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La Liga – Levante - 442

So far we only faces 4231 and we tried to not over-exposed our flanks, but what about 442?

In my opinion the 541 and Bielsa’s 3331 are the perfect killers of a 442:

  • they attack us down the wings? We will have 2 AM to deal with theirs FB and 2 WB to stay close to theirs MRL;
  • they attack us with 2 strikers? We have 3 CDs to deal with them;
  • they decide to bring in a MC to help theirs strikers? I already said that we have 3 CDs?

 

levante1.thumb.png.b38086f24788ca3ba0138d324680bbad.png levante1a.thumb.png.14a2ec7351244bdbb35de154a7276286.png

Levante went with the classic approach: 2 wingers, the left one more aggressive, 1 playmaker, 1 FB on defend, big man-little man in attack.

I decided to go with the 541 with a W(a) on the right to try to put pressure on theirs more aggressive flank while the IF(s) would have tried to operate in that open space left by theirs attacking playmaker.

 

405724137_CartagenavLevante_StatsMatchStats.thumb.png.8e29904c8c56308c393a1df3ea4effd9.png

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@IL Luce Great explanation of the logic of trying to get that defensive passing + long balls strategy. The sequence where you pull it off is brilliant too, one of those moments where all the thinking and tweaking with tactics pays off for the perfect goal for your style of play!

I wonder if anyone looking to emulate Sarri's Napoli should be looking to copy your in-possession instructions, but add a more expressive press?...and now you've made me want to abandon my youth save with Lyon to try it!

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Never thought about reacting to the AI with a different game plan each match.  I am usually all about finding formation and roles that work for the team and training those slots. The Extra Slots are usually variation on main tactic with mostly same roles and all the same TI's.

Example: Main 4-2-3-1 Wide, Secondary: 4-3-3 Wide and a 4-1-4-1 Wide (4-1-2-3 Wide). 

This Thread has made me re-think my approach....especially after a match where I was getting pressed by opposition and getting no possession. I changed from 4-2-3-1 Wide to the 4-1-4-1 Wide and decided to play long ball and shattered the AI Gameplan.

I often end up with dominant teams that win 2-0 because of how the AI reacts to our game plan. (which eventually becomes "Park the Bus")

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Thanks @westy8chimp. Unfortunately, playing in Spain I face a lot of teams that play a 41221 or 4231 and I don’t want to over-repeat myself posting the same things.

 

Thanks @zlatanera. It’s also about the roles you choose and players trait. Dribble less in a team full of roles that by default will dribble more, may not give you the result that you expect. And if you liked that sequence I guess that you will enjoy these ones too:D:

 

gif1.thumb.gif.edffbe1fd49c9b1592622ce4bafd167f.gif

 

gif2a.thumb.gif.ee30fea23173efcb143a13b80fcfc02d.gif

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La Liga – Villarreal: When small details make the difference

villarreal1.thumb.png.5813f501d9e8e88eb89d3b6f84062404.png villarreal3.thumb.png.d777936c2ec1ed5ea5dcd1a8a0bc2464.png

villarreal2.thumb.png.c25d0f4a96c4c691db2378f098acd405.png

We faced this kind of formation with a SS behind their striker before and I will not go into too much details here. The most important and interesting part here is what amazing piece of information my scouter gave to me: they have big problems dealing with crosses especially on their right side.

Normally with other formations I will have used a winger in that zone but with the 532 I had 2 options: 

  • change my LWB's duty from support to attack and in this way he would have been more aggressive on their right flank;
  • or play a little bit with his PI.

The attack duty may have been a problem because would have exposed my flank much more. Also, the default “dribble more” would have changed our way of playing and some crosses would have been by byline that mean that in some situations he would have had problems getting back in defense.

So I opted for the second option and I just added “cross more often” to his PI.

villarreal3a.png.1442e8dbb9802eed4259dac4c574f868.png

Also, normally, I would have played my P and MEZ on theirs more exposed flank but now I just wanted them on my LWB's flank to be ready to intercept any crosses from him.

