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Creating Goalscoring in a 5-2-1-2

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I am playing as Parma and with 8 games left of the 20/21 season we're sitting in 8th place chasing an Europa League spot.

The table right now:

TnrbpF3.png

Because the final of Coppa Italia is a Turin derby we will likely need to finish 6th to ensure European qualification, as we are currently 6 points off with not very many games to go that is an ambitious goal which means I need to review my tactics and look at areas that could improve.

This is how we are currently lining up:

kdBKplL.png

I find that our defence is doing okay, we conceded 12 goals over three matches against teams that exploited the inherent weaknesses of our formation in the first half of the season, aside from that we're doing about as well as you could expect considering our players and position in the table, since we're not going up against any of the sides that exploited our structural defensive weaknesses in our final set of fixtures I will leave that issue for next season.

Instead I want to focus on something I find more pressing, that we are not scoring as many goals as I feel a team with such an adventurous formation and attacking players with the quality of ours could and should do, a feeling I think our analytics justify.

U6RAdQZ.png

We are not generating a lot of clear-cut scoring chances, roughly conceding two such chances for every one we create ourselves. Considering we have a very attacking trio up top that simply is not good enough.

These are the players I have playing up front:

cgROdM8.png

Piatek is our advanced forward, he is scoring at a decent rate but I definitely feel a player of his ability could be doing quite a lot more, his attributes have goalscoring machine written all over them.

JozJVb1.png

Dadasov is now our DLF because of an injury to the other player I had in that role, together they have combined for 6 goals and 3 assists over the season, something I definitely consider to be below par.

My idea here was that Dadasov would act like a target man in a support role, but without the "ball magnet" effect the target man role carries, basically using his strong build to occupy defenders and create more space for the AF and trequartista, unfortunately he is not really doing that so this is one place where I am definitely looking to change the role.

pDs4tUN.png

Playing the trequartista role we find the real diamond in my squad, young Argentine Almada. His stats are misleading as I stupidly tried to play him as a shadow striker for the first half of the season, something he is unsuited for and performed terribly at, he has performed much better since being switched to the trequartista role but I am definitely hoping I can get even more out of him. Far and away the most talented player in my squad, the question is whether I can make him play like it as well.

One thing that really stood out to me when I actually thought about it is that all three players in my attacking trio play roles that are hard-coded to move into channels, I knew that the AF did this but that the DLF-s and Treq does it too had completely slipped my mind, I am sure that can work in some situations but given our troubles with creating high-quality chances we are probably in need of a player that stays more centrally.

To that end I am thinking about either setting Piatek as a poacher and using Dadasov as either an AF or a DLF-a, or keeping Piatek as an AF but setting Dadasov as a PF-s, what do you think would work best? Setting Piatek as a TM-a might work too, but I do not like the "ball magnet" aspect of that role in this set-up.

Besides the two forward roles I would love to get some advice on changes to our team instructions or the other roles in our team to make us more lethal going forward, preferably without sacrificing defence too much. Any suggestions?

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Speaking solely about the front three guys - I would play Piatek as a poacher (rather than AF) and Dadasov as a PF on support (rather than DLF). Almada as a trequartista is a good choice IMO :thup:

But my biggest concern would be this:

2 hours ago, zZzZzZzZzZzZzZz said:

U6RAdQZ.png

You have conceded twice as many CCCs as you created. Given your very good position on the table, I guess your goalkeeper is a superman :idiot:

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Can we just take a moment to appreciate that Juventus, in 30 games have scored 28 and conceded 22! I'm sure they'll be selling out their stadium...

Also, with regards to Move Into Channels on all 3 players and trying a Poacher. I found on FM18 Poacher - CF-Su in front of a Treq was really strong, If you have the right platform. So yeah, try Piatek as a Poacher, it might work out

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as you play on a balanced mentality i could imagine you need more passing directness in the final third. I see Almada for sure being able to execute such a PI correctly with great passing and vision, maybe also Piatek.

 

 

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34 minutes ago, CARRERA said:

as you play on a balanced mentality i could imagine you need more passing directness in the final third. I see Almada for sure being able to execute such a PI correctly with great passing and vision, maybe also Piatek.

This is a good idea, going to give this a run with both my trequartista and the AP-s in midfield.

43 minutes ago, zlatanera said:

Can we just take a moment to appreciate that Juventus, in 30 games have scored 28 and conceded 22! I'm sure they'll be selling out their stadium...

They scored 71, conceded 17 and lost only a single match last season. Then Conte went into the transfer market and made some very, very stupid decisions that he and Juventus are paying for now.

