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3 at the back - anyone trying this?


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3 at the back became partially popular a couple of seasons ago, but 4 at the back with attacking full backs now seems to be the preferred choice. Just wondered if anyone has had a go at creating a 3-at the back tactic for FM15 and how they implemented it?

I have been playing what is effectively 3-4-3 with Peterborough and had mixed results.

GK - Defend

CB - Defend

CB - Defend

CB - Defend

HB - Defend

DW - Support

B2B - Support

DW - Support

AP - Attack

DLF - Support

AF - Attack

Control/Counter, Fluid

Control TIs - Shorter Passing, Retain Poss, Work Ball in to box

Counter TIs - Pass to Space, Push Higher Up, Play Narrower

Any thoughts on how to improve it?

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I would offer the OP a note of caution on selection a Half Back in front of a back 3 - the HB is designed to slot into the backline, so he is going to try dropping into the area where you already have the extra centre back. You would do better to have a role that keeps him in that area, or, allows him to get between the lines. Maybe a DLP or Regista?

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I would offer the OP a note of caution on selection a Half Back in front of a back 3 - the HB is designed to slot into the backline, so he is going to try dropping into the area where you already have the extra centre back. You would do better to have a role that keeps him in that area, or, allows him to get between the lines. Maybe a DLP or Regista?

My idea behind the HB is to slot in at the back to essentially create a back 4 if the two wider CBs get drawn out by opposing wingers. I have wondered whether this is overkill when I also have Defensive Wingers on the flanks?

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Considering myself to use a 3-3-1-3 (just started playing Marseille and reading up on Bielsa a bit) as my secondary tactic:

GK: SKd

CDL: CD Stopper

CD: CD Cover

CDR: CD Stopper

WBL: IWB

WBR: IWB

DM: RGA

MC: CMa

AML: Ws (I wanted a DWs but it seems to have been removed for FM15)

AMR: IFs

ST: DFs

Attacking Fluid, Pushing Up, Get Stuck In, Tight Marking, High Pressing Game

SK set to distribute to full backs, I had tried to a specific player but that did not work he kept kicking it far (maybe with the release it will work now)

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Back three systems have actually been vastly improved with back lines in general now exhibiting a lot more fluidity in how they respond to defenders stepping out to close down, so if you play with a WBLR, it'll more appropriately adapt to a 4-4 when dealing with flank threats, giving you a lot of flexibility.

If you don't play with WBLR, your centrebacks will have more trouble staying compact against mobile forwards using the "channels" since wide midfielders will track runners but not shift to cover that space in relation to the ball. Also, if you play an outright 3-4-3/3-5-2, you don't really need to use defensive wingers. In a lot of ways, DW are the opposite of a standard wingback. Whereas the wingback will drop deeper to cover space but get very far forward in attack to offer width, the def. wingers will tend to be more restrained in attack while being more prone to closing down far out of position in defence. That's not to say it can't work, just that a standard winger or wide midfielder may actually be closer to what you'd normally want from a 3-4-3.

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I wonder if it's possible to set it up this way.

DC - defend

DC - defend

DMC - halfback

WBR - cwb

WBL - cwb

DMR - regista/dlp(def)

MCL - rp

AMR - if(att)

AML - if(att)

CF - cf(sup)

The halfback will drop back as the 3rd defender instead.

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The halfback is "open to interpretation" at the moment, so unfortunately, you won't see him forming a back three outside the very early stages of build up play (and even then, it'll be an extremely narrow back three without split centrebacks).

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SK (A)

DC (D)

DC (D)

DC (D)

DML A (D)

DMR RP (S)

ML/R DW (S)

MCL B2B (S)

MCR CM (A)

ST CF (S)

Very aggressive Mentality, TIs and PIs and I have conceded just once in eleven Bundesliga matches with an admittedly very strong Bayern team.

That's actually something I noticed in FM14 when I started to mess around with a back 3 formation; given the players I had at my disposal, it allowed to me to be very aggressive whilst having my 3 CBs cutting out any direct passes my opponent usually resorted to. Heck I remember switching to my 361 after having a player sent off early (so 351 at that point) and playing on a more aggressive mentality than I started the match with. My opponent couldn't handle me even though I was down to 10 men.

At some point in the future I think I'll try and set up one for FM15. Once I get a better hang of the game.

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The halfback is "open to interpretation" at the moment, so unfortunately, you won't see him forming a back three outside the very early stages of build up play (and even then, it'll be an extremely narrow back three without split centrebacks).

Mmmm, good advice. I was thinking strongly about a HB in my formation, but that probably makes up my mind to not do it (yet).

