented at Borussia Dortmund and now at Liverpool F.C. But also coaches like Pep Guardiola and of course Arrigo Sachi, who is considered the forefather of counter pressing, had great success with intense pressing and zonal marking!

Today we will show you a game-like competition that is ha helpful exercise to coach the main points of counter pressing and prepare your players to be good at counter pressing.

Setup: Double square (12mx12m) and (25mx25m). The size of the pitch depends on the skill level of the players. The 4 vs. 2 starts with the first pass of the red players. The 4 green outside players spread out and try to be always ready to proceed a 6vs.4.


  1. In the inner square they start playing 4 against 2 (red against green).
  2. When the two green defenders capture the ball, they play it to one of the other players outside the small square.
  3. Then they play 6 vs 4 (green vs red) in the big square.
  4. The 4 red players immediately switch to counter pressing and try to recapture the ball as fast as possible (preferably within 6 seconds).
  5. When losing the ball, two other defenders go in the middle. 6. The teams get one point after every 10 successful passes.

eBook – Jürgen Klopps Attacking Tactics

This long awaited ebook contains a full and extensive analysis of Jurgen Klopp’s Borussia Dortmund team. 16 sessions (75 practices) including functional practices, patterns of play, possession games, transition games, opposed/unopposed zone play, game situations and small sided games.

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