 

Result:

villacross.thumb.gif.acdf4ae364ee20728231993ce64f8634.gif

 

villacross2.thumb.gif.d9c01cf9621d63d40e9c56d78aeee106.gif

2 crosses = 2 assists for my LWB.

 

1731413324_VillarrealvCartagena_StatsMatchStats.thumb.png.5c4a158fdadf7a997f87786d867a3ed6.png

 

1519956688_F.C.CartagenaS.A.D._SeniorFixtures-2.thumb.png.39a007fb1ee61d22c053319804ae1baf.png

1079978908_UEFAEuropaLeague_OverviewProfile.thumb.png.6b7ba02eceddfbc0f4841aff680fa3a5.png

So far, so good. Cheers!

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@IL Luce yup, that was fun to watch! How do you make gifs of your highlights like that? 

R.e. Roles yeah you’d want perhaps just two inside forwards who will dribble more to replicate Sarri, or maybe a CM too (not sure if Hamsik was a dribbler). 

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19 hours ago, Hootieleece said:

Never thought about reacting to the AI with a different game plan each match.  I am usually all about finding formation and roles that work for the team and training those slots

Yeh I think a lot of people play that way to create a tactic for their team and maybe use the slots for a different mentality or slight variation on their main tactic... I always have... And it works most of the time.

So I was just interested what would happen if I did it completely differently. Changing every match is the extreme and probably not necessary/beneficial. But hopefully, like you, others have taken note and at least consider their opponent a bit more. Particularly when you find a 'bogey' team. 

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13 hours ago, IL Luce said:

Unfortunately, playing in Spain I face a lot of teams that play a 41221 or 4231 and I don’t want to over-repeat myself posting the same things.

Yes... This is why I did very few examples over my season ☺ That's why I need community involvement so thanks again for your added examples... Great stuff. 

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On 01/07/2019 at 01:30, zlatanera said:

The sequence where you pull it off is brilliant too, one of those moments where all the thinking and tweaking with tactics pays off for the perfect goal for your style of play!

The Holy grail of FM! 

_20190702_154318.thumb.JPG.317584f48c208006a2623f431b3a61dd.JPG

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On 21/06/2019 at 12:27, westy8chimp said:

2009129299_psgscoutreport.thumb.PNG.30e75b7298a1a5deeb3c2ed4738de0b8.PNG

 

I have never noticed reports having their roles and team mentality on. Is this just in a standard team scouting report? Or is it some custom skin? 

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1 hour ago, Purplejesus said:

I have never noticed reports having their roles and team mentality on. Is this just in a standard team scouting report? Or is it some custom skin? 

Standard scout report... I think you need certain roles like chief data analyst? If you are playing as a smaller side you may not have the facilities/personnel. 

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@Purplejesus @westy8chimp yeah its to do with the level of data analysis facilities and actually filling the staff roles, I believe. 

I think (should know given I'm doing a career thread with them) Lyon start out with pretty good data analysis setup so if westy's filled out the available staff slots and perhaps upgraded the facilities its no surprise he'd be able to see the roles.

I wish I could be more helpful but this thread is the polar opposite to how I play - in a way that still makes me want to read - I completely ignore scouting reports, just build a team that plays how I want to play and see where I end up.

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  • 2 weeks later...
17 hours ago, Yoeri said:

What skin is it that you can see the opponents player roles?

Default... Its not the skin, its the data facilities that drive how much information you see. 

 

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amazing thread, I think tactical familiarity is a confusing concept but I understand why it's there

So does this thread prove that TF is meaningless? Or that more intelligent players do not require such high levels?

I know that TF doesnt apply on Touch for example

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On 17/07/2019 at 16:53, burdinho said:

So does this thread prove that TF is meaningless

I wouldn't say its meaningless... Just that a good tactic is more important. 