Last year it seemed to be that the CB's spread too wide, now too narrow?

The HB will be an amazing tactical position, once it's formed correctly

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I'm a big fan of back threes, using them to good effect in the past couple of FMs. Haven't decided exactly what I'm going to use in 15 (hell, I haven't even decided who I'm playing as), but I wouldn't be at all suprised if I end up with three CBs.

I'm thinking maybe something like this 3-6-1:

 CD(d) BPD CD(d)
WB(s)           WB(a)
   MC(d) DLP(s)  
   SS(a) Tq(a)
       AF(a)

Counter/Fluid, More Direct, Pass Into Space, Higher Tempo

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Last year it seemed to be that the CB's spread too wide, now too narrow?

The HB will be an amazing tactical position, once it's formed correctly

It was less an issue of too wide/too narrow and more an issue of some people wanted split central defenders, others didn't with both having a valid case.

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It was less an issue of too wide/too narrow and more an issue of some people wanted split central defenders, others didn't with both having a valid case.

For me at least, the problem in 14 wasn't so much that the CDs split, but that they took too long to return to their "default" positions once the HB had moved forward, leaving a large gap in the centre of your defence, therefore making the formation extremely vulnerable to quick transitions. I'd prefer they did split, provided they moved back together again quicker - ideally the HB wouldn't move forward until after the CDs are back to their base positions.

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It was less an issue of too wide/too narrow and more an issue of some people wanted split central defenders, others didn't with both having a valid case.

So democracy states that they will split to a degree slightly less than the "splitters" want :D

Agree with the post above, they should split when the HB retreats, and reform when the HB takes up the DLP element of his role (or that's how I see it)

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A back three was as viable as anything else in FM14. As noted above, some people reported issues with central defenders not consolidating quickly after a loss of possession, though I never noticed anything amiss on 14.3.

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When teams play 2 up front I'm using a Bielsa inspired 523 that looks like this

GK

CD D - close down more

CD D

CD D - close down more

IWB S - get further fwd

WB A - stay wide

AP A

CM D - tackle harder, fewer risky passes

W A - close down more

IF S - close down more, sit narrower

DF S

TI's are - higher tempo, more expressive, work into box, close down more

standard, fluid

Working well so far, the combo down the left is working well when the wing back overlaps the inside fwd. sometimes the centre backs seem to get in each others way when a cross comes in!

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My favourite ever tactic was on fm14, a 3-4-3 diamond possession tactic I introduced in my 4th season with Sunderland.

It was a very potent attacking tactic, which I set up:

Very Fluid, Control

SWK (D)

CB (X)

CB ©

CB (X)

A

ADP (A)

CM (S)

AM (A)

IF (A)

F9 (S)

W (S) with get further forward and free role

TI's:

Short passing, retain possession, play from the back, work ball into the box, play wider, higher line, hassle, offside, lower tempo, roam from positions.

In 15, it's not translating quite so well...but then I don't have as good a team. I had it very fluid as due to the nature of the formation I wanted to create good movement and for players to fill in and cover.

However, I've changed to flexible and counter, to get a balance between movement and make it a bit tighter defensively (but with be more expressive as a TI).

First few games have been

S'oton 1-0 Sunderland

Sland 1-0 Swansea

Burnley 2-2 Sland

Barnsley 0-1 Sland

Sland 1-1 Stoke

So although we are usually above 60% possession, we aren't doing well enough on the attack. Most CCC we've created has been 3. The passing triangles aren't as clear/effective as in Fm 14.

Any suggestion on roles for the midfield diamond? I have the Amc as an attacking midfielder rather than shadow striker in the thinking that he'd offer more defensively while also going beyond the F9 but he isn't being as effective as I'd like. Also, my support winger on get forward and roam which was extremely effective on 14 isnt performing as I'd hope. Last thing, even with play wider the CM's are very close together, almost on top of each other.

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I decided to give a 3 back formation a try in FM15:

---------CF-a

-------SS Treq

-------RP CM-d

--WB-s--------WB-s

-----CD CD CD

I thought I'd go with the Roaming Playmaker and Treq as opposed a DLP and an AP respectively because I wanted to have a bit of movement given how narrow I am. This'll be interesting. Never used a roaming playmaker before.

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I'm also trying a 3-4-3 Diamond.

3x CD (2 stopper, 1 BPD centrally)

1x DM (DLP Defend)

2x MF (L/R Wide Midfielders)

1x AMC (Enganche)

3x ST (2 AF, 1 DLF Centrally)

It's working out kinda well. We're scoring plenty of goals, but working out this defense is proving to be difficult. For instance, I'm the Crew, it's the 34th Minute vs Toronto and we are winning 4-3. All 3 of my strikers have a goal and my AMC has a goal.

