It seems as though Roberto Donadoni will play Rodrigo Palacio, Simone Verdi, and Mattia Destro together against Verona. This has only happened one time before, as they all played together in the 3-0 loss to Napoli. In that game, Donadoni opted for a 4-2-3-1 formation, but that will probably not be the case against Verona. The latest rumours are that Donadoni either will go for the regular 4-3-3, or a 4-3-1-2. What are the differences between these two formations, and which would get the best out of Bologna’s players?
4-3-3: This is the formation that Bologna has been using ever since Donadoni took charge two years ago (with a few exceptions). The players are used to playing in this, and it will therefore make it easier for the players to know where their teammates are during the game. The main differences between the two possible formations are the front three. In the 4-3-3, there is only one striker, with two wide forwards supporting the striker. Destro would occupy the role of the striker, with Verdi to the right and Palacio to the left. Both wide forwards would in this case be seeking towards the centre of the pitch, and at times it would seem as Bologna would be playing with three strikers. Against a bottom half team like Verona, this formation would give us a lot of attacking options, and should give us enough firepower to overcome them. One negative is the fact that it’s the same formation as before, and a tactical change could help Bologna turn their bad form around.
4-3-1-2: The main difference here is the front three. In this formation, Verdi would occupy the trequartista role, behind the two strikers. He would also serve as a link between the midfield and attack, and he should be drifting to both the left- and right-hand side to stretch the opposition. The two up top would be Destro and Palacio, with Destro being the most stationary of the two, and Palacio being a kind of false nine. This means that Palacio would be the most creative of the two, with Destro hoping to benefit from the two creative players behind him. This formation would hopefully bring out the best in Destro, as he would most likely get a lot of chances created for him by Palacio and Verdi. In this formation though it is essential that Bologna’s full-backs provide width going forward. With the three attacking players all playing quite central in the field, one can risk playing to narrow, and then it would become very difficult to break through the Verona defence. If, however, the full-backs provide the necessary width going forward, Verona would have to take this into account when defending, and more space would open up in the centre of the pitch.
Overall, I think the 4-3-1-2 would be the best choice, especially now that Di Francesco is out injured. A new way of approaching a game could be just what Bologna needs to end the current streak of four losses, and the change would not be to big, and the transition should therefore be quite easy for the players. Additionally, if this formation brings out the best in Destro, it could really kick-start his season, and we all know how Bologna are in the need of a goalscorer.
Photo: Bologna FC