Line up and general movements
Hull with the ball - 4411
In short building they would have the back 4 together, along with the two sitting midfielders remaining deep to support. Diame would move back to support from time to time if they were having problems progressing.
Their long buildup from goal kicks didn't often have the same target player, but would mostly be played into midfield and the second ball recovered. This would then move them straight back into their normal organisation with the ball. They did have some success with some long balls from deep freekicks or from Dawson in the second half, however. They were applying a lot of pressure on the Sheffield backline, with the wide players moving up and Diame moving up to occupy the free centre back - matching each defender in a 1v1 capacity for the first ball in the air, as well as for the potential flick on of the second ball.
In short building, Odubajo is the player who will move the ball forward most of the back 4 - through passes or running with the ball. In the first half he was focused on overlapping and moving up the wing, while in the second half he would make inside diagonal runs, with the ball, into the Sheffield block.
Snodgrass, moving from Bennett into deeper and inside areas to receive the ball, would enable the forward progression on this side - either centrally with back to goal to play layoff, or wide on half turn and then taking ball forward on his left foot. These situations would come from passes from Livermore or Odubajo, and he could then move inside with the ball or go outside and cross with his right. Here Odubajo can overlap him to offer an option up the line, as well as the options to play diagonals to Clucas.
While moving deep they have another movement that can cause Bennett problems, with outside runs behind him situationally by either Hernandez or Diame. In these situations, the centre back is forced out wide to cover Bennett if he has move forward to pressure Snodgrass.
On the left Robertson can carry the ball up the line or inside, as well as play forward passes up the line and quality early crosses behind the defence and towards the second post area. His influence grew in the second half, with the changed role of Clucas to play inside, which allowed Robertson to move up the left wing - as well as the focus of the attack now switching to the left of the pitch.
Centrally Livermore and Meyler are used in a one up and one stay back capacity in higher areas. One will join the box, while the other stays back. This dynamic changed in the second half as a consequence of the substitution. Powell came on and went to the left, with Clucas moving into central midfield. Powell has different characteristics and is very active in supporting the ball and having a high influence in the construction of play. As a result he moves very freely and improved the central combinations and ball possession of the team, as well as being able to offer more variation in the play with mixtures of quick combinations, dribbles, forward passes and depth diagonals. Livermore became much more positional as a result, and Clucas would make movements out to the left or forward runs - but wasn't in areas to make as many depth runs that he had been making before the substitution in the second half.
Hernandez wasn’t used much with the ball. He can move side to side to offer a forward option to feet when the ball is in midfield, as well as making wide movements behind fullbacks and depth runs behind the central defenders.
Their main focus in creation areas were crosses. They would often get 3 players in the box for each cross, with either the far side wide player joining the box, or a run from deep by one of the central midfielders.
Clucas began the game as a pure winger on the left, but his role changed in the second half to allow him more freedom to leave the wing and influence the game.
As you can see here, he is now central and looking for the ball. He would now move into higher positions centrally too, with Robertson more participative in attacks on the left and often positioned higher up the field.
The positions he received the ball in high areas would now cause problems. He would receive the ball, turn and attack the space centrally - which was opened opened by outside runs by Diame.
The substitution of Powell for Meyler changed the game. Powell would play in a free role and always supported the player on the ball and looked to receive it as much as he could. Also, Clucas switched to play as a central midfielder.
Hull against the ball - 442/4411
Against the ball the nearest player will apply pressure, while the rest of the team moves up the field to close down space in ball near areas and to be able to immediately press the next player who is to receive the ball. They would then look to recover the ball or to force it back to the goalkeeper and pressure him to play a long ball quickly - or at least not let him move up the field with the ball, preventing Sheffield Wednesday from pushing them back and deep into their own half. Against the long balls and direct play they dominated the first ball through the majority of the game, until Nuhia came on in the last 10 minutes. He had an impact on the game, and forced Hull to drop deeper as a team to allow similar levels of control that they had before the substitution.
Since they had the majority of possession throughout the game, most of their defending was done during their defensive transitions or recovering the second ball after long balls to the strikers by Sheffield.
In defensive transitions they can have some problems wide initially - with fullbacks high - and centrally when the first man pressuring the ball was surpassed, with one midfielder left behind ball and central defenders dropping deep quickly - creating a growing vertical space centrally. Mostly the first wave of pressing (individually) was enough to force the ball backwards or delay the opposition for long enough to allow the Hull players to recover positions.
