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Soldatino

Please help me to improve my 3-5-2 (DMC) formation

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I'm playing for Modena in the Italian Serie B. After 30 matches I'm 14th, I was asked to finish the season in top half and I'm only couple of points short from there. I wanted to play possession based, short passing and slow football, sort of like Fiorentina did last season IRL.

I haven't noticed a particular problem in defense, we don't concede many goals, but in all ways possible, once it is direct free kick, other time long ball to a striker that manages to get rid off defender and score, or a cross from side and header in.

Bigger problem is attack, we have possession, in most matches we have almost 60% yet we seem to be unable to create many chances, and those we create, strikers often fail. It's more likely we score from a set piece, penalty kick or a counter attack. Now I was thinking I could try to change everything and play more quick and counter attacking football, but on the other side I've started this save with the idea of possession football and I would like to make it work.

Here and there we play a "perfect match" with possession over 60%, conceding to the opponents not even a single shot on goal while scoring two or three ourselves, but it happens rarely.

So here comes my plea to the more experienced of you guys if you could help me out. Tell me if there are fundamentals I got wrong, or if just some slight adjustments to formation or tactics are needed.

Here are my tactics and formation, it's 3-5-2 with a DMC:

- GK / defend

- DCR central defender / stopper

- DC central defender / cover, I've tried ball-playing defender here, but it costed me several lost balls and sometimes even goals

- DCL central defender / stopper

- DMC deep lying playmaker / defend

- MR wide midfielder / attack, I've tried there also wide midfielder / support and defensive winger / support, player in this position seems not to be involved in the game as much as I would like

- MCR central midfielder / support or advanced playmaker / support, most of the season I played there with advanced playmaker, the problem is I don't really have midfielders with flair, so lately I use more often the central midfielder

- MCL central midfielder / attack

- ML defensive winger / support, one of few positions I'm really content with, he gets into scoring opportunities quite often

- STRC deep lying attacker / support or false nine / support, role depends on players available in this position

- STLC advanced forward / attack, my best scorer, however his numbers are improved thanks to several free kick goals

We play with counter mentality fluid philosophy. Plus following team instructions:

- Work the ball into box

- Play out of defense

- Roam from positions

- Get stuck in

During matches I sometimes add also these:

- Drill crosses

- Pass into space

- Slower tempo

Thank you for reading guys and even more thank you in advance for any comments and ideas to help me out!

If needed, I can post any screenshots once I get home. Please let me know.

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Soldatino,

I've had 2 or 3 posts like yours with 100+ views and no answer.

So, out of solidarity, I'll try helping you to get something going on this thread.

I don't really like playing with 3 CD, specially these days when you have a lot of teams playing with 1 ST.

Anyways, you said that you don't concede many goals, so I think your 3-man line is fine, and the cover CB works perfectly with the DM.

I'll just throw some ideas here and maybe they can help you.

I imagine the wings have to be on the midfield strata, right? They cannot be wingbacks. I'd be extra careful playing against dual-wideman teams, specially a left winger, considering you have an attacking right winger.

I really like the defensive wingers, for both single and dual widemen systems, AS LONG AS YOU HAVE THE RIGHT PLAYER. If you have a ML with high marking, I'd set him on DW-s. This will help gaining possession, thus increasing possession, which is what you want.

As for your attack woes, I like the DLF-s when you don't have an AMC. I think your FC strata is fine.

In the midfield, your DM keeps your CMs covered, so they can be more ofensive. I'd go with a CM-a and an AP-s, but inverted with what you have. The CM-a needs to be behind the AF-a, otherwise he'll be on the same space as the DLF-s. I think 2 CM (one -a and one -s) would limit your creation. Therefore, try getting someone with higher flair there.

Another option I'd consider for the CM-a is a BBM, again, if you have the right player. Don't worry about having just 2 attacking players. You could even move the DLF-s to Treq... the roaming would help, and he creates as well. The attacking duty is just because of the lack of defensive responsibilities.

One other thing I'd consider is using your DM on support, either Regista or DLP-s. He does not need to be so helpful on defense... Think this way, now you have 4 defenders, when it's normal to have 3 (2 CB and one DM, supporting WB). This would prevent the space between the DM and the CMs from growing.

If you want your MR to attack, you could consider moving one of your CB to RB (maybe on LFB-d), ensuring that your MR has enough cover. You could go assymmetric, something like a Catenaccio, but moving the libero to a DMC.

I hope this helps...

Cheers.

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One thing that stands out is the counter mentality + work ball into box shout + play ball out of defence shout.

The latter 2 are somewhat in conflict with the counter mentality, which is somewhat in conflict with the style you're trying to accomplish.

So, you say:

I wanted to play possession based, short passing and slow football, sort of like Fiorentina did last season IRL.