Edit: Ended up losing that game 6-5. Freaking 92nd minute, I get a PK and the keeper blocks it.

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those that play 3 cb but got rwb & lwb cant be consider player 3 at the back, technically rwb & lwb are defender and you actually play with 5 defender

Eh. Not that big a deal. It's all semantics at the end of the day; there's a ton of way to describe what essentially is the same thing. And besides formations are just numbers on a piece of paper anyways. What you tell those players to do, however, is really the only thing that's important. Regardless of how you classify each player.

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I like the idea of 3 at the back but the problem is I'm managing Asenal so I can't really find a system that incorporates both 3 Cb's and Ozil.

Why not? 3 at the back allows you to do basically what you want from the midfield onwards due to having a spare player.

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I like the idea of 3 at the back but the problem is I'm managing Asenal so I can't really find a system that incorporates both 3 Cb's and Ozil.

Ozil as the AM? Ozil as a centre forward? Ozil retrained as a regista or DLP? All interesting possibilities.

those that play 3 cb but got rwb & lwb cant be consider player 3 at the back, technically rwb & lwb are defender and you actually play with 5 defender
Eh. Not that big a deal. It's all semantics at the end of the day; there's a ton of way to describe what essentially is the same thing. And besides formations are just numbers on a piece of paper anyways. What you tell those players to do, however, is really the only thing that's important. Regardless of how you classify each player.

Both good points. :thup:

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SK (A)

DC (D)

DC (D)

DC (D)

DML A (D)

DMR RP (S)

ML/R DW (S)

MCL B2B (S)

MCR CM (A)

ST CF (S)

Very aggressive Mentality, TIs and PIs and I have conceded just once in eleven Bundesliga matches with an admittedly very strong Bayern team.

how are you not getting exploied on the wings?.I'm finding it a huge problem playing wingers and without.I've tried 3cb with 2wb but so often i concede from crosses

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how are you not getting exploied on the wings?.I'm finding it a huge problem playing wingers and without.I've tried 3cb with 2wb but so often i concede from crosses

Conceding from crosses is just going to happen. It seems like this year's FM, crosses/volleys/long range shots are the main threats. Even with a 4-back or so, I was conceding tons of crosses.

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Conceding from crosses is just going to happen. It seems like this year's FM, crosses/volleys/long range shots are the main threats. Even with a 4-back or so, I was conceding tons of crosses.

a bug as such or just how fm is now?.Just seems so difficult to overcome this.Full backs and wingers just dont defend how they should.Even set my wingers to mark opposition wingers but that doesnt seem to get control of it either.

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I dunno if it's a bug or what - but I even read in reviews that crosses were deadly. I think one said FM this year played like 1998 with the amount of crosses and crazy stuff into the box.

I've managed to mitigate this a bit with a 3xCB by putting the outer two CBs on Cover duties with the middle on a Stopper. It seems to work better as the 2 Cover guys drop back farther than the attackers typically go, but it's so dependent upon the player actually being good or not.

This way I'm not really counting on my wingers or any FB/WBs. I still have my L/R MF on Support, so they do track back a bit.

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I'm currently playing like this:

GK: Goalkeeper/D

SW: Libero/S

FBl: Fullback/S

FBr: Fullback/S

DMc: Defensive Midfielder/D

MCl: Advanced Playmaker/A

MCc: Central Midfielder/A

MCr: Ball Winning Midfielder/S

AMl: Inside Froward/A

AMr: Winger/S

STc: Defensive Forward/S

Standard

Flexible

TI: mark tighter

PI: longshoots reduced, gk delivery slightly tampered with, winger role slightly tweaked to play closer to how a defensive winger would have played on fm14

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I'm currently playing like this:

GK: Goalkeeper/D

SW: Libero/S

FBl: Fullback/S

FBr: Fullback/S

DMc: Defensive Midfielder/D

MCl: Advanced Playmaker/A

MCc: Central Midfielder/A

MCr: Ball Winning Midfielder/S

AMl: Inside Froward/A

AMr: Winger/S

STc: Defensive Forward/S

Standard

Flexible

TI: mark tighter

PI: longshoots reduced, gk delivery slightly tampered with, winger role slightly tweaked to play closer to how a defensive winger would have played on fm14

How is the Libero working out - I've read a couple of threads saying he doesn't get forward enough

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How is the Libero working out - I've read a couple of threads saying he doesn't get forward enough

He doesn't due to how its programmed sadly

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He doesn't due to how its programmed sadly

That's a pity cos ever since your strikerless libero tactic with Shef Utd I've always been quite partial to playing 2 DC's at the back with an attacking Libero

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Well I have played a bit over the weekend and since my OP I have changed my formation to the following:

GK - Defend

CD - Defend

CD - Defend

CD - Defend

DM - Support

WM - Support

WM - Support

B2B - Support

AP - Attack

DLF - Support

AF - Attack

I reduced TIs to just Play Out of Defence and Pass in to Space, however I found my players shooting far too often from distance so added Work Ball in to Box.

