This small sided game is designed to provide players with a chance to either work on attacking with width, or exploiting space centrally depending on which team they are on. The game is also very useful if you only have one goalkeeper at training.

UEFA A licensed coach, Dave Wright will outline the practice and some of the key considerations you need to account for depending on the number of players you have available and how you’d like to structure the practice.

About the Video

In the video below, Dave will talk you through the structure of the session, the outcomes for each team, key constraints of the practice and how you can adapt it for your players.

Additional Information

The structure of this practice lends itself to a number of outcomes, including:

  • Crossing and finishing
  • Combination play
  • Attacking with overloads
  • Defending outnumbered
  • Variety of finishing
  • Emergency defending

Key elements to observe and encourage are:

  • Accurate and early crossing
  • Quick attacking play
  • Desire to defend/intelligent defending
  • Accurate finishing

Practice Overview

Topic: Attacking

No. of Players: 7-17

Goalkeepers: Optional

Practice Type: Small Sided Game

Offsides: Optional

Pitch Size: 40 x 30

Timing: 20-30 mins

Age Group: 10+

Interpreting the Diagrams

The key below outlines what the images mean on the diagrams.

If you have questions about the practices, contact the PDP Team or share your views on the Player Development Project Slack Community.

Key For Diagrams
soccer training diagram

Diagrams

soccer offense practice
Example of the set up with 8 players (only 1 GK). Blue attack 5v3 in possession. You can condition scoring in a number of ways including, must score inside the attacking half, or a scoring zone, or you could restrict scoring against no GK to a one touch finish. Wingers are on limited touches. Goals from wide areas (blue) are worth 3 points. Rotate players so they get opportunities to play under the various rules.
winger soccer practice
Blues on the attack. Blues get their left winger on the ball who has to play off limited touches. Wingers focus on either delivering a cross, or recycling the ball to attack from another angle. The opposite winger (7) can attack the far post and come inside the area when they are not on the ball. Reds are tasked with defending outnumbered and emergency defending given they have no GK. Blues can score from wide or central areas, but reward wide play with 3 points for a goal.
3v3 attacking soccer drill
If reds win possession, they attack quickly through central areas. They have a 3v2 advantage in the outfield but it’s a 3v3 overall. Blue wingers cannot press or defend in the field of play and must recover and stay outside. You can allow reds to score from anywhere and you could reward certain types of finish (e.g. 1 touch finish) with 3 points which encourages quick attack and support play.
7v6 attack or 6v5 attack
Example of the practice with more players (13). If you have 2 goalkeepers, the rules can still stay the same. When you play with 1 GK you should see a great amount of defensive desire from the reds given they are up against it.
9v8 attack  or 8v7 attack
Example of a 9v8 or 9v7 (if you only have one GK).

Objectives

This practice is designed to provide players with opportunities to attack and defend in multiple scenarios. Blues have a numerical advantage in possession and are rewarded with 3 points for goals from wide areas. Wingers get a chance to work on their crossing skills. Reds are defending outnumbered, but in attack, have a one player advantage through central areas as the blue wingers cannot come in and defend. Reds can be rewarded with 3 points for one touch finishes (encouraging quick attack and support play).

Organisation

Set up a small sided game with two goals and a halfway line. Be mindful that this can be physically demanding if you make the pitch too big so adapt accordingly. Ensure a good supply of footballs in each goal. Rotate players to allow them to experience attacking with width (blue) or attacking centrally (red). Both teams will have to defend outnumbered. Red defenders can press and win the ball off the blue wingers (meaning they can go outside the lines).

Observations & Interventions

What you might see

  • Wingers crossing too slowly
  • Opposite winger not attacking
  • Rushed attack

Actions you might take

  • Restrict wingers to 2-3 touches
  • Reward opposite winger with a bonus point for their team if they score a goal
  • Encourage patience in possession

Adaptations: Is the session too easy?

  • Make the space bigger (for more physical returns)
  • Make the space smaller (for more technical returns)

Is the session too hard?

  • Adapt the space
  • Allow wingers more touches

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