1 hour ago, Experienced Defender said:

You have conceded twice as many CCCs as you created. Given your very good position on the table, I guess your goalkeeper is a superman :idiot:

Zoet is hardly Buffon, but he is a really good keeper and definitely in contention to win the keeper of the year award.

Without looking, I would expect many of those CCCs to have come either in the handful of matches were we got absolutely hammered and in our matches against Inter and Lazio, who both have the rather unkind habit of playing a narrow 4-3-3 against us.

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What do your match statistics look like? Are your opponents crossing you to death? What is your possession like? How are you scoring your goals? How are your opponents scoring? It's tough to read too much into the chances statistics because of how wonky they can be in FM19 (worse than ever, in my opinion), but I agree it is a bit strange to be doubled in chances with your record.

My initial reaction to your player roles is that I would switch the AP(s) to a DLP, especially if you are going to run a CWB up the pitch on that same side.

Anecdotally, my FM19 experience with the same formation as yours is that it isn't so great at creating chances but it is excellent at preventing them. The problem is that the matches generally become crossing contests, and I have to take great pains to limit them (both our own and our opponents). Playing narrower on offense helps keep the wingbacks from crossing 20+ times each, so you might want to consider that. Defensively, you really need top class central defenders or it will never work. 

 

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I play a similar formation with Venice but with a slightly different approach and I score by far the most goals in the league hah. 

I'm a lot more direct though so it depends how you want to play aesthetically. I'm so fast getting from back to front that I actually can't make the third striker, the deepest lying one (funnily enough also Almada), work. He ends up consistently picking up 6.4, 6.5 match ratings because the game just passes him by. 

So I dropped it entirely and put an anchor man behind my midfield two instead. This gives me the freedom to have both of my wingbacks on attack and they're basically my main playmaker. They have stay wide, run wide, cross more, cross far post. 

Both of my strikers are advanced forwards and the bulk of goals come from one of two roads. Either the wing backs play a deeper cross-come-through-ball to the opposite side striker aimed at the far post (far post, "low" crossing) or the advanced forwards square it across goal with a low cross for their strike partner. 

Goals from crosses are by far my most common goals. I'm not sure if this is considered an exploit tactic, I know that it's not largely popular on here with most people aiming for possession. I get about 30% possession and most of my attacks go from front to back very quickly. My BBM, wing backs and anchor man win the ball back and immediately either give it to a wing back or straight up to the advanced forwards sprinting in to the channels (think Jamie Vardy.) 

Crossing, work rate, fitness and aggression are all pretty important to me. 

Changes from your tactic: mentality is attacking, even away from home, against all but the biggest sides when it's more cautious. Distribution is to the full backs. I use pass ball in to space to encourage balls in front of the wide players (wing backs and strikers) to run on to. 

It's definitely not Guardiola but it's effective. Pinamonti is the closest I have to your Piatek and he's averaging about a goal a game at STR (try to put my strikers on their strong foot side to help their crossing.)

Edited by Finners

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10 hours ago, Experienced Defender said:

You have conceded twice as many CCCs as you created. Given your very good position on the table, I guess your goalkeeper is a superman :idiot:

 

I find it significant that a lot of those are straight down the middle, playing a similar high line with a back three I do find that one of the most common CCCs I concede is to long ball straight down the middle. 

I get away this, probably quite like the OP, because the ME is absolutely appalling at converting straight one on ones. 

Meanwhile most of my CCCs are back post tap ins which you struggle to miss regardless of finishing. 

I appreciate this can feel exploitative and it certainly wouldn't be advisable to ignore it but it's also not necessarily as big a surprise as you imply. 

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The issue you have is actually making it harder for sides to create good chances against you. The numbers in the game indicate that most sides create better chances against you and convert more of them than your side. So if I were gunning for Europe, i'd focus more on making it harder to concede. Personally I would change the configuration of the two in midfield. If you are using a Trequartista in AM and a DLP and a Libero, that really is asking for 3 creative players in each tier. The one that could be giving you the most issue could be the DLP cos he is not needed. 

The libero will kick in when you have possession in the opponents half, and you really don't want to be losing the ball while you are moving it around. Take a look at the pass completion numbers and the balls received numbers of the two central midfielders. I made a similar 5212 before with a libero. And, I found it more effective to play a libero without any playmakers in the next tier.

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I experimented with a similar setup a while ago but with one big difference: I wanted to disprove the 'crossing is key' saying, meaning that I played very narrow and with IWB as defenders. 

While the narrowness was only suitable for top teams (the demands of First Touch, Composure and Concentration were insane!), the IWB were absolutely key players who took apart even way better opponents (for example Bayern while I was playing Hoffenheim). 

