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Deciding between a bottom/top heavy formation, for me, has mainly to do with where and how you want to press your opponent when you don't have the ball. The formation you see in the tactics screen represents the shape of the team when defending.

If you want to press high up the pitch you want a formation that has players in attacking zones - e.g. 4231, 424. This goes along with: high defensive line, high line of engagement, counter-press, prevent short gk distribution, and other TI that will make the team apply pressure in advanced areas.

If you want to press only after the opponent passes the halfway line, then there's no point in having many players in attacking strata - e.g. 4141, 532 - This goes along with: low defensive line, low line of engagement, regroup, and other TI that will make the team stand-off for a while until starting to press the opponent.

 

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1 hour ago, kingjericho said:

Deciding between a bottom/top heavy formation, for me, has mainly to do with where and how you want to press your opponent when you don't have the ball. The formation you see in the tactics screen represents the shape of the team when defending.

If you want to press high up the pitch you want a formation that has players in attacking zones - e.g. 4231, 424. This goes along with: high defensive line, high line of engagement, counter-press, prevent short gk distribution, and other TI that will make the team apply pressure in advanced areas.

If you want to press only after the opponent passes the halfway line, then there's no point in having many players in attacking strata - e.g. 4141, 532 - This goes along with: low defensive line, low line of engagement, regroup, and other TI that will make the team stand-off for a while until starting to press the opponent.

 

Ok so let’s say for example I’m a midtable team and my regular formation is 4231 however I’m coming up against a team that is severely better than me and I switch to a 4411 the ml/r will do more and better defensive work for me at the cost of attacking positioning, now I know of course roles and duties affecting this along with mentality and TI’s. my thinking is that leaving players high up in the am strata’s for example a aml/r you’re relying a lot on your fullbacks to be adept at defending on there own? 

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1 hour ago, Breezybaby1 said:

Ok so let’s say for example I’m a midtable team and my regular formation is 4231 however I’m coming up against a team that is severely better than me and I switch to a 4411 the ml/r will do more and better defensive work for me at the cost of attacking positioning, now I know of course roles and duties affecting this along with mentality and TI’s. my thinking is that leaving players high up in the am strata’s for example a aml/r you’re relying a lot on your fullbacks to be adept at defending on there own? 

AML/R still come back to help defend unless they're lazy bums. 

If you're playing a 4-2-3-1, and the AML/R are on support duties, have good acceleration, work rate, and teamwork, and you're playing with a standard or lower LoE with regroup, they'll absolutely help you out defensively. They don't need to be MR/L.

Hell, even when they're on attack duty, they'll still come back. Maybe not as much as they would on support, but they won't stand there watching their opposition full-back all the time. 

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Can confirm. Specially on support and with good work rate an AMR/L will potentially follow an attacker and press as deep as the byline. Quite likely specially id the enemey overlaps/overloads.

I assume still by default a MR/ML will defend more/more often due to sitting deeper, but don't assume a  AMR/L won't.  In fact if your defensive method relies on pressing up pitch they pitch they are probably better for your defence type. Just avoid low workrate so they track back when neccesary, specially of you use attack duty.

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16 hours ago, Breezybaby1 said:

Can anyone tell me to benefits of too heavy and bottom heavy so for example what’s the benefit of a 4231 with aml/r and 4411 with ml/r? 

Bottom heavy systems have more players physically in your half during defensive phases, which helps congest space and make it harder for teams to score. However it will ultimately depend on whether your players can defend crosses as well. 

Bottom heavy systems can also be more attacking but they may need players such as wingbacks to be more attacking and willing to take risks.  So there is a risk reward issue here. While you can defend with numbers you need to think of ways in getting players up the pitch. So considered decisions need to be made for transitions. 
 

Example a  532 could be set up with a DLP in the lower third, two wingbacks and a TM/Poacher combo. Its really simple but here the wingbacks help carry the ball and the attacking pair make for a good target. However build up play depends on how well you can pass the ball.

Top heavy systems have more players in attacking positions, so then your decision lies in how you control the space. You could play with wingbacks so that they push up closer to the midfield in transition allowing you to create a team that attacks with numbers or you could opt to make a more structured system with fullbacks playing narrow passing it to the central mids to build play up more conservatively. With top heavy systems the large numbers in front make it possible to apply pressure, but the challenge then becomes on how you control and defend midfield so that you can deny the other team easy chances.

The game is always a risk reward consideration when you choose a specific formation for play. Its how that formation uses the space.

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4 hours ago, Rashidi said:

Bottom heavy systems have more players physically in your half during defensive phases, which helps congest space and make it harder for teams to score. However it will ultimately depend on whether your players can defend crosses as well. 

Bottom heavy systems can also be more attacking but they may need players such as wingbacks to be more attacking and willing to take risks.  So there is a risk reward issue here. While you can defend with numbers you need to think of ways in getting players up the pitch. So considered decisions need to be made for transitions. 
 

Example a  532 could be set up with a DLP in the lower third, two wingbacks and a TM/Poacher combo. Its really simple but here the wingbacks help carry the ball and the attacking pair make for a good target. However build up play depends on how well you can pass the ball.

Top heavy systems have more players in attacking positions, so then your decision lies in how you control the space. You could play with wingbacks so that they push up closer to the midfield in transition allowing you to create a team that attacks with numbers or you could opt to make a more structured system with fullbacks playing narrow passing it to the central mids to build play up more conservatively. With top heavy systems the large numbers in front make it possible to apply pressure, but the challenge then becomes on how you control and defend midfield so that you can deny the other team easy chances.

The game is always a risk reward consideration when you choose a specific formation for play. Its how that formation uses the space.

So a 4231 with wingers in the am strata and midfield strata would suit more of a high press while a 4411 would suit maybe a mid-low block press as players are deeper? 

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5 hours ago, Breezybaby1 said:

So a 4231 with wingers in the am strata and midfield strata would suit more of a high press while a 4411 would suit maybe a mid-low block press as players are deeper? 

In simple terms, yes, that's what these folks are saying. And I'd agree. Makes sense to you, doesn't it?

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