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Just my two cents on the real life Liverpool and the roles of the midfielders. Personally feel for about 18 months now the job of the two wider CMs is to fill in the gaps on either side of the pitch when the fullbacks attack. That screenshot of the Sheffield United game above could have been taken in pretty much any game over this period. It changes slightly if a Keita, Ox or Lallana comes in, but even then you'll still see them drifting wide a lot. As possession is maintained and territorial dominance is established they'll move further up and support attacks but are generally deeper than the full backs. They're nearly always the deepest wide players when Liverpool lose the ball. 

Fabinho, or whoever the CM is, is not restricted in terms of pressing. They're often the first to engage centrally and will do so quite high up the pitch, sometimes as far as the opponents penalty box/D and certainly up to the oppositions side of the centre circle.

The defensive shape can quite quickly become a 4-4-1-1 with Mane deep on the left, Firmino dropping a bit centrally and the RCM moving to a traditional RM role, doubling up on both flanks and leaving Salah as the most advanced player. 

In previous iterations of FM (mainly 18) I've tended to go with CDM DLP, LCM B2B and RCM APM, with tweaks of Att/Def/Sup as necessary. 

I'd argue again recently that Trent is the primary playmaker in the team, especially when building through the defensive and midfield thirds. He essentially fills the same role as KDB does for City when he comes a bit deeper/wider - line breaking balls into the feet of the front 3 or APM, early/deep crosses and driving to the byline. 

No idea if it's possible to replicate all this in-game though, as said previously, it's a highly drilled approach and one that is flexible across and within games. You're likely to see a lot of positional rotation, switches of formation and changes of approach in terms of passing - possession, switching, direct/long balls - all depending on game state. 

I'll be beginning my LFC journey on FM20 tonight, so will see how it goes! 

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@wige Really good points. Especially your thoughts on TAA being the KDB of Liverpool. It could be fun trying out a 4-4-1-1 with Salah a bit out wide as CF, Firmino as a number 10 - maybe as AM on support, Mane on the left as IW-a, with Robbo behind as a WB/CWB on support - TAA on the other side as CWB-a. Having doubts about the midfield roles. Maybe CM-D on the right side and Car or CM-s on the left. 

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In my Liverpool save I am now using Wijnaldum/Keita as BWM support and Henderson/Ox/Keita as BBM and its working a treat

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Just now, LDP said:

In my Liverpool save I am now using Wijnaldum/Keita as BWM support and Henderson/Ox/Keita as BBM and its working a treat

Oh, and of course Fabinho/Henderson in CDM role as DLP def

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I wanted to try my ideas in action about implementing Klopp's Liverpool's into FM, so I just started a save with Liverpool and I think I got the positioning of players spot on with a flat 4-3-3. The tactical familiarity is still far from perfect and I only played 1 match against Man City (won 2 - 0), but if you look at the pictures below, it looks promising.

Defensive shape

RL vs FM

pool1.png.c6b65d65790e37ce5800660114ae3912.pngpool_def_2_small_red.thumb.jpg.f3a45894568197fa4360e6dd2e0e2ac8.jpg

You can see that the defensive shape is pretty similar, however the gap between the forwards and midfielders could be narrower in FM, I will try lowering the LOE or/and highering the DL.
When Pool defends in the opposition's or middle third, the central midfielder (usually Fabinho) often steps up to close down opponents, being higher up the pitch than the two other midfielders. In FM I could achieve this by instructing Fabinho to close down more.

 

Below an example from RL vs Barcelona, and next to it a screenshot vs ManCity where you can see that as soon as Fernandinho receives the ball, Fabinho starts his running to step further and press his opponent in the middle.

rakitic.png.d4ff08e45387c031df2c9e6434584047.pngpool_def_3_red_small.thumb.jpg.4bb01dbe8f16f55379f6b4a79257ac12.jpg

 

Attacking

A real life example already uploaded here by yonko vs FM attacking shape


pool2.png.b7e254afc92d61809358f1961719f7a5.pngpool_att_7_small.thumb.jpg.2a0d966e37b3f8b1f44bd97cecc729e0.jpg

Fabinho coming deep to get the ball, Roberston high up the pitch on the left, TAA playing a little deeper  on the right. There is a thing I really do not like in FM: I think that none of the supporting striker roles come as deep and as often as Firmino does in real life, I think SI should change the F9's off the ball movement in the ME. And I do not want to employ him in tha AMC strata,because when Pool plays a 4-3-3,  out of possession and pressing, he is the upfront man, defining the LOF.


Below an example of a really nice attakcing movement. My left forward's movement invites the opposition's right back inside, leaving a lot of space behind him. Fabinho plays a beautiful pass into that space, and Robertson runs onto it, then whips in a cross, and then Salah just have to tap it in. Goal.

robertson1.thumb.jpg.088cc11e18f461c9867c0b7eb8edc5ce.jpgrobertson2.thumb.jpg.08c1ba915cf884054d1a6c805572e83d.jpg

 

And an example of an high press transition:

1399189682_highpress.thumb.jpg.022ba707f65e142d1f369bca1f0c1627.jpg

Here we press aggressively, my left sided forward (it would be Mané, but in this case it's Origi) comes deep to help out my carrilero (Wijnaldum), they both press B. Silva, they get the ball, and pass it forward instantly for Salah, who then scores from a 1on1 situation.

TACTIC

The tactic below is not the final version, this is just a first one I tried. I was really happy with the roles, duties, positioning and off the ball movement of the players, with one exception that I have already mentioned: Firmino. He just does not come as deep and as often as I'd like him to. It's also worth mentioning that Pool does not play the whole 90 minutes counterpressing and attacking, they do so periodically. Sometimes they slow down a little bit (well, slow down compared to themselves) and use a middle press, so it is impossible to copy their gameplan into one set of mentality and team instructions. I focus on implementing their 4-3-3 defensive shape (I know that is not the only one defensive shape they use in RL) and general attacking movement.

2124527291_pooltactic.thumb.png.5668de65d3663e42e8fbf0c0e9c1eeb4.png


Added Player Instructions:

  • TAA: cross more often
  • Henderson: stay wider
  • Fabinho: close down more
  • Mané: move into channels, roam from position
  • Firmino: close down more

It may look surprising to use Mané es a PF, but it really did work well with the added PIs. In RL he really does a lot of work defensively, and that suits the PF. In this match he sometimes drifted wide, sometimes moved into the channels, somtimes made runs onto throughballs, sometimes came deep, and he often helped out defensively.
I will look into experimenting with different Out Of Possession instructions and maybe adding Shorter Passes coupled with Be More Expressive and Higher Tempo (altough higher tempo may not be necessary with an attacking mentality.)
 


 

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My turn

Attacking, Flexible

 

                                                   PF-A

                                                                                                     IF-A 

IF-S                                                                          

                 CAR-S                                                       DLP-S

                                                  BWM-S

FB-A                                                                                                FB-A

         

                                   BPD-D                      CD-D

 

                                                SK-S

         

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On 15/01/2020 at 13:09, Mitja said:

My turn

Attacking, Flexible

 

                                                   PF-A

                                                                                                     IF-A 

IF-S                                                                          

                 CAR-S                                                       DLP-S

                                                  BWM-S

FB-A                                                                                                FB-A

         

                                   BPD-D                      CD-D

 

                                                SK-S

         

What TIs would you use for this tactic?

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