When they counter attacked, they have some players who can cause problems. Diame is very good physically and can carry the ball powerfully, and both Clucas and Snodgrass can also carry the ball. Livermore can break lines and run off the ball from deep in these situations, as well as the initial depth running of Hernandez either behind or diagonally to the wings.
Line up and general movements - Turner and Lees are on the opposite sides
Sheffield with the ball- 442
Direct play frequent throughout the match. All goal kicks are long, as well as any back pass to the keeper is followed by a long ball upfield. They were not efficient in winning the first ball at all - until Nuhia was brought on, who can dominate the first ball with his body positioning, receiving it to chest. At times they made up for this through the positioning of the block behind the front two (moving up and around the ball) and aggressive pressing to regain the second ball. Upon regaining the second ball they would then look for quick, first time, short combinations.
When they had possession in midfield they had a some solutions to pass forward and move up the field, but not may. Bannan will often move infield to a central role, with Hutchinson dropping and either Forestieri or Bennett situationally moving into the vacated space on the left. Here he can offer forward passes and create some problems for the opposition through progression on the left. Both Bannan and Lee (faints with ball to open passing lanes) are the only players who will play forward passes from deep areas, as the others focus more on horizontal passes or going back to the keeper due to pressure from the opposition. Very occasional long balls by Turner are also used, but these are mostly due to ball pressure and limited options. When Lopez came on for Hutchinson, he allowed the team another player who can make forward passes.
In higher areas, they have a few ways of creating: they can look for the short combinations centrally, they can use McGeady on the right to go up the line and cross or dribble inside, Forestieri can move deep (or to the left) and turn to run at the opponent and shoot from distance, and the dynamic on the left with Bannan moving inside and Bennett moving high.
Nuhia made a difference when he came on. He gave them an outlet and someone who can dominate the first ball, as well as use his body positioning to regain lose balls. With this increased efficiency of winning the first ball, the team could now move up the field and push Hull back deep into their own penalty box - putting Sheffield on the front foot. With the team moving higher up the field, they could also sustain their attacks for longer periods of time.
Sheffield against the ball - 442
Against the ball is what they were set up as for the majority of the game - seeking the opportunities to score through counters, long balls or set pieces. Initially they started the game with some aggressive pressing on the Hull central defenders from the kickoff - following the pass and applying pressure. The front two screened in front of the midfield for a few passes before they would stop pressing and act as they would for the majority of the game, in a deeper role around the halfway line. When given the opportunity of pressing the two centre backs, they will look to surprise them. This comes when the central defenders are isolated and they can match them in a 2v2 capacity.
Their man setup throughout the game consisted of a 442 without ball pressure in high areas, with players zonal marking and the block positioned centrally - some man marking in ball near areas of potential passing options.
When players like Diame would move out of their bock and go deep to help building, he wouldn’t be followed, but the nearest player would adjust his position slightly towards him in order to give himself the chance to press him if he were to receive the ball.
As you can see here, Lee moves up slightly in order to give himself the chance to press Diame if he receives the ball. This is to prevent him being able to receive the ball facing play and to be able to get his head up to see the field and play forward.
In the first half they had some problems adjusting positions to controlling the wide areas - especially on the left. The inside positioning of Snodgrass and the wide positioning of Hernandez can be seen here. The former occupies Bannan, while the latter grabs the attention of Bennett for long enough to create the space for Odubajo to run into.
In deeper areas man marking would become used more strictly, with central defenders following the wide movements of Hernandez and Diame wide.
Here the two defenders by the box man mark, while the midfield and the other two defenders move around the ball. Palmer is out to pressure the man on the ball, while Lees moves out to follow the run outside by Diame.
During counter attacks they had chances to progress centrally through quick combinations. However, they couldn’t get the midfield support they needed in order to create initial danger after getting the ball up to the strikers, with two strikers up against three defenders and Livermore in most situations.
When they played long balls forward early, they could cause more problems, with a 2v2 against the central defenders.
Defensive transitions are not so problematic as the team will mostly not move out of its defensive block - so it is ready to drop deep and be organised defensively if the ball is lost. There are, however, some slow recoveries in wide areas at times.
Mixture of man and zonal marking in defensive corners from Wednesday. Out swinging corner with the near post run (and blocker) and players attacking the far post for the flick on or second ball.
Inswinging corners from both sides. Aggressive near post runs to match delivery. Mixture of man and zonal marking by Hull.
Run around the back to the second post to try to create an overload.
Long ball to the left from kickoff. Hull quickly press the player that is about to receive and play the long pass.