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I'm playing in the lower leagues in Brazil and am having mixed results. My formation is a 4-1-2-3 which does well in other leagues, but struggles a little here.

My quality of player isn't great - so that's the first part. But I think it's mostly to do with the 4-2-2-2 box formation that is often used in Brazil.

I play wide to try and avoid the congested middle, but still struggle in the final third. I've read Cleon's piece about the 4-4-2 and the W-M formation - so may look at that in the future. But I was wondering how other people countered this box formation. I've contemplated playing wide to counter it, or a narrow diamond to fight for the centre. I've fallen out of love with wingers a little, but maybe wide strikers?

Any advice? Especially if you have played a lower league team and fought your way up?

Cheers

Paul

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Well as you play a 4-1-2-3 then you struggle because you lose the midfield battle I'm guessing? What are you 2, AMC's or MC's?

The 4-2-2-2 is very compact and makes the middle congested. So what you need to do it get the fullbacks to offer the width.

We really need to know more about your own set up to be able to offer you advice though. Without more info about how you play and what settings it would all just be guess work :)

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Hi Cleon

Yes, 2 MC with a DMC. It's the Grid tactic used on the upload section. Apart from tinker with the set-piece instructions, I haven't adjusted it much. The wider of the front three man mark their fullbacks. What I find is that 1) I sometimes struggle with making chances (as partly expected) and 2) the three strikers are often blocked out. So it's the congestion in their box that nulifies the attack.

I've just created a narrow diamond, but with WB's set to hug the touchlines to see if that will aid the midfield fight, but expolit the wings a little. 4-4-2 is a possibility, but I played that a lot in an older save and wanted to try something different. I'm not sure I have the courage to play the W-M! Have thought of a 4-2-2-2 but with AMR/L to exploit the space - but suspect I'll be lighter in the middle. Or working on my own box formation. I would like to keep two strikers if I can.

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Hi Cleon

Yes, 2 MC with a DMC. It's the Grid tactic used on the upload section. Apart from tinker with the set-piece instructions, I haven't adjusted it much. The wider of the front three man mark their fullbacks. What I find is that 1) I sometimes struggle with making chances (as partly expected) and 2) the three strikers are often blocked out. So it's the congestion in their box that nulifies the attack.

I've just created a narrow diamond, but with WB's set to hug the touchlines to see if that will aid the midfield fight, but expolit the wings a little. 4-4-2 is a possibility, but I played that a lot in an older save and wanted to try something different. I'm not sure I have the courage to play the W-M! Have thought of a 4-2-2-2 but with AMR/L to exploit the space - but suspect I'll be lighter in the middle. Or working on my own box formation. I would like to keep two strikers if I can.

Ahh so you are using classic then rather than TC? Hmm I can't really remember the last time I used classic I find them to fiddley (is that even a word?) and take a lot of messing around to alter what you need to do. I much prefer the shouts and using those to change a game. Much simpler and user friendly.

Hmm not sure what to advise..

I know you've read this but a lot of it applies to other formations you use to beat the 4-2-2-2 too;

Beating the 4-2-2-2

I will be talking about the tactic in great detail and look at how each position in the tactic works. But first I’m going to talk about something to help you understand why the tactic works. What I’m going to do next is talk about what I do when I face certain formations. I’ll show you how I adapt depending on what formation I might come across. As I’m playing in Brazil I thought it would make sense to start with the 4-2-2-2 that many of the clubs use. Remember I’m using the 4-4-2 that is posted further up the thread unless stated other wise J

The 4-2-2-2can be very hard to break down at times as it over powers the midfield if you have fewer midfielders than them.

Take a look at this screenshot;

4222.png

Just by looking at the screenshot you should be able to see where the 4-4-2 might struggle against it. As the middle of the pitch is far too congested you need to go around them. Playing through the middle 9 times out of 10 simply wouldn’t work, even if you have a superior side. The middle is too packed and your players won’t find the space to break them down. So what I tend to do is go as wide as possible and use the exploit the wings shout. This means my players will focus the player down the wings where the 4-2-2-2 is exposed. Meaning I’m exploiting their weakness. Basically that is all I do and so far I’ve done really well against the 4-2-2-2 formations as you can see on the screenshot below;

64494942.png

I can only beat the opposition put in front of me. To do that I have to prepare and take advantages of other formations and exploit their weaknesses. Its just common sense really that it all comes down to. If you put the 4-4-2 on top of the4-2-2-2 formation then you’d see instant the difficulties and see where the game can be won or lost. 7 times I’ve faced it and scored 17 goals and conceded just the one. Not too bad going if you ask me, especially as the 4-2-2-2 is oneof the hardest formations to break down. Well in my opinion J

I was been lazy yesterday and forgot to prepare before a game as I was posting on here haha. Anyways when I went back to my game (I was playing in highlight mode) I realised I’d not prepared. I think 30 minutes game time had passed and I was getting over played by Paulista. I’d not even had a shot on goal and lookedl ike I couldn’t break them down. Which makes sense as the tactic I posted above(my 4-4-2), as focus passing set to mixed. So my players were still attempting to go through the middle at times which isn’t any good. Anyways, I changed things around and scored within a minute. My side never really looked back and I managed to win 0-4. Here are the highlights from the game;

[video=youtube;J6g-auCk-wU]

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