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ontiu17

Help me adjust my tactics vs tough oposition

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Hello. I am currently finishing my 4th season in FM Touch with a team from an eastern european league. I am by far the best in the league and qualify for champions league group stages every year. I have set up a nice team filling the squad with players I think fit my style of play and the team's DNA. While I have close to no problems winning the title and cup every year (almost getting boring) I have huge issues playing against elite teams and since I've always been seeded 4th in CL group stage I usually end up playing against 3 other top class teams.

Here are the tactics I use domestically:

tactics.thumb.PNG.be2685311dd3a755f537f3d967b45c33.PNG

My squd consists of the following types of players:

- A decent sweeper keeper (13+ passing, kicking, throwing)

- Decent all round wing backs (good physicall, good mentals and decent technique)

- Strong, intelligent ball playing defenders (decent technique, good mentals, good physicals)

- Hard working central midfielders - all with high work rate, teamwork, stamina (14+) and good passing and vision (14 on averrage)

- Fairly fast, highly technical inside forwards with decent physicals, good passing, vision and flair

- All round striker with good technical, mentals and physicals (good but does not excel in any)

 

Anyways, this tactic ilustrates a gegenpressing style and at least for the league I am in it's proving to be excellent. There are three scenarios I struggle in particular and I need some advice on how I should setup the formation, TIs and player roles so that I still keep roughly the same style of play but in a more conservative, counter-attacking strategy:

- Playing vs elite teams at home

- Playing vs elite teams away

- Adjusting tactics when you go behind after starting with a more defensive strategy vs elite teams

 

I have to mention that I tried several defensive tactics but none of them proved to help me achieve what I wanted. I usually go for a cautious, counter-attacking tactic when playing vs good opposition and I try to park the bus vs elite opposition. Almost all the time I am scored in the first 10 minutes and it feels like I'm paralyzed.

Any help is appreciated :)

Cheers,

Robert

PS: When playing counter-attacking, my bet for the attacking threat would be on the inside forwards since they are the ones who can do magic out of poor situations. 

Edited by ontiu17

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When playing against elite sides, and your side is not one of those sides, you simply have to accept you are probably going to lose most of the time. That is what happens in real life too. It is not much of a comfort, but that is the way it is. You can also choose to go down swinging and playing attacking, if you really think you have no chance. 

1 hour ago, ontiu17 said:

- Playing vs elite teams at home

- Playing vs elite teams away

I would approach these games in the same way, if I expect the AI side to come out and be positive. I'll base what I say around your default strategy.

  • Go from attacking to cautious. More direct passing and higher tempo. Maybe pass into space too. No other in possession TIs. I would untick counter press, and keep the rest for in transition. Out of possession I would have a standard or lower line, and a much lower line of engagement (defend compact, hit on the break). Get rid of the rest. 
  • One wingback on defend (probably a FB(D)). The other on support. 
  • In midfield I would have one playmaker and one runner (BBM or CM(A)). 
  • Both side players can stay as they are, but they are given marking duties on the opposition fullbacks (so they drop and defend when required). 
  • The DLF(S) becomes a DLF(A). 

The aim of this is to have a compact defending unit that keeps its shape (hence the lack of closing down and getting rid of the BWM). When we win it, we prioritise getting the ball towards the DLF(A) so he can bring other players into play. The two wide players and the runner from central midfield will break quickly to get forward, so he will have passing options. We want to score before the AI has chance to reset in defence. The best players to play up front are those with high pace, flair and dribbling. In all 3 positions. As good as you can do, and prioritise pace as this will get them forward before the AI gets back. 

It is a defensive counter attacking strategy that relies on vertical compactness and having 10 players defending. 

1 hour ago, ontiu17 said:

- Adjusting tactics when you go behind after starting with a more defensive strategy vs elite teams

As long as I am not getting ripped open, and I am creating at least something, I would play as I described above. Keep the game close and then go more attacking in the last 15 or so minutes to hope to snatch a goal.

If I struggle for counter attacks, I may choose to sacrifice a midfielders for a striker. A combination like PF(D) + AF(A), or DLF(S) + P(A) or something. Leaving two players further forward would give me more chances to counter (in theory) at the expense of some defensive stability. 

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