Is your system of play is a 3-2-1, 3-2-3, or 4-2-3-1? Do you want to build working relationships with different pairs of players within your system of play? Here is a great rondo to work on the defensive relationship of your two central midfielders, two central defenders or perhaps your two forwards in a 4-4-2. The focus is on all defensive principles in small group defending.
4V2 directional rondo with a screening defender. 10X10 yard grids, 12-18 field players, 2-3 identical set ups as shown. A coach at each end with plenty of balls dictating the pace of the activity and the point of entry.
The team in possession must connect a minimum of three passes before playing a penetrating ball to their teammate/target inside the other grid. The screening defender must move laterally along the the middle grid line and cut off any penetrating ball and passing lanes to the opponents target player. If either defender wins the ball or the ball goes out of play, a new ball is initiated by the coach.
The primary focus is on the screening defender highlighted in yellow. They must look over their shoulder at the target and try to align themselves between the ball and the target. This will prolong the ability for the team in possession to play through lines quickly. The primary defenders job is to win the ball or make the play predictable for the screening defender by cutting off lanes himself.