Content of the article: "Final Game plans in my guide series. Holding a lead, and chasing a goal – Elite rank, Division 1 guide."
Over the past few weeks, I've posted some formation guides that I use to pretty good success in high D1 and Elite rank in weekend league.
These guides gained literally thousands of upvotes, and helped a lot of people out according to the comments.
Initially there was my 41212(2) guide:
. . and then there was my 4222 guide:
These are the 2 formations I use for regular gameplay. I typically start off in 4222, and if I'm not finding much joy, I switch to the 41212(2). Both are played aggressively. I don't play possession football, holding on to the ball passing backwards, sideways, few dribbles here and there, few dragbacks, a couple of epileptic seizure elastico's, a few L2 shields etc. Nah, that shit's boring as hell. Of course, I can play that way, but this is a video game. I play for fun. Scoring goals for me, is fun. Looking at irrelevant 70% possession numbers with 2 shots on goal, is not fun for me. It might be for you? That's fine. No problem. You do you, and I'll do me. My guides are for the people who don't want to play that style. Like I said, to each there own. There's no "right" way to play FIFA.
This post isn't going to be going too in depth. It's mostly to address the people in personal messages and the comments of my other guides that ask what I do to hold onto a lead, or what I do when chasing a goal. What formations I switch to, and any tactics I might use.
I won't be going into any player types, etc. as you just use the players you were using in your regular formation. You might want to make a sub here or there if needed, but just use what you've got available.
On to the game plans:
HOLDING A LEAD
The game's winding down, and your opponent has switched to some hyper aggressive pressing tactics and formation.
You're completely under the cosh.
We've all been there.
I often hear people complain and complain about conceding to 90 minute goals, and a good portion of the time it's because they have not adjusted to their opponents change in mentality. They're still playing the same formation that got them the lead, without making any allowances for the sudden shift in gears from their opponent. This is bad.
To combat this, and to hold on to my lead, I switch out of my regular formation and switch to – surprise, surprise – 4231. Love it or hate it, when set up accordingly, it can be a very defensive formation that allows you to completely snuff out your opponents attacks.
Defensive Style: Balanced
I don't sit super deep, nor do I use drop back, as that just invites pressure on to you and you can't get out of your own half. Remember – our opponent will be using constant pressure/team-press etc. so you can't be fucking around in your own half or you'll inevitably lose the ball and your opponent will just keep on hammering you. Again, this is bad.
Offensive Style: Long Ball
Players in the Box: 3
Free Kicks: 1
I use long ball here, as when I nick the ball off my opponents, I want my CAM and ST making darting runs forward as an outlet for me. I often catch my opponent on the counter doing this, and then the game is completely sealed. I don't pass around the back or take it to the corner flag. I mean, it's probably smart to take it to the corner flag, and I should do that, but I just don't like it. If you want to do that, that's fine. Long ball will help you get there, I guess.
I put width at 7 so I can stretch my opponents and bomb down the wing on my counters. Again, if this suits your style, it would also help you get to the corner flag.
If nothing is mentioned, it is because I leave it default
— Stay back while attacking
— 2x Stay Back while attacking, Man Mark, Cover Center
— Come back on Defence
— Stay Forward
I leave my Striker on Stay Forward as he is my outlet when I take the ball off my opponent. I need someone to pass to, (if the CAM are pinned in), so that I can take the ball into my opponents half and relieve the pressure. If I bring him back on defence, all I can do is punt the ball into empty space and my opponents attack recycles. We don't want that.
HOLDING A LEAD SUMMARY
My set up here is nothing revolutionary. You can find this shit everywhere. I just put it up as per request.
CHASING A GOAL
This is where it gets fun. I absolutely love this formation, and it's by far the most fun you can have in FIFA, imo. Hell, sometimes I whip it out minute 1 for the fuck of it in Rivals; or if I've identified that my opponent is crap.
You thought my 41212(2) or 4222 was aggressive? Wait till you try this bad-boy out.
Defensive Style: Press after Possession Loss
This isn't a Hail-Mary balls to the wall defensive set up with everyone bombing forward and a super high depth, as I don't want to concede and just throw away any chance I had of coming back. I have, in the past, paused and turned Constant Pressure on, though, when the game is truly winding down. I also utilise Team-Press on the D-Pad when switching to this formation. There's YouTube tutorials out there telling you how best to use that feature.
Offensive Style: Balanced
Players in the Box: 6
I don't use Fast Build up or Long Ball here, as I have a lot of men forward and it seems I just get whistled for off-side all the time if I have those instructions; as they are usually just sitting around on the shoulder of the defender, as you will see when I go into player instructions. My opponent is usually in some sort of defensive set-up when I am chasing a goal, so I need my players to show for the ball still, rather than running into blind alleys – which I found was the case when using Fast Build up and Long Ball.
— Stay Back while Attacking, Stay on Edge of the box for cross, Cover Center
We already have enough players up top, we don't need any more. These dudes will just get in the way. I rather just have them stop my opponents counter.
— Come Back on Defence, Stay Wide, Get in Behind
Again, Like I said earlier, I don't want to be overly attacking and then just concede immediately. Come back on Defence just makes sure I don't get screwed when my opponent has the ball, as it will shift into a quasi 5ATB formation. I keep them wide to stretch my opponents. They make beautiful runs, also, with get in behind. They are usually not marked at all. Like. . completely, 100%, unmarked by the AI.
— Stay Central, Get in Behind
I don't leave these on stay forward, as I need them to show for the ball in midfield when I am building up my attack. They also allow me to catch my opponent on the counter by not sitting too deep in my opponents half to the point they aren't even on my screen.
— Completely Balanced
No instructions here. I just leave him to do his own thing and that's worked just fine for me. My LF and RF do most of the scoring, surprisingly.
CHASING A GOAL SUMMARY
Like mentioned, I don't go stupid and completely gung-ho with this set up, as I just end up conceding and then the game is truly lost. It's still very attacking, but not to the point that I am overly vulnerable. With this set up, also, you can use it as a regular game plan. And it works just fine, imo. Obviously, it's not ultra-competitive. . but it's a nice chance of pace and good for a bit of fun.
That concludes my series of guides. 41212(2), 4222, 4231 and 3421.
Each formation I use have their strengths and weaknesses, and imo, they either compliment or counter anything your opponent can throw at you. The guides will evolve as patches are released, and later on in the FIFA cycle I will post updated versions of each. (Or if something drastically changes that makes the guide irrelevant, I will also post an updated version.)
I know that I said in my initial post that I would be doing a 433(5) guide, but sadly, when I tried this formation, I crash and burned. Maybe it's me? I dunno. But I just couldn't get it to work very well, so abandoned it for the time being.
I hope the guides I have published continue to help you guys out. Remember, these guides won't suddenly turn you into a T200 player. They're just a platform to work off of, and one less thing, hopefully, for you to worry about.
Have fun. Don't be dicks to your opponents, and win games.
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