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KingRoyston

Playing Against the Back 3

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I'm currently playing as AC Milan in Serie A and have often come up against teams playing a back 3 - seems to be very popular in Italy these days.

Often being the favored team, and with a combination of the style i'm trying to play and the not fantastic squad I have i'm really struggling to break this down.

I'm playing a 4-1-2-2-1 with a Fluid philosophy and short passing, everything else default, set up as follows:

G(D)

FB R(A)

CB(D)

CB(D)

FB L(S)

A(D)

CM(A)

AP(S)

IF R (S)

DLF(S)

IF L(A)

I feel with Robinho and Pato I should play with Inside forwards and i'm using Kevin Prince Boetang as my DLF for want of a better option.

When I come up against the back 3, i'm using exploit the flanks shout and have large amounts of possession out there but despite using IF's, I guess because there are no other options, i'm sending in lots and lots of crosses which are all getting intercepted by the 3 centre backs in the area.

I realize this is not a good situation, as I'm not good in the air, and the box is alway crowded full of defenders - I was wondering how I take advantage of all the space left out on the wings playing against a back three without just pumping in a lot of crosses?

Or should I be focusing crossing at the back post and hope the opposite IF can get on the end of it, again with my players, my attributes are speed, agility and dribbling, not heading!

Any advice would be welcome?

Thanks

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Why would you use inside forwards against a flat back 3 and use the shout exploit the flanks? You're asking them to do 2 very different things. On one hand you're encouraging them to cut inside but then the shout is instructing them to;

Exploit The Flanks – It gives the fullback/wingbacks and wingers more attacking and focuses the play down both flanks. It also tells them to run from deep and cross the ball more often. If you use central midfielders then it’ll tell them to hold up the ball. You should use this if you find the middle over crowded or if you have good wide players who can cross.

Can you see the confusion?

The opposition have the centre covered so will deal with any central attacks pretty well. What you want to do is stretch them and pull them out of position and force them to cover the flanks allowing the midfielders or striker to exploit the space they'll leave behind. This will allow your wide men to either cross or pass to someone in a better position and hopefully in a bit of space.

How you currently set up and deal with a back 3 is totally playing into their hands. 3 Centrebacks will deal with 1 striker all day long and win any kind of aerial threat and pick up and knocks ons should your striker get lucky.

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OK that makes complete sense, so I have just come up against another back three, this time I set my wide forwards up as Wingers, still used the Exploit Flanks shout, together with Play Wider and Work Ball into Box - looked a lot more dangerous and created 2 CCCs which I scored from in a 2-1 win!

Both goals came from out wide but from isolating a defender, beating him then playing a pass into the box.

Thanks for pointing out the obvious!! I'm still getting a lot of intercepted crosses, I guess because I don't have great players to play as wingers but as I said, was much more dangerous in the final third!

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