Very similar to a successful chess player, it is not uncommon for a manager or his coaching staff to play out every predicted scenario in a match to have predetermined counters to their opponent.
This philosophy is a common practice for Chelsea's Guus Hiddink, who does so before every game his teams play, where he goes over every potential pitfall in his head.
"You have to think ahead and I have played Barcelona twice in my head," he told The Sun.
"In my head, I have never lost a game in preparation. But you have to focus a lot on the difficulty and the complexity of the job Bosingwa has to do."
Hiddink doesn't show too many of his cards leading into this critical European Champions League semifinal match today versus Barcelona, but Sky Sports' Richard Bailey reports on the challenges that Hiddink feels that Barca possesses.
"Although they like to attack, we like to attack as well, but when you play Manchester United or Liverpool, it is a less controlled game and can go either way. Like pinball," he added.
"When you play Liverpool or United or they play us, the pace of the game can go up any second. Boom."
"But Barca are very smart. They can turn the pace of the game up or down. You think you are in control and then all of a sudden they strike."
"They are skilful and have very good possession and can frustrate a team by having possession."
"We must not get frustrated. If they score then we must have the confidence that we can score at any moment."