I'd rather have my playmaker in space and have 50% TV than have him man marked by a DM and have 100% TF 

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Hi there, thank you for a great thread! I have tried implementing the approach from the OP with my own possession oriented DNA and it really works perfectly. The TF will never reach 100% but I don't see any issues in the matches. I primarily play variations of 4123 just moving the playmaker into the space to exploit but I have also used 4141 and 4231 without issues. 

The only signs of impact from lack of TF are the odd positional mistakes especially from reserve/fringe players.... The starting XI quickly establish a good understanding and adjust to my tactical changes.

I started using the approach when I moved to Crewe in L2 and I have only lost 2 games since taking over (approx. 30 games) transforming the team from a relegation battler to a team in hunt for promotion :)

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On 22/06/2019 at 10:55, westy8chimp said:

They dominated me with a 424 strikerless

Back on fm17 Luciano Spaletti used the 424 strikerless when losing a game. Was he managing Real Madrid on this one?

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Think I'm going to give this a whirl but with more of a counterattacking slant. Playing as Galatasaray which means I might be obliged to be positive against some sides but will be being as negative as possible.

 

edit: oh. Just annihilated Besiktas at their place. They went ahead from a free kick against the run of play after 5 minutes, but from that point on it was only a matter of time. 3-1 and could've been a hell of a lot worse for them.

My base formation is 4-4-2 with two DM's, and the base style is to aggressively defend close to the halfway line and get it forward sharpish. The team instructions look quite attacking but that is certainly not how it plays:

640176113_Screenshot2019-08-03at14_56_14.thumb.png.ed0b6d965f6653f0da64027421a705d5.png

I noticed their left back is bombing on and there's an inside forward in front of him who doesn't seem like the most defensively conscientious fellow, so I played an attacking right winger, an attacking left back and told the team to play down the right and overlap on the left. Also put my DLF and playmaker on his side to help him out. Speaking of the playmaker, they're playing two DM's and an AM so I put him in the middle out of their reach. Since they're going to be sending the cavalry over to their left to deal with all this buildup, I had my left winger drift inside to fetch the ball and my left back overlap into what should ought to be shedloads of space.

1037051567_Screenshot2019-08-03at14_47_43.thumb.png.10685084be45cf8011c428811f27e74f.png

Bish bash bosh. Wonder how the same approach will work against a weaker, more defensive side?

Edited by ceefax the cat
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The one danger with a thread like this is using outcomes (which are based on a lot of variables including form and luck) to prove efficacy of tactical decisions. I think this becomes problematic, especially if only the good outcomes are shown.

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On 21/06/2019 at 06:27, westy8chimp said:

PSG Scout Report

2009129299_psgscoutreport.thumb.PNG.30e75b7298a1a5deeb3c2ed4738de0b8.PNG

First thing I isolate is the space - they have no AMC but they do have a DM and 2 CMs - so first stake in the ground... my playmaker will play in the DM position. 

I see this theory postulated a lot on this forum that you can hide your playmaker in the holes of the opponent's formation and try to drag their players out of formation to attack you. But is it really that simple? Surely in that PSG formation, the three central midfielders can cover for each other when one of them is pressuring your DMC. In real life, I don't think football formations are quite so rigid, but is it true that FM can't replicate that fluidity without an alteration of the base formation?

Edited by Overmars
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2 hours ago, Overmars said:

I see this theory postulated a lot on this forum that you can hide your playmaker in the holes of the opponent's formation and try to drag their players out of formation to attack you. But is it really that simple? Surely in that PSG formation, the three central midfielders can cover for each other when one of them is pressuring your DMC. In real life, I don't think football formations are quite so rigid, but is it true that FM can't replicate that fluidity without an alteration of the base formation?

