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How to Effectively Adjust to the Opposition


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How much should I adjust my team based off of the analysis report? For example, if they play 4141dm wide & wing play, should I switch my tactic to maybe a 442 flat in order to defend properly? Or is that even the proper way to counter that? How should I defend other styles, like the 4231 gegenpress? Should I just make small changes, or big ones, like formation changes?
 

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You ask a lot of 'should' questions. There's no 'should' in the sense that - "if this then I should do this". People play the game different to others. Some change a LOT - swapping between different tactics or basing them off the report etc. Others make smaller changes based on the strength of the opposition. Others do nothing. All can work.

I just select the 11 I believe is the best match ups to get me a win. 

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40 minutes ago, HUNT3R said:

I just select the 11 I believe is the best match ups to get me a win. 

Do you use the lineup suggestions? And to find this out, do you like at the analysis report? If you are the underdog, would you choose a team to counter with pace rather than a team to pass the ball around? Do you use the exact same formation with no changes, but just different players?
 

Even if I wanted to make changes, I’m not really sure of the best way to do so.

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11 minutes ago, Gbrexiton said:

Do you use the lineup suggestions? And to find this out, do you like at the analysis report? If you are the underdog, would you choose a team to counter with pace rather than a team to pass the ball around? Do you use the exact same formation with no changes, but just different players?

I choose my own line ups. As I said, all I do is select the right players to have (what I believe) are the best match ups. So I'd look at who's most likely starting the match against me. I don't do anything tactical before a match. I may prepare something and then the opposition is more attacking or a lot more defensive than expected and I have to re-adjust anyway.

I wouldn't select an entire team with pace if I want to counter. That's silly. I'd get maybe the front 3 if I want to select more of a team to counter. Then rest of them would be bullies and bruisers. I still need to be defensively solid, firstly, before I can even think of counter attacking. If I can't win the ball, there's no counter to the attack.

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Even if I wanted to make changes, I’m not really sure of the best way to do so.

Try some things? A lot of us got to where we are by doing just that. I may have an idea - the only way is to see if it's going to work is to try it and watch what happens and if what you wanted is happening. That's how you learn the most.

How I am playing right now by looking at the opposition and getting an advantage by choosing someone who's a better match up - I don't know if anyone else is doing it. I don't care, really. It's an idea I had and I'm doing it. I have reasons for choosing who I select and why they're selected etc, so it makes sense to me in theory and in practice, so far so good.

 

EDIT: By the way, I'm not saying I don't make tactical adjustments. I do. I just don't do them ahead of a match. I wait until I can actually see how they play and how we fare. I recently (2nd in the league) played 12th in the league and expected them to be quite cautious so I can dominate. Turns out, they had other ideas. They came swinging with a Positive 4231, using a very aggressive IF on one side and a very attacking fullback on the other. Caught me off guard, but I made changes after seeing this.

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^Good stuff. And then there's the question of whether you want to respond in an offensive or defensive manner.

As simplistic example, if their RB is pegging it down the sidelines are you going to have your FB/WB play D/S/A? If it's only their RB attacking, then absolutely I want my LWB on WB/A taking advantage of that space. If their RB and a midfielder on the right are attacking, then maybe I leave him on D or S, so a not to isolate the LCB.

As the match gets into the 2nd half it's also worth keeping an eye on the opposition players' condition. For example, if they have a knackered FB on one side, I am going to make by IF/W sub on that side to take advantage of a fresh-legged attacker.

I definitely don't get into the weeds/formation adjustments this chap does, but this is the Lyon thread referenced earlier for your perusal:

https://community.sigames.com/topic/486970-tactics-gymnastics-lyon/?tab=comments#comment-11903439

Edited by CaptCanuck
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There are no sure way win strategies in the game. You could min max to your heart's content and still lose or draw to a stubborn defence.

Or you could do nothing as @HUNT3R says. I prefer the latter. Just play your best game plan always, dictate the game and let your opponents adjust to you.

Edited by crusadertsar
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3 minutes ago, crusadertsar said:

There are no sure way win strategies in the game. You could min max to your heart's content and still lose or draw to a stubborn defence.

Or you could do nothing as @HUNT3R says. I prefer the latter. Just play your best game plan always, dictate the game and let your opponents adjust to you.

I'll say that it's extremely satisfiying when you do make a lot of specific changes to 'counter' an opponent and it works. Takes a lot of effort though and like I said above, they may not even line up the way you think.

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I tend to be a bit half-way. I set up my initial tactics based on the players I have and try to find a way to make it all work well. I make slight adjustments based on some of the pre match analysis report.

So, for example, I currently have three tactics, a 4141DM Wide with a mid-press, high LoD, a 4141DM Wide with a Standard, lower pressing and lower tempo and a 4231 Wide which is a full on front-foot Gegenpress.

My squad have been training these formations since start of the pre-season, they fit the players I have available and (to my mind) are the most effective approaches to get the best out of what I have. 