Backed by a holding midfielder, the IWBa had the liberty to run wide through defenses, only cutting inside late and then often passing to the far post where the AF created spaces and the IWBs just had to tap in. I saw this particular play almost every game!

In general, I am right now playing almost exclusively IWB in narrow formations, especially when playing with at least two central midfielders: Those block the lanes for the fullbacks to cut into and with no teammate in front of them, they continue to run wide a good while before they have all the options in the final third: Cutting inside for a shot/dangerous pass. Crossing from position to the big men up front, passing back to the centre before running into the box, or just taking some risks. 

Another tweak I found useful: Counter-intuitively my DLF was a big man (Jumping Reach 18) with 'Tries First Time Shots'. Together with good movement, he is just insanely hard to mark because the IWBa, Ta and AFa are all running around him and can be serviced by him and he could punish them both in the air and on the ground. In the end he had Comes Deep, Gets into Area (Thank goodness the combination is still possible, it broke my heart that Gets Forward was blocked), First Time Shots and Killer Balls with me seriously considering adding either Back to Goal (he is a machine and First Time shots make him still a danger in the box while discouraging longer shots) or Dictates Tempo (To give him more liberties to decide which weapon to use).

As for your take, one problem might be having the more offensive midfielder on your more offensive flank. It can work for overloading attacks (particularly with a supporting forward) but opponents will love to exploit this side of the pitch. Personally, I'd switch the miedfield positions around. With the DLF dropping deep and the AP going forward a bit more, they also form a nice connection. If you want to engage your CWB more, teachibg the AP to switch flanks might give him the right incentives.

What is your Libero's pace like and has he any forward moving traits? Granted, I played more suicidal with mine but until I retrained my star fullback to be my new pick, he was often too far forward on counters which left my defense somewhat open.

 

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I decided to go with Piatek as a poacher, set Dadasov as a DLF-a and changed my CAR-s over to a CM-d.

Aside from being smashed by Inter we had a pretty good run to end the season, including an impressive win against the eventual champions Roma:

KmVLoXG.png

Because the big clubs underperformed in the Coppa and let Torino win it we ended up missing out on Europe despite finishing a very respectable 7th.

FKBMW1c.png

Now I want to see how we look next season, we will definitely need to work on our defending and I have to find a strategy on how to deal with teams like Atalanta (wide 4-2-3-1) , SPAL (4-1-4-1) and Empoli (4-4-1-1) that employ formations that leave us exposed and outnumbered on the flanks. We cannot allow ourselves to be taken apart and have the scoreline run away like it did in a few of our matches this season, including against those teams.

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It may be counter-intuitive, and in FM it might be actual suicide, but has it occurred to you that against those wide formations troubling you you could set your defensive width as narrow as possible? If you have 3 good CBs then you shouldn't need to fret too much about crosses, more about being pulled apart by your wing backs getting doubled up on, defending narrower should help compensate for that.

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On 30/04/2019 at 00:49, zlatanera said:

Can we just take a moment to appreciate that Juventus, in 30 games have scored 28 and conceded 22! I'm sure they'll be selling out their stadium...

Also, with regards to Move Into Channels on all 3 players and trying a Poacher. I found on FM18 Poacher - CF-Su in front of a Treq was really strong, If you have the right platform. So yeah, try Piatek as a Poacher, it might work out

I remember both you and I using that in our Roma saves..

 

CF s       P

       TREQ

 

Sublime amount of goals. Poacher regularly 35 plus.

 

Treq 15 to 25

 

CF 25 plus.

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9 hours ago, craigd84 said:

I remember both you and I using that in our Roma saves..

 

CF s       P

       TREQ

 

Sublime amount of goals. Poacher regularly 35 plus.

 

Treq 15 to 25

 

CF 25 plus.

I was Fiorentina. But yeah, Federico Chiesa was better than his dad in the CF role and Saponara looked like Totti at AM. Could never sort the defence though. 

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I love this formation but I'm struggling to make it work with Manchester United. I'll take some pointers from here to see if I can improve it.

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10 hours ago, zlatanera said:

I was Fiorentina. But yeah, Federico Chiesa was better than his dad in the CF role and Saponara looked like Totti at AM. Could never sort the defence though. 

Ah yes I remember now.

 

For the defence I had two cbs one set defend one set as cover.. and a HB. I found this to be solid.

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1 hour ago, craigd84 said:

Ah yes I remember now.

For the defence I had two cbs one set defend one set as cover.. and a HB. I found this to be solid.

Have you tried that on FM19, out of curiosity? 

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3 minutes ago, zlatanera said:

Have you tried that on FM19, out of curiosity? 

Not yet, but I will do.

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