When I talk about finding a pocket of space... Its all relative. Let's say the opponent is a flat 442 and their lcm is a bwm-s and the rcm is a cm-d. The cm-d is more likely to hold his defensive position whereas the bwm-s will be the one to vacate his area and chase my ball carrier. 

So if I line up my playmaker as a dmlc (opposite the cm-d) he's going to have more time and space than if I line him up as a dmc, dmrc or mc, rcm, lcm... Simply putting more distance between him and the opposing bwm. That way, maybe he is unopposed, or maybe the bwm chases him... Vacating a hold in the middle where I can overload. 

The other thing I tried to do is make passing triangles easier by outnumbering the opponent in the middle..again using the playmaker in space in a 3vs 2 he's less likely to get closed down as the opponent cms already have two players to mark...if they chase him it opens up space. 

If the opponent has 3 or more central areas... To avoid congestion I then use a regista and attack with width. 

Simple principles... Small gains here and there that make a big difference in the match. I'm still playing the save and I think I've only lost about 9 games in 4 years (in all comps) 

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Basically it is about finding space and exploit the weakest areas of the opponent's formation. It will not always work but if you chose the right roles and make sure they have the options around them it can be very easy to punish even the strongest teams. Even world class defenders will struggle if you overload their area and they end up playing 1v2 or even 1v3. This is not an ME exploit or wonder approach... this is actually a realistic approach going into matches with a strategy based on your scouting reports.

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@Jungztar yes exactly.

Going back to that first game vs psg...it wasn't just about putting a playmaker in the DM strata because they had no AM... It was part of a full plan... To exploit their left side. It was about sequential decisions to achieve a plan of a attack... Decision 1) playmaker in DM 2) right adjusted playmaker to help exoit their left 3) using an attacking winger in MR rather than AMR (to get between their LB and AML, attack duty to encourage him to take the defence on at will) 4) regista to be more expansive than a dlp and look to play the riskier pass to release the MR.... The rest of the pieces followed suit - give the winger a target (CF) , give the striker support (AM), give the regista some strong cover (AN)... Solid full backs as they are up against the best players mbappe and neymar... 

It allowed a very raw pair of teenagers to take on and beat some of the best players. 

I'm enjoying the save so will probably stick with it till the new fm... But its a concept I want to try with an underdog team and open the scope completely to also change instructions and mentality game to game. 

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Gotta say I tried to use the concepts of this thread (although not as masterfully as @westy8chimp) and such were the overwhelming results that I felt like a tactical mastermind. This is also a lesson on understanding what's going on in the game and adapting. 

Applying the knowledge I've gained from reading this thread I went from taking 19th place Bury in League Two to automatic promotion finishing 2nd place. I took charge with around 20-25 games left.

The highlights were beating a tough 4-4-2 from Coventry by exploiting their left flank and turning around a 2-0 deficit away from home at Wycombe (it was a match I absolutely had to win) into a 4-2 win by reverting to a 3-5-2 with bombarding fullbacks to exploit their narrow 4-3-3 with three strikers and three CM's. I matched their three CM's in midfield but had a F9 to drop deep so I could overload their midfield and then the WBs would overlap and provide my AF with a cross.

The AF bagged a brace, the F9 scored from long range and my left WB got the last one, receiving a pass and running into the area unmarked for a strong finish. The only thing is, you need depth and good players to make it work, of course.

Brilliant read and I can say I learned a lot.

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  • 4 weeks later...

@IL Luce Bravo mate, class post back there :applause:. It's nice to see others adopting this strategy because it was one a developed a habit of using back on FM17. 

I would rely on scout reports and identify opponents weakness and setup to block out their goal threats/ creative hub, I would then setup to exploit space within their formation preferably on the counter attack. I deployed this setup against the top sides/ in UCL knockout stages and it won me the champions League. 

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  • 8 months later...
12 minutes ago, Jungztar said:

Has anybody continued this approach in FM20?

I have begun testing with HSV in the 2. Bundesliga and so far it seems to be working like a charm.

