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Jungzin

AI unstoppable formation

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Hello guys,

I am playing at Brazilian League, and I'm finding a lot of trouble to play against this formation:

http://i.imgur.com/1d1mV.png

It looks very defensive, and it is most of the times, with countering alot, but Botafogo has been winning everything with this tactic!

They were champions of ALL the tournaments that they played, and ALMOST won the Fifa Club World Cup against Barcelona. A tough 2x1 loss.

And also, I couldn't find ANY way to win this tactic. lol

Do you guys have any ideas on how to exploit spaces (if there is any), or any strategy to win this formation?

Thanks in advance!

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Counter attack their flanks.

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I'd probably try to double up on their wing-backs. try to exploit the flanks, overlap if my fullbacks are any good. Just try to put in loads of crosses and either get your attackers on the ball or hope for own goals

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Counter attack? It's impossible. Would be a 0-0 for sure.

Yes i can see that the flanks are the way to go, but it seems impossible to outnumber them.

What formation would be the best to go? 442 ?

Ive been playing with a 41221, sometimes 4231, and I think that putting one more striker would be better, wouldn't it?

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Really it depends on your team. For example I play a 41221/451/433 (whatever you want to call it) inspired by cleons understanding your tactic thread, great read and alot of help in there btw. I've just played two teams with 3 DCs and scored 7 goals in total. Mostly by using IFs and attacking wingbacks with the overlap shout.

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When i tried playing this formation, their 3 DCs always destroyed my attacks. they still had the wbs to defend mines, and still the DMF to protect against my AMF... :/

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Stay deep, be patient and be clinical. Get your finishers on (leave Torres at home). As mentioned, overloading wide sounds good, not necessarily as a primary thread but you need to create some space so by playing as wide as possible you'll create gaps centrally even if you don't get much change out wide.

Like a 442 with 2 DM's, these formations are tough to play against. You need to create lots of movement to break up the rigid formation because it's shape is incredibly strong.

Also, have a little look at specific personnel. If they lack concentration then just keep piling on the pressure (otherwise I wouldn't suggest playing too aggressively as this invites the counter and plays to their strength). If DCL is weaker than DCR then try and attack that side more than the other. If DM is rubbish then an AMC is still very viable and long shots could be a good option (at least it gives another dimension to your attack and might encourage a DC to step up to stop the long shots). Hopefully their defence is weak in the air, and you have a strong aerial threat in your squad. Maybe the defensive positioning is poor, if so, get your guys moving around lots and run rings around them. If they are slow maybe play really deep and get your quick strikers to make runs in behind and play through balls over the top (or round the corners from your wide players, although then your strikers will always be running 'away' from goal - something else poor Fernando is good at - so you'll need some way to move the ball back towards goal). If you were feeling really brave why not overload the middle and attack their strength? Not something I'd normally advocate but you don't always need to go to the trouble of picking the lock if you can just barge the door open and you're not bothered about creating a ruckus.

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I've been playing in Brazil as well and I've found that the "Magic Rectangle" (4-2-2-2) works pretty well against this formation...

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If you're brave (or desperate) enough to try you can employ a 3-4-3. You should be fine at the back (3 against 2), and match them in midfield and attack. Three strikers against three defenders might create some danger.

Another possibility is to employ only 1 striker, which leaves them with one spare defender. You can use this to create an overload in the midfield zone. While this might'nt create dangerous situations per se you should have plenty of possession which might be turned into freekicks in dangerous areas, and corner kicks.

Against a very solid defense it can be a good idea to go for standard situations...

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Counter attack? It's impossible. Would be a 0-0 for sure.

Yes i can see that the flanks are the way to go, but it seems impossible to outnumber them.

What formation would be the best to go? 442 ?

Ive been playing with a 41221, sometimes 4231, and I think that putting one more striker would be better, wouldn't it?

0-0 is a damned sight better than what you're getting now.

Sitting deeper will draw them out. They WILL use their winbacks and get them forwards, that is the point of that formation, when they do they, you pass down the flanks (even "Clear to the flanks" might work) and then put pressure on them from wide. Get some runners making breaks through the middle, your wingers will draw the central players out and your midfield stormers can break into the center.

I'm curious. You list their tactic as counter attacking and yet they are storming the leagues etc, yet for you it's impossible.............. odd.

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Sienna play this in the Italian league on my save. I always have to drop deeper, play narrower and exploit the flanks (shouts). I'll also play counter attack to invite their wingbacks out and leaving my IFs to exploit the space in behind. It helps that I play a 4-1-2-2-1 formation as my three man midfield in front of my back 4 is pretty effective at shutting out their middle attacks. I'll then have their wingbacks tightly marked. I'll then play a lot of possession based shouts, like retain possession, pass to feet, work ball out of the box.

As I say though, this is me playing against Sienna, who are slightly lesser team than me, so might not work against Botafogo.

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I play in the Brazilian leagues with Paysandu, I took them from the 3rd division to division 1 champions. So I've faced this shape quite a lot over the past 5 seasons.

All I do is exploit the wings because they don't have any real cover down them and the centrebacks don't really cover the space behind the wingbacks well enough. Even if they attempt to they leave a gap then between the middle centreback which depending on how you play a striker or AMC can exploit easily.

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Speaking for other point of view (I've used 5-3-2) I get the biggest problems when against 4-1-2-3 or 4-2-3-1 Wide and they are trying to keep the ball. Also, the the opposing team closing down the centre backs (although this could just be the quality of my defenders).

So I recommend using control, formation 4-1-2-3 with closing down high up the pitch. Use Defensive Forward's and Defensive Wingers (attack) in the FC and AM R/L positions. Full backs on support to pull their wing back out of position and then provide a through pass to the winger when they are in space. Keep the wingers wide and not cutting in as this could pull the centre backs out as well.

The suggestion of overloading the full backs is valid but I found it more dangerous when the full back is available for a pass. It's difficult to win the match without the ball.

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It is an highly defensive formation and hard to score against. I would chose to attack the flanks, 2 strikers, keep possession, float crosses and hope for the best.

I would play counter or be very wary of fast counter attacks. ;)

Good luck :)

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Thank you guys for aaaall your help! Im really pleased!

I saw several points of view and now I'm sure I am more prepared to face this formation and get a positive result!

Thanks a lot!!

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Go control with a balanced philosophy. If you play in a narrow pitch go narrower, exploit the flanks and hassle opponents. Also press opp wingbacks (or tight mark them with your wingers) and always press the DMC to prevent him of hitting direct passes to the strikers. My advise is to keep the ball as much you can so you can employ retain possession, pass to feet, work ball into box, play though defence. If they have fast strikers drop deep so they don´t get behind your defence.

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