Looking at the pre-match analysis  I look to see the opponents performance against those formations - I don;t bother looking at others. If they struggle against one more than the other then that guides my choice.

I look at where assists for and against come from - eg: Opponents most common assist from the right wing? I may switch the CWB-A I have to a WB-Def or similar. Perhaps widen defence a little. Will adjust further in-game if necessary. If they concede from a particular area then I may go more aggressive in that area - an IF-S to a W-A for example. Pacey frontmen? Put the most suitable DC on a Cover duty (particularly if playing a higher line).

 

The way I see it is, "Look guys, play the way you normally do, but be aware of this, this and this."

 

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@westy8chimp has a fantastic thread on this topic, showing just how effective countering everything opposition does can be, but I'm usually too lazy for that and like to stick to my own ways instead.

I do however adapt my tactic when facing narrow formations. 4-3-3s, 4-1-2-1-2s and the like, those usually have a glaring weakness that are their flanks. In England, teams usually stick to classic 4-4-2s and 4-1-2-3s, but a few times per season you will face narrow formations which are not only easy to exploit, but can also do quite a bit of damage if you don't shut them down. Nothing more frustrating than being on a good run, then facing that one godforsaken 4-3-3 that always seems to pull you apart.

Against three strikers, I will always use a formation with three central defenders. I find they can cause a lot of issues otherwise, due to how easily defence gets outnumbered. I'll also make sure my tactic is very wing-heavy, exploiting the lone wing back as much as possible. Extremely Wide attacking width and overlaps are something I will always use and given you have someone up top who can actually win headers, it usually results in demolitions like this:

cTVZzFd.png

Nothing more satisfying than making changes and seeing them play out. :D

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On 21/07/2020 at 20:11, Snorks said:

So, for example, I currently have three tactics, a 4141DM Wide with a mid-press, high LoD, a 4141DM Wide with a Standard, lower pressing and lower tempo and a 4231 Wide which is a full on front-foot Gegenpress.

I might give this a go

 

How do you see this for specific formations? I thought it only gave you most vulnerable to... Also, how do you decided between the 4141dms tactics?

On 21/07/2020 at 20:11, Snorks said:

Looking at the pre-match analysis  I look to see the opponents performance against those formations - I don;t bother looking at others. If they struggle against one more than the other then that guides my choice

Edited by Gbrexiton
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4 hours ago, Gbrexiton said:

I might give this a go

 

 

I use those tactics because I feel they fit my squad - set up with similar approaches yourself by all means but find the tactics that work for your squad.

 

4 hours ago, Gbrexiton said:

 

 

How do you see this for specific formations? I thought it only gave you most vulnerable to... Also, how do you decided between the 4141dms tactics?

Usually, strength/reputation of opponent, Home/Away, Media prediction, match odds etc etc.

For example, I am currently on a Leeds save, doing well, in the UCL and about to hit the knockout stage drawn against Barcelona. I would expect Barca to win 'the possession game' and to be good enough to beat a press from my guys, so I will go to the away leg with a tight, disciplined 4141DM. Away against Crystal Palace in the last game, a team fighting against promotion, I went for the pressing, more Positive 4141DM because pre-match analysis showed they gave up more chances against that formation than a 4231 -  I could have gone 4231 and just beat them into submission but wanted to keep players fitter for the Barca game coming up.

There's often a strong 'gut feeling' to my decisions as well though.  I don't over complicate things by delving deep into the analysis, but look for a few of what I think are 'key clues' as to how to play. 

 

Hope it helps others

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I’ve tried to make small changes, such as moving a midfielder to prevent overloads, switch roles of wingbacks to create overloads (or prevent), move a playmaker into more space (just small tweaks), but my results seem even worse. Is it my players, something I’m doing wrong, or both? What info could I provide to help?

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25 minutes ago, Gbrexiton said:

What info could I provide to help?

Best to show the examples of tactics you were using.

While some of these changes you mention might seem minor, they can quite easily make your tactic less coherent and now suddenly roles aren't working together as well anymore, which can result in a bunch of issues. Adapting your tactics on match-to-match basis requires quite a bit of understanding, which is why it's usually simpler to create a single tactic suited to your players and sticking with it. If you're going to constantly change roles, you should also make sure you have a versatile squad actually capable of playing all those tactical variations, otherwise you're doing more harm than good with not playing to your strengths.

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1 hour ago, Zemahh said:

Best to show the examples of tactics you were using.

Sure!

First, I have a pretty classic gegenpress tactic

image.thumb.png.8d5da542f54a743adc645fcdd4786fe5.png

similar to this, but I switched the LW to SU, AM to AP-At, LB to WB-Su, RB to WB-At, and both BPDs to CBs

 

Next, I have
 

DLFsu    PFat

IWsu        CMat         IWsu

Ade

FBat    CDde   CDde   WBsu

 

This was the tactic I used originally

 

Finally, I have something similar to the gegenpress tactic, but switching the AP (AMC) to DLP (DM), and switching some the the winger roles around to Winger.