While counter as a mentality is slow-paced overall, the point of it is that it'll tick into fast when the counter is on, which can lead to some of the rushed shots and/or lack of opportunities you may be experiencing. In addition, if your team gets forward via the counter (i.e. fast), they'll slow right down again to "work the ball into the box". In addition, you're telling them to counter when possible, but also to play the ball slowly out of defence.

So, I would recommend you shift your mentality to "Standard" and go ahead and keep those two shouts if you want. If you want to keep a little more defensive solidity (and slowness), add in "Retain Possession". I might also get rid of "get stuck in" as the results from this can sometimes speed up the game which is what you're trying to avoid.

Otherwise, I'd agree with thizaum that you have an opportunity to add more creativity in central midfield. I might go with a DLP-S and AP-A combo, but you might want to experiment a bit. Don't worry so much if the attributes aren't ideal, though do try to get better players. The thing you're going for here is asking those two guys to create, whereas regular CMs might, or might not.

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One thing that stands out is the counter mentality + work ball into box shout + play ball out of defence shout.

The latter 2 are somewhat in conflict with the counter mentality, which is somewhat in conflict with the style you're trying to accomplish.

So, you say:

While counter as a mentality is slow-paced overall, the point of it is that it'll tick into fast when the counter is on, which can lead to some of the rushed shots and/or lack of opportunities you may be experiencing. In addition, if your team gets forward via the counter (i.e. fast), they'll slow right down again to "work the ball into the box". In addition, you're telling them to counter when possible, but also to play the ball slowly out of defence.

So, I would recommend you shift your mentality to "Standard" and go ahead and keep those two shouts if you want. If you want to keep a little more defensive solidity (and slowness), add in "Retain Possession". I might also get rid of "get stuck in" as the results from this can sometimes speed up the game which is what you're trying to avoid.

Sure, sure. I did not pay attention to that bit.

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thizaum & flere-imsaho, thank you very much guys! :-)

The 3 man defense was partially my choice, confirmed by the fact that there were no natural side backs in the squad, as for the right wide midfielder, I have set him up at attacking duty, because I feared there were too few attacking duties in my team, do you think I could use there defensive winger on support as well?

Wide players could be also in the DM strata, all players I have for those positions are for sure at least accomplished as wing backs. Would it be of any help if I moved them into there? I didn't use it as it seemed far too defensive, to have 6 players within DC and DM strata.

Thanks for pointing out the counter x possession play conflict, I'll adjust to standard mentality. For now I'm considering something like this:

------- AF/A -- DLF/S

--- DW/S AP/A BBM DW/S

------- DLP/S or REG

------ DC/X DC/C DC/X

----------- GK

------- AF/A -- TREQ

--- DW/S BBM CM/S DW/S

------ DLP/S or REG

---- DC/X DC/C DC/X

---------- GK

As team instructions, I'll use for now "Work the ball into box", "Play out of defense", and "Retain possession" to see how things work out.

I'll let you know how the situation goes on, thank you!

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First of all, about the winger: keep in mind what your opponent is using. If he's playing a narrow 4-1-2-1-2 for example, I see no problem in having the winger on M strata, even with attack duty. But you need to be careful against somebody that plays with wingers. The DW would be "safer" against most formations...

About the CM, keep in mind that the AP-a does not get as far upfield as the CM-a and the BBM. Think about this alongside which position is the DLF or Treq.

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Why oh why does no one consider the HB? Especially when you need extra cover for the back line. The HB is the greatest thing I have ever discovered in this game. Maybe it doesn't work for everyone? I dunno. I use 2 DM's as well, one HB and one Regista and the results are wonderful.

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Why oh why does no one consider the HB? Especially when you need extra cover for the back line. The HB is the greatest thing I have ever discovered in this game. Maybe it doesn't work for everyone? I dunno. I use 2 DM's as well, one HB and one Regista and the results are wonderful.

I like the HB, but I haven't really used him when I have 2 DM and 2 CB. It seems weird for him to fall back when he's right in front of a CB. I usually go with DLP-d and DM-s.

What do you have in front of the 2 DM?

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Why oh why does no one consider the HB? Especially when you need extra cover for the back line. The HB is the greatest thing I have ever discovered in this game. Maybe it doesn't work for everyone? I dunno. I use 2 DM's as well, one HB and one Regista and the results are wonderful.

HB's don't work correctly, or more to the point the HB does work but the DC's don't when they split, they stay far too wide and leave you without an actual centreback because they end up playing more as fullbacks than centrebacks. That's why a lack of usage and discussions around this forum because everyone is affected by it the same.

Also a regista doesn't really function when he has someone in the DMC spot next to him. He'll still work but you take a bit part away from his role in the terms of space and roaming. The whole point of the regista is to drift around and he can't do this fully with someone next to him limiting him.

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Along with improved corners, first touch and spicier attacking play, I'm praying for the update to address the way DCs behave with a HB.

As Cleon says, the HB is OK, but pretty unusable at the moment, which is a shame as it's the only completely unique Role.

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