Yes it looks unassuming but this is one of the best threads ever for me, in terms of the tactical aspects and its apparent simplicity. It definetely has a part in how i make tactical decisions in game although the act of taking advantage of opposition weaknesses is something I've always tried to do (Mourinho fanboy) so other threads i can't remember were also a big influence. Cleon's threads come to mind. Simple yet objective content, treating the game for what it is, roles, mentalities, attributes, etc and all very clearly represented.

Edited by afailed10
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11 hours ago, Jungztar said:

Has anybody continued this approach in FM20?

I have begun testing with HSV in the 2. Bundesliga and so far it seems to be working like a charm.

I actually started trying this out because it makes complete sense.

I am using my own variation on the "Hammer and Anvil" that crusadertsar posted awhile back. I am at Marseille with just an awful team(for Marseille) that I have inherited with Adama on the right wing who is nothing but a speed  and dribbling merchant but cant finish and can't cross. Played a stubborn defensive Strasbourg who played with a DM and their creative player as a DLP in CM slot. So I kept Adama on that wing because their LB was literally the only guy on an attacking duty and man marked their DLP(CM slot) which took him out the game. I took my Engache and put him in the DM spot as a DLP and turned the Engache spot in to an AM. The result was a 1-0 win but the DLP and Adama combined to create three CCC's and if Adama had any ability to finish we would have been out of sight. 

I did the same in Europa league except i switched Adama to the left as their FB was attacking that side. Within minutes they turned the RB to a defensive role nullifying one of their most attacking players and the DLP had acres of space to move in ending the game having 5 key passes in a 5-0 win. Still have to try this against a Tier 1 side.

Capture.PNG

Edited by Crazy_Ivan
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Great to see :)

I have decided not to lock down a formation and in stead choose my formation based on the opposition and the weaknesses that I have identified. In Germany the teams mostly play 4123, 4231 and 442, so I use variants of the same but I also have a 32221 to counter the 442. I still sometimes struggle against the "park-the-bus" but against top 5 teams we hardly ever lose.

I think the approach will be more efficient after the promotion to the Bundesliga and teams will begin coming at me and leaving me room to exploit :)

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  • 3 weeks later...

Great thread, if only the real Arsene Wenger was so flexible, looks much more the Alex Ferguson approach. Using the best players for each game to get a result, using different formations and strategy game to game 

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On 27/06/2019 at 10:21, westy8chimp said:

4231 is definitely the hardest formation to both attack and defend at the same time... the space is definitely in AM position

That is hell of a threat and I didn’t had time to read it completely yet. But I tried on my recent Hearts save where I face those 4231 regularly.

I believe the space is between the wing positions between a Wa and a FBs or a Ws and a WBs (for example) and countered it as follows:

I set up in a flat 4141 with the wingers Attacken the space before the FB. I checked on the MC positions of the opponent and adopted my MC to theirs. Aberdeen had a DLP on the right  which I put under pressure with a BWMs and they had a B2B on the left which I put on work with a RPMs. For my left side which was more defended by Aberdeen I simply put my best crosser in a WMs to take his time in the space between FB and W. On my right side I attacked their WB with an Wa and later with a IWa.

I covered the space used by their AMC with an Anchor.

up front I put a strong and tall DLFa.

worked fine!!!

thanks to you @westy8chimp

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  • 2 months later...

I started a Chelsea save recently, with one of the purposes being to try to use opposition reports to outplay the top teams. I feel like Chelsea have a really tactically flexible squad, and although they are a really good team, they are outside the real 'top' tier teams such as Barca, Real, Manchester City and Liverpool. So there's plenty of teams that could easily dominate us if we get our tactics wrong, or try a 'one size fits all' approach.