 

 

 

For team instructions of these, I switch between lower tempo/shorter passing/lower pressing to higher tempo/direct/higher pressing based on opponent. I also usually used balanced, out will switch to attacking if needed. I try to keep it as simple as possible.

 

As for the quality of the team... It’s pretty bad. I’ve been doing a youth academy challenge in Iceland, starting from unplayable. I’m currently in the top flight, battening against relegation. I’m really trying to learn tactics, as I usually only finish around where the media predicts me to finish... I see most people on here can win the league despite being predicted to finish bottom.

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  • 5 months later...

My approach is I like to have a plan for all four phases of the game. Those are: attacking organization, defensive organization, attacking transitions and defensive transitions.

The latter two are more simple, but equally important. More simple because there are far less variables and also generally less need to adjust. Important because transitional play often swings a game's outcome. Defensive transitions is basically where you decide what you want to do when you lose the ball. Do you prioritize winning it back instantly or quickly transitioning back to solid defensive shape where you can force opposition mistakes. Both these approaches have about the same number or positives and negatives. It's up to your personal style and the players at your disposal. Which is why it's counter-productive to constantly alter this setting. If I personally want my team to regroup, then counter-press  is something I very rarely use and only situationally, for example when an opponent doesn't even want to counter-attack, it's only interested in keeping the ball at the back. There's obviously no point in regrouping if the other team gives you all the time in the world to go back to your defensive shape.

Attacking transitions  - similarly - are a principal decision first and foremost. I play a 442, with a TM-P combo up front, with attacking wide midfielders. What do you think I want to do, hold shape? A possession system with three playmakers and a lone striker who's dropping deep? You get the idea. Again, I rarely make changes to my attacking transitions. For example, counters are useless when the opponent won't come out and instead keep 10 men on their half. Then you're better off keeping the ball and build more methodically.

With the remaining two phases, you're determining how your opponent wants to attack you and how you want to attack them. The opposition scout report generally gives us all the answers we need. The way I do this is to avoid overthinking it and instead identify two or three focal points for each phase and adjust my tactic accordingly, obviously within the confines of my base tactic and preferred playing style. Since there are way too many possibilities this time, allow me to illustrate my method via two successive games I played on my new Osasuna save.

We lost the first game of the season 2-0 at Atletico. They're vastly superior, so all I looked for is to restrict them the best we can, which we more or less did. Then the real work began. Next up was a home game against Betis. The scout report told me they played a possession-oriented 4231 with a DLF as the lone striker and a DLP-MEZ combo at CM. In their backline, there was a very slow CD and an IWB for good measure. For our defensive organization, even though my defenders  are not very good and not very fast, I knew we could still afford a high line and an offside trap. Why? The DLF will drop and they want to keep the ball with a million short passes, so balls behind my d-line is not a real threat. A more aggressive line will disrupt their attacking intentions, which is to tiki-taka their way to my goal. Going low and letting them pass around is a surefire disaster. I also made sure to defend narrow and close down their right full-back who's a WB and their LW who's a Winger. Possession sides want to come at you through the middle - take away their width and they're stuck. 

For our attacking organization, I put the focus through the middle, played narrow, put opposite footed players as my WM(a)'s and told them to sit narrow. I played my Poacher on the side of their slow center-back. We went up 4-0 in the first half, and absolutely destroyed them with long balls toward him. Why? They lacked protection through the middle, because the MEZ and the IWB will be out of position and busy running back. Opposite footed WM's have been my favourite plaything since FM20, they play like some box-to-box - inverted winger hybrid. The kept cutting inside and launch bombs into the TM and the P.

In the second half, Betis suddenly started to look more dangerous and the even scored a goal. I went to their formation and noticed that they switched their W and IW to IF and Raumdeuter. I immediately lowered the d-line to standard and ditched the offside trap, which took away from their threat considerably. The match ended 4-1 Osasuna.

Next, we traveled to Valladolid. Again, a 4231, but this time around a Route one style with an AF up front. Which meant standard lines and no offside trap for us. I also noticed that most of their key passes came from their right side where they played a WB-W combo. No chance I defend narrow this game and I also made sure to close down and hard tackle both of them. On the other flank, an IW with low bravery, so I hard tackle him too. Route one teams like to defend low and narrow, so what do I do next? Change back the WM's to their original flank, tell them to stay wide, set focus play to the flanks and go wide.

We concede in the fourth minute. I resist the urge to change my approach and keep watching the game. We contain their right flank all-right, but in possession we still don't stretch them the way I planned. So I add overlaps to both flanks. We scored three goals in the rest of the half.

The second half, they went more attacking, so I removed the overlaps, set my tempo to normal and we killed off the game, even scoring another goal from a corner. 4-1 Osasuna.

This is admittedly a small smaple size and it's impossible to win every game, no matter how thorougly you plan. But this is how I like to play and I believe that with just 2-3 adjustments for both our defensive and attacking organization, we can come up with a successful gameplan for each week. 

Edited by Enzo_Francescoli
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