It has made the formation much more reliable, with the main threat coming from other teams who play with wing backs - their crosses from deep cause all kinds of problems for my CDs. I might look at changing my CDs to Stopper/Cover/Stopper to partially prevent this.

My team is really suffering from poor morale so it is difficult to gauge how well the formation is working yet, but performances have definitely improved. CCC are up at least 50%, despite my strikers still missing them!

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I fiddled about during pre season with Bayern and ended up playing a 3-2-2-2-1. It produced some really nice football the issue is I was very reliant on a Bernat type to make it work as a balancer on the left flank. I ended up quitting as I was just using it to fiddle around with the game to see what it was like.

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you can't make reliable results about your formation playing with Bayern.

Try Crystal palace and then tell us....

This is my experience.

I suppose the same can go for Manchester United so but I played a 3-5-2 with wing backs for 7 seasons, winning 5 consecutive leagues and 2 CL titles.

During this time I was appointed Spain manager and was sacked after 5 games using this tactic, my team performed horribly and only beat Saudi Arabia in any of those matches losing to France, Austria and drawing with Scotland.

Second crack at international management was marginally better - won the Confederations Cup with Italy but coming second in my WC Qualifying group was not enough to see me through. I had to change my tactic for the Confederations Cup and beyond as my 3-5-2 was again unsuitable for international football.

I resigned from Manchester United and took over AC Milan in March 2022, implementing the 3-5-2 again. I got to the CL final - losing to PSG and securing CL football for the following season with good results in Serie A.

Instructions are;

Work ball into box

Look for overlap

Push higher up

Close down more often

It produces a lot of crossed goals from the two wing backs crosses and provides defensive solidity.

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Well I have played a bit over the weekend and since my OP I have changed my formation to the following:

GK - Defend

CD - Defend

CD - Defend

CD - Defend

DM - Support

WM - Support

WM - Support

B2B - Support

AP - Attack

DLF - Support

AF - Attack

I reduced TIs to just Play Out of Defence and Pass in to Space, however I found my players shooting far too often from distance so added Work Ball in to Box.

It has made the formation much more reliable, with the main threat coming from other teams who play with wing backs - their crosses from deep cause all kinds of problems for my CDs. I might look at changing my CDs to Stopper/Cover/Stopper to partially prevent this.

My team is really suffering from poor morale so it is difficult to gauge how well the formation is working yet, but performances have definitely improved. CCC are up at least 50%, despite my strikers still missing them!

I would suggest Cover/Stopper/Cover as I tried the above already and it didn't do enough - the stoppers on the edges broke the line and allowed huge lanes for through balls. Cover on the edges with a Stopper in the middle is better as with Cover, you appear to have two guys drop back on crosses rather than one. You also don't have your line breaking down chasing touchline marauders.

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you can't make reliable results about your formation playing with Bayern.

Try Crystal palace and then tell us....

That is nonsense. Whilst the players maybe good and better than the rest of the league you still judge how the formation operates in terms of how it plays on the pitch. Whether it defends counters well, keeps the ball well, provides a variety of attacking outlets etc

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nonsense ?

you said 3-2-2-2-1...i guess everybody understood your formation (???)

and i guess if anyone play 4-4-2 with Bayern will produce very ugly football....

Please stop posting utter rubbish and contribute to the thread in a positive way please.

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How is the Libero working out - I've read a couple of threads saying he doesn't get forward enough
not enough if you have other central defenders (they seam to block the libero from going forward as much as one would like), but it seams to work out ok-ish for how I want the player in question to act in my system, im still not sure if I should go for attack or support role thought, I used attack on fm14 so I want to try it with support role for now
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Thinking of attempting a 3 at the back formation myself, something like this.

Bs3csxj.png

Used an online formation site so ignore the roles. Not sure how it would play out and what roles i'd use but going to give it a whirl this evening.

I am playing something pretty similar to this except I do not have the 2 wingbacks, I am using a ML and MR.

It seems to be working quite nicely so far.

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