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On 28/12/2019 at 20:56, Top Tiger said:

Any tips? I am quite a small side, I'd say half my goals conceded are set pieces

I am not an expert for set-pieces, and I occasionally both score and concede from them, so take this with a pinch of salt. When it comes specifically to defensive corners, this kind of setup has generally worked the best for me so far:

- one player marking each post (usually fullbacks, but not necessarily)

- 3 most aerially dominant defensive players zonally mark the near post area, center of the box and far post area

- the fastest - and defensively least useful - player (usually a striker or winger) stays forward

- the best passer is on the edge of area (unless he is good in the air and thus can be utilized for more defensive purposes)

- other 3 zonally mark the rest of the area (the Go back instruction)

Of course, there are slightly modified variants depending on the type of available players, but this is my generally preferred approach.

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12 hours ago, thehig2 said:

I have problems with this too majority of my goals in most my tactics come from set pieces.

Sometimes I intentionally make bad attacking set piece routines to try to highlight the flaws in my outfield tactics.

For all of my goals to come only from set pieces says to me that I have problems scoring from open play. I especially try to do this against bus parkers such as Watford, Brighton, Brentford, Sheffield Utd etc who routinely blatantly opt for narrow defending and low defensive line and mentality because I want to find a tactic that works to break these sides down.

Invariably I admit this leads to many games I should win becoming draws or even defeats from when they nick lucky goals from set pieces or 30 yard screamers late on in the game even when I know my defensive routines are flawless. It frustrates me to no end the amount of times I seem to get "FMed" after them registering 0 shots until the last 10 mins when they score!

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I often manage teams who are limited so most my goals come from set plays because I play for them and dedicate most my training to them.

However Ive always found it hard to defend them, I lot of games Ive got my goal I conceed from a deep free kick they lump in the box and it ends up going on.

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There are some obvious annoyances in set pieces that we can probably never fix, especially the free short option from wide freekicks who miraculously becomes a great unmarked passing option. It's been in the game for years and the only real way I've found to handle this is to have a bunch of 'go back' players who have great acceleration, anticipation and bravery. Problem is not everyone is like this in your team. And sometimes I laugh when I hear real managers like Jose Mourinho talking about how ironic it is that they had their team training on defending throw ins the day before a big game, and the only goal they concede is off a throw in. So i guess getting bummed out is just one way things happen, so thats how I round things off and accept things the way they are. 


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On 11/01/2020 at 06:51, Rashidi said:

Basically when it comes to set pieces, throw ins and freekicks, I have a few golden rules. First, have you noticed how players usually end up coming in on your far side to score from freekicks, or how on some corners players are not picking up some targets? That usually happens because the default set piece routines are not perfectly created for each team. So the next time you want to set up set pieces effectively, take a look at your players. You are looking for:

1. Players with good jumping reach/heading
2. Players with good marking
3. Players with good acceleration, anticipation, dribbling and first touch

For corners you want 3 zones to be covered ALL THE TIME zonally. These are the 6 yard near, far and centre areas with players with good jumping reach. When creating your own attacking set pieces you want to attack the same areas with the best players in your team with good jumping reach. Player at near post wins header and flicks it across face off goal for player at far post to score. Its a typical goal that's been in FM since time immemorial.

Choose the player with the best anticipation and passing and set him to edge of area

Choose the player with the best acceleration, dribbling and first touch and set him to Get Forward.

Choose one player and tell him to mark the near post for corners. So if its a corner from the left he is on the left of the keeper.

These are the things I will always do for corners. For the rest of the players you can elect to choose anything from that point onwards, a combination of man, close down or go back its entirely up to you. I typically have at least one on man mark.


For throw ins, I see a lot of people conceding throw ins, thats usually because they don't have a player marking far post and both their central defenders have been given zonal marking. You want both your central defenders on man marking and one other player on mark tall.

For deep and indirect free kicks, you always want one player zonally marking far post because opposition players seem to get a free run at the far post in a lot of games.


This is one variation of my defend corner routines., it has one player man marking, this is vulnerable to long shots because i have no players at edge of area.


This is another variation now I have someone at edge of area to combat against long shots, i have one player on the near post (DR) and 3 players zonally marking (STCR,DCR,MCL) , one man marking, one go back


This is the only change I make to  wide/deep freekicks I add one player to mark the far post. 

Throw Ins.png

For the last one, throw ins. I have my two defenders man marking and one player on far post.  The one on far post is the key here for throw ins on either side.


This is my favourite defend corner routine, it pays attention to the three areas that can be vulnerable and it uses a Man Mark, Mark Tall and a Go back. When we win the header, we can also close the opposite down quickly. As a small side a big part of your game is set piece optimisation, so you should spend a bit of time going through your squad identifying who can do what in set pieces. One of the reasons why i love targetmen when I play lower league football is the option of using one of the strikers to defend. FM20 rewards attention to detail.

Cheers mate great post.

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