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How do I beat a 5-back formation with a 4-2-3-1


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Recently, I've been struggling with teams that play 5 at the back, like Conte and Poch.

I know I could probably use a 4-4-2 to win but I want to increase my tactical knowledge in the 4-2-3-1 formation so I can successfully adapt to different situations.

My formation is as below:

SK (Su)

FB (D) - BPB (D) - CD (C) - FB (At)

BBM (Su) - DLP (D)

W (At) - AM (At) - IF (Su)

DLF (Su)

Standard : Structured

Fairly Wide, Slightly Deeper, Use Offside Trap, Use Tighter Marking, Roam from Positions.

 

The pictures are the formations I'm having troubles against

sPURS.PNG

Capture.PNG

Edited by vanWolfstwinkle
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My immediate thought is to look at the space behind the wing backs. These teams can't cover all of the space all of the time. A big factor is also how high the defensive line is. If its pretty high then there's a lot of space behind them to exploit you just need to work out how you're going to get in behind them. If they're sitting deep then you've got to try to move them around. Movement is key. I'd want strikers that make a movement wide or deep, hoping to draw one of the defenders out and then have a runner from deep and nipping through the space created. Without knowing your players its difficult to build a template. I'd be tempted to put my striker off-centre onto the defender with the weakest concentration but that is just one strategy. I like trying little things like that. Basically I'd want my striker anywhere but up against the three defenders. He needs to be creating space for others. Static is no good. Behind him I'd want a variety of movements into the box so that as we reach the end of our attack we've potentially got a potential overload of 4 on 3 in that central area.

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1 hour ago, Atarin said:

. I'd be tempted to put my striker off-centre onto the defender with the weakest concentration but that is just one strategy. I like trying little things like that.

Excellent way of thinking... All kind of match ups you can create to your advantage when you assess the opposition players strengths and weaknesses. Its something i did alot when i had more time to play

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Whenever I play against 3 central defenders formations and I struggle to score, I switch to Counter mentality, wider and higher tempo while dropping my defense line.

You can try to change your striker's role to an attack duty one.

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12 hours ago, vanWolfstwinkle said:

Recently, I've been struggling with teams that play 5 at the back, like Conte and Poch.

If you are only struggling to score (not to defend) against them, maybe this could help somewhat:

SWKs

WBd    BPDd    CDc    FBa

 

CAR     BtBM

Wa        AMs       APMs

DLFa

And I would deselect the Use Tighter Marking from TIs and instead use OIs to Tight Mark Always the OP striker and AMCs.

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Doubling up on the wings give me most problems on my 3 central defenders. The over lapping full back gives the wing back a decision if my central mids aren't able to cover. Both your wide players need to occupy either the outer centre backs or the wb. See if any of Thier cbs are weak in the air or particularly slow

 

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7 hours ago, summatsupeer said:

I take it your struggling to create chances rather than scoring but also conceding?

Against other teams do you win comfortably?  Do they  come down to set pieces / individual brilliance which could be making you think thing are working well because of the results?

I do win comfortably against other teams with this formation, and I don't think I've ever scored from a set piece in this save. I can limit these teams to long shots but I struggle to even get 5 shots throughout the full game

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3 hours ago, Experienced Defender said:

If you are only struggling to score (not to defend) against them, maybe this could help somewhat:

SWKs

WBd    BPDd    CDc    FBa

 

CAR     BtBM

Wa        AMs       APMs

DLFa

And I would deselect the Use Tighter Marking from TIs and instead use OIs to Tight Mark Always the OP striker and AMCs.

Thank you for this, I managed to beat Spurs 4-1 with a total of 5 CCCs. The wing play was great and that's where most of my chances were created from

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1 hour ago, vanWolfstwinkle said:

Thank you for this, I managed to beat Spurs 4-1 with a total of 5 CCCs. The wing play was great and that's where most of my chances were created from

I'm glad to have helped you. Btw, I today lost exactly to Spurs 4-2 in an away game, but given that we (Crystal Palace) were complete underdogs, I am not too much disappointed :onmehead: And I didn't play 4-2-3-1 but 4-1-4-1 and later switched to 4-1-2-3DM Wide in an attempt to score, which paid off with 2 nice goals. They didn't manage to create a single clear-cut chance (we created 2), and 2 of their goals came as a result of our mistakes (first Tomkins needlessly conceded a penalty and then Townsend scored an own-goal :seagull: Their other 2 goals came from a longer range.

Btw, which team are you managing?

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14 minutes ago, Experienced Defender said:

I'm glad to have helped you. Btw, I today lost exactly to Spurs 4-2 in an away game, but given that we (Crystal Palace) were complete underdogs, I am not too much disappointed :onmehead: And I didn't play 4-2-3-1 but 4-1-4-1 and later switched to 4-1-2-3DM Wide in an attempt to score, which paid off with 2 nice goals. They didn't manage to create a single clear-cut chance (we created 2), and 2 of their goals came as a result of our mistakes (first Tomkins needlessly conceded a penalty and then Townsend scored an own-goal :seagull: Their other 2 goals came from a longer range.

Btw, which team are you managing?

I hate losing games to mistakes by my players and flukey long shots. I'm managing Norwich in my 3rd season and I've been doing pretty well

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I think Croatia were more 433 than 4231, as a slight caveat, but they beat England's 3 at the back, or 5 at the back, in the World Cup semi.  General consensus seemed to be, take away the wing backs in a 532/352 by occupying them and pressing them backwards.  Double up even and create overlaps in wide areas.  When this happened to England they struggled to get out i.e. play out of defence and transition to an attacking shape.

Afraid its not quite a direct answer to the opening post but maybe something to consider against 532/352.

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18 hours ago, vanWolfstwinkle said:

Thank you for this, I managed to beat Spurs 4-1 with a total of 5 CCCs. The wing play was great and that's where most of my chances were created from

What was the full solution you went with on the day>

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I haven't tried it, but why not try a 4231 narrow, with three central attacking midfielders occupying that lovely big space behind their midfield and in front of their defence? Or even two up front with 2 directly behind? Get the movement right between that forward group and you'd pull their defence all over the place. In theory...

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