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KlaaZ

Keeping a clean sheet

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I'm currently in my second season with OHL, a Belgian team that started out in the second division. Got promoted the first season (they're contenders in real life as well) and am currently 12 games into my first season in the top league. I'm actually doing quite okay, grabbing 15 points out of the first 12 games and sitting in 13th place, seven points clear of the relegation spots. I only have one problem at this point, and that is that no matter what I do, my team can't keep a clean sheet. I've only had one this season, in the cup against a second division team. In 12 games, I've conceded an appalling 22 goals. I'm not sure if I'm missing any glaring errors in my setup, which you can see below? I tend to fiddle around with shape and mentality a bit (tried going with defensive in my last game but still conceded 3) but the formation usually stays the same. 

QdKcvB.png

 

I know I'm not the best team in the league but not being able to get a clean sheet once in a while is really getting on my nerves. 

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ok for example, look at the left back he is set to attack, so may switch the DM and Vol around so the DM sits and covers the left back when he attacks?

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Nothing is universally applicable but, for me, 4-2-3-1 is not a naturally defensive formation. There's a lot of pressure on the two CM/DMs. The thing about a 4-2-3-1 is how it best defends. Its a top heavy formation, which means you have 4 players in the attacking unit. Your defensive unit looks vulnerable especially when the LB & VOL go forward. I can't see your PIs or OIs but you're using Control which gives you a medium-high defensive line. That probably needs to be combined with a fairly aggressive press from the front in order to win the ball back up top. Once the ball gets passed your front 4 (and supporting LB & VOL) you're already in trouble. One solution would be to tell your front 4 to close down more and tackle harder. Another which can work in tandem, would be to go into the OIs and close down the opposition defenders and DMs. This will ensure you win the ball back before the opposition have broken through you, it also increases your chances of a quick counter goal and it cuts the supply line to the opposition forwards.

Of course without seeing what PIs and OIs you've got, the exact attributes of your players, the strengths and weaknesses of your opponents and detailed information on the type of goals that you are conceding all of this is just guess work.

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In my personal opinion it's one of the worst side of the higher CPU's manager AI.

They change too often and if you don't immediately adapt the'll always score at least a goal.

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22 hours ago, craigd84 said:

ok for example, look at the left back he is set to attack, so may switch the DM and Vol around so the DM sits and covers the left back when he attacks?

That's a fair point, although I like the DM(D) on the right side because I know the IF(A) won't contribute much, if anything defensively (contrary to the W(S)). But it might be something to think about.

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11 hours ago, Atarin said:

Nothing is universally applicable but, for me, 4-2-3-1 is not a naturally defensive formation. There's a lot of pressure on the two CM/DMs. The thing about a 4-2-3-1 is how it best defends. Its a top heavy formation, which means you have 4 players in the attacking unit. Your defensive unit looks vulnerable especially when the LB & VOL go forward. I can't see your PIs or OIs but you're using Control which gives you a medium-high defensive line. That probably needs to be combined with a fairly aggressive press from the front in order to win the ball back up top. Once the ball gets passed your front 4 (and supporting LB & VOL) you're already in trouble. One solution would be to tell your front 4 to close down more and tackle harder. Another which can work in tandem, would be to go into the OIs and close down the opposition defenders and DMs. This will ensure you win the ball back before the opposition have broken through you, it also increases your chances of a quick counter goal and it cuts the supply line to the opposition forwards.

Of course without seeing what PIs and OIs you've got, the exact attributes of your players, the strengths and weaknesses of your opponents and detailed information on the type of goals that you are conceding all of this is just guess work.

Funny you would mention this, I actually went with a more aggressive approach (close down more, get stuck in) and in some cases even changed the mentality to attacking, and it actually gave me two clean sheets and only one goal conceded in three away games. Might have been a bit of luck involved as well, but more closing down up front does tend to help. The only thing I'm still vulnerable against is the long ball over the top, but that's mainly down to my CD quality in combination with a high D line I reckon. Cheers!

EDIT: For clarity, I did not have any PI's or OI's set, only the DLF to dribble less as he otherwise tends to lose way too much possession. 

Edited by KlaaZ

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The key to any sound defensive tactic is your midfield. Having just two central midfielders will not support your defenders, particularly in wider areas as your full-backs will need to press their offensive players resulting in more pockets for the opposition to take full advantage of. A central 3 man midfield could help you - meaning the wider central midfielders can give more support to your wider defenders OR change the roles/positions of your wide attacking players to create 'banks' of defence when defending the opposition higher up the pitch and making it harder to break you down.

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