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How to Create Numerical Advantages During the Game

These soccer drills aim to boost a coach’s team in creating numerical advantages. The first focuses on using initial dribblings to shift from defensive to offensive positions effectively, depending on the play’s location. The second drill practices forming a back three with a tilting center midfielder to efficiently exploit numerical superiority. Both exercises are designed to enhance strategic understanding and application of numerical advantages in game situations.

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Soccer Drill 1: Initial Dribbling

4 vs 4 with initial dribbling


The play is opened by the initial dribbling of one of the players positioned next to the goal. After their first action (pass or shot), they return to their positions (Variation: Another player leaves the field).


The players next to the goal create by their initial dribbling a numerical advantage within the field. They shall specifically create 2 vs 1 situations and solve them. Teammates position as close to the opponents as possible to subsequently act towards the goal successfully.


For the moment of the dribbling and the duration of the first action, the defending team is allowed to acquire an extra player and equal the numbers. The unorganized situation shall now be solved against an equal number of opponents.

Match Situation

Across the pitch, many situations exist, where players create numerical advantages by starting initial dribblings. It is more likely a defensive position, the farther the distance to bridge (as for example: Center Back). The shorter the distance, the more likely it is an offensive position.

Soccer Drill 2: Play off two forwards

4 vs 4 play off against two strikers


In the respective own half a 2 vs 2 is played. The neutral player is positioned in a central zone and open for a pass, but is not allowed to be attacked. He has at all times the opportunity to create a numerical advantage in the zone of the buildup. To get into the other half, either a dribble‐goal must be crossed or a pass be played into the opposing half.


Against two forwards, the ball possessing team opens out of a back three. An initial dribbling of a center back is simulated by a dribbling through the blue goals. The tilting center midfielder can play a pass through the center. The position of the CM must be taken over by another player.


The CM is not allowed to go into the own half to create a numerical advantage, but can be passed to and subsequently create a favorable ratio of players in the opposing half.

Match Situation

The build‐up of a back three with a tilting center midfielder is simulated. The created numerical advantage shall be used efficiently.

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