Anyway, I just remembered this great thread, and have played all the rest of the big six with a very good record of 3 wins and 2 draws.

image.thumb.png.f57fbd8cc539346697b2d54bdb22b8aa.png

I wanted to share my different approaches during my wins against Liverpool and City, because I feel like my way is slightly different to what has already been discussed. Basically, I base my decisions mostly off of the attributes of the opposition players rather than the roles and any gaps in formations.

VS Liverpool (H)

image.thumb.png.1ab28cdc88b05a6f218c085ff6cdc113.png

*Not posting the scout report as the prediction was wrong, but I anticipated a 433 due to Liverpool's recent games.

It's commonly known that liverpool heavily rely on their fullbacks to create chances. They are also extremely good on the counter, and tend to blitz through many teams that try to play positive football with short passes and high pressing. I knew that if I stayed disciplined, and covered Liverpool's fullbacks, I'd take away two of the things that makes them so good. What's also interesting is that their midfield lacks attacking creativity. I can't see any of their three midfielders making a defence-splitting pass, unless they're given lots of space to do so.

Another strength that Liverpool have is Van Dijk. A mistake would be to park the bus, and leave one striker up front to try and win flick ons from long balls. This is because that striker could easily be isolated between Liverpool's defensive triangle of Henderson - Van Dijk - Gomez. Van Dijk is utterly Dominant in the air, and Gomez has the pace to cover for any flick ons. Trying to play with the ball will be tricky though, as Liverpool are just so great at pressing, they could easily force turnovers in dangerous areas.

Here's what I need to do:

  • Defend the wide areas aggresively, to avoid giving the full backs any time and space
  • Hold shape in the central areas
    • Wijnaldum and Oxlade Chamberlain are both very good dribblers for central midfielders - flying into any tackles could allow them to sidestep any challenges and create space. However, neither of them seem that capable of playing a killer pass through a well organised defence.
  • Resist the urge to press high, in order to reduce the space for Mane and Salah to run into.
  • Set up to be able to keep the ball in defensive areas
    • Avoids hitting long balls that Van Dijk can sweep up. 

So I went with this:

image.thumb.png.ce4af0e973d9241dbed15f4d622c643f.png

 

  • A 343 is one of the best formations to cover wide areas. The outside centreback can provide cover for his wingback, and the wingers can track back and assist to double up on any wide attacker. I also made sure to set the opposition instruction to tackle harder and always close down Alexander-Arnold and Robertson.
  • Less urgent pressing allows us to hold shape and exploit Liverpool's lack of creativity in central areas
  • A standard defensive line on a balanced mentality gives a relatively low block for a team such as Chelsea. This, combined with Tomori as a covering centreback (who has 19 acceleration), reduces the space for Mane and Salah to run in to.
  • The use of 3 centrebacks, a sweeper keeper, and a DLP gives us 5 players who should be actively looking to be a passing option when playing out the back, allowing us to be able to play out of the back and not have to resort to long balls.

Our threats are our two wingers, who may be able to exploit Liverpool's attacking full backs on the counter. And Kovacic, who is very press resistant, and should be able to create room for attacks by dribbling through pressing attempts by Liverpool's midfield.

 

Result

image.thumb.png.f959dda3633e23a9ac3f2724769484ce.png

The stats screen shows that the game plan worked. Not quite as impressive as @westy8chimp against PSG, or some of the other big wins in this thread, but Liverpool's appauling record of 4 shots on target out of 17 and 0 CCCs shows that we managed to frustrate them into low percentage shots by targeting their creative threats.

 

 

VS City (H)

city.thumb.PNG.c231d8c165129583a963439ae382db89.PNG

City have a squad tailor-made for breaking down deep defences and dominating the ball. David Silva and De Bruyne can both thread a pass through the eye of a needle. Aguero can finish any kind of half chance you give him, while also being able to drop deep and bring others into play to confuse defences. Sterling has 20 off the ball and always seems to find himself in the perfect area for a tap in (although might not be able to finish lol). They have modern wingbacks who both want to get forward to stretch defences. And finally, Rodri has 18 positioning, and will always been in the way to thwart a counter attack.

However, they are quite poor in the air, and their wingbacks (while being great going forward) are quite dreadful in defence. If I can force them long, while playing direct football myself, I should be able to turn the game into a more physical, than technical affair. Which is what they won't like.

The plan:

  • Defend aggresively to prevent any short buildup
  • Play direct to a striker that is good in the air
  • Play wide and exploit the flanks, to test Cancelo's and Zinchenko's ability to defend 1v1

This was the tactic:

377346281_citytactic.thumb.PNG.23d5b471639451669418ef3a2b479a1c.PNG

  • The 4231 gives four players in the opposition half for pressing. Mount at CAM also has 18 workrate, so that he can really hassle Rodri and suffocate that link into midfield.
    • I made sure to play Zouma at centreback, as he is the most dominant in the air.
  • Abraham has good enough attributes to win direct passes against CIty's Centrebacks, who only have 13 and 14 jumping reach.
  • Exploiting the flanks and playing wide should lead to Hudson-odoi and Pulisic being able to beat City's fullbacks 1v1, and make room for either a shot, or a cross into Abraham.

Result

image.thumb.png.b51370cbbe9fae8c4373f5312a4bff36.png

Restricting Man City to three shots on target is always impressive. I'm a little annoyed about the chance creation though, as our centreback needlesly gave the ball away to Aguero for their only CCC and goal. But that's what you have to expect when you play against a good pressing team.

The goal that got us back into the game was my favourite part though, as it was exactly what I planned for:

1806630025_citygoal.thumb.gif.b8d18e7d37e38a5974acbd3293bf4e5a.gif

 

Hudson-odoi stays wide in order to isolate himself with Cancelo, then recieves the ball and beats Cancelo before getting a shot off. 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 20/08/2020 at 21:22, HanziZoloman said:

Brilliant plan! It’s a shame that you guys always chose those big guns. It should be also possible with lower teams. 

I definitely think it can work with any team. I guess the issue is decoupling the success of your team to your approach. It would be easy to load up a Burnley save with this concept in mind... lose the first game 3-0 to Man City and think the approach is wrong... when in reality its more than likely you would lose to City with any approach unless the ME has big flaws you can exploit. 

So if anyone does use this approach with a minnow team... treat is like any other... don't expect instant wins. I'd bet overtime it's extremely fruitful … and rewarding when it pays off. 

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2 hours ago, westy8chimp said:

So if anyone does use this approach with a minnow team... treat is like any other... don't expect instant wins. I'd bet overtime it's extremely fruitful … and rewarding when it pays off. 

Of course you are absolutely right. I tried it for one season with my mighty  Hearts of Midlothian. It was extremely demanding, especially after matches where I chose the wrong setup and got smashed it was very tough to stick by the idea and don’t drop it. That is football! 
After that season I changed the approach and established two formations which I tweaked lightly to counter the opponents setup of roles. It worked a little better. Now I have again a working eleven but all the experience in the back.

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  • 3 months later...

Completely missed this thread during the FM19 cycle and only recently discovered it.

@westy8chimp Absolutely top work, really enjoyed seeing how those little changes make a big difference. I do like to try stuff like this myself in games but often chicken out of it :lol: I don't have screenshots but in FM20 I managed to beat England and Wales with Belarus at the 2028 Euros by watching carefully and taking note of where they were giving up space for me to exploit. We were lucky to have 1-2 borderline world class players that I positioned as Inside Forwards, Mezzalas or Playmakers in order to hurt the opponent where they were weakest. Not exactly the same as what you were doing but it is the best feeling in FM when it works!

@IL Luce Great posts as well. I'll definitely be incorporating some of this stuff into my lower league journeyman save to see how well you can get it working without top players. The principles are the same but I'm not sure how readily I can rely on the scouting data. We'll have to see.

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