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Patfan1991

Trouble analyzing opponents

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Hi, 

I'm a long time player who has had fun and success in the game (Love playing lower league and getting to the premier league) but filed with difficulty as well. I'm looking for information on how to properly analyze opponent scouting reports and how to properly plan for them as well. I've done things in the past but I feel like I'm missing key information or knowledge on how to counter players. I understand that having players who can defend and mark properly is one part of the equation, but I'm wondering if I can do more. 

An example could be that I set up players to mark/force players onto their weaker foot but I sometimes I struggle to just get the ball back and attack. A constant problem is my team being able to gets 0-0 scorelines or draws but not being able to score (which I understand is not related to this topic). I have been watching yotubers like bustthenet and have found his videos to be helpful (the overload videos were awesome and I try to incorporate that when it makes sense).

Basically my concerns come down to a few questions:

1. What matters more, current ability or attributes? I've tried both with various success (CA tends to be more successful but my last save saw me having a good starting line-up but being relegated once my players were injured and their replacements being bad)

2. Is there a way to properly plan against opponents? I know the opposition instructions is one way as well as making adjustments to tactics to taking advantage of weaknesses but I tend to have the same problem, I end up in draws which I guess makes sense but I would like to see more obvious examples of my team winning the ball back, countering and scoring. I'm probably describing transition and offensive problems instead of defensive but I like to know if you think I'm right in thinking its a defensive problem. 

3. Is opposition instruction even necessary at lower levels? Am I better off trying to find the best players and hoping I can make it with a good team or is it possible to win with lesser talent by being thorough in defensive instructions?

 

Let me know if anything I said is confusing, I'd be happy to explain in a different way

 

Thanks!

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Everybody has their own approach, but I personally prefer to analyze my team and see where we stand compared to the rest of the league in terms of overall quality and reputation. That hugely helps me decide what style of football I should look to implement as optimal for the type of players I have at my disposal. Based on that, I then create a tactic that reflects the style I want to play. Whichever style that may be, I always make sure the tactic as a whole is well-balanced and logically/sensibly constructed. Because the more solid foundation your tactic is built upon, the less you need to be obsessed with the opposition and how they play. Therefore, rather than making big tactical changes from match to match trying to adapt to every single opponent, you just make small occasional tweaks as you see fit. But your basic tactic essentially remains unchanged. Because it already suits your players, which makes it easier for them to execute your tactical style and ideas. 

16 hours ago, Patfan1991 said:

Is opposition instruction even necessary at lower levels?

OIs are generally not necessary. If you are not sure what they do and/or how you should use them, you absolutely can play without them. The key for success is how your roles, duties and team instructions are set up - always keeping the mentality as a very important factor in mind (because the mentality has an impact on everything, although it does not define your style of play).

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I agree with @Experienced Defender sound advice.

I currently run with two tactics - one 4231 on Attacking or Positive, and one 4141DM Wide on balanced. The TIs are similar for both as they work well with the players I have, so  I tend not to tweak these too much other than countering a specific threat or exploiting a weakness.

My OIs though, pre-game  I read the scout report, note the key players mentioned, then the analyst report and also I look at the passing combinations of the last game - so end up with a list of maybe five or six opposition players that could be key to their approach.

Often, I find one player who is involved in two or three of the top passing combinations - so I will close him down and probably force to weaker foot (if a midfielder maybe tackle hard as well - if I have my aggressive ball-winner available).

If opposition are adept from wide area, defend a little wider but pull their wide men onto the weaker foot - I find this helps force their wingers inside or there IFs to the outside to disrupt  their pattern of attack.

Ultimately though, analysing opposition is something that is pretty quick and painless pre-game. I may stop and look at similar stats during the game, and add OIs for players that are playing well, but otherwise  I try and stick to my way of playing as has been said before.

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6 hours ago, Experienced Defender said:

I always make sure the tactic as a whole is well-balanced and logically/sensibly constructed. Because the more solid foundation your tactic is built upon, the less you need to be obsessed with the opposition and how they play.

That makes sense. I'm gonna work on this. I found a guide on this topic on balancing roles and I'm gonna just study this for the time being

Thanks for the advice @Experienced Defender and @Snorks

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17 hours ago, Patfan1991 said:

That makes sense. I'm gonna work on this. I found a guide on this topic on balancing roles and I'm gonna just study this for the time being

Thanks for the advice @Experienced Defender and @Snorks

"Pairs and Combinations" by @llama3 is a quality guide.

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Similar to what has been said.  A reactive approach can pay off sometimes but I find it tiresome in a long-term save to the point where I'd only do something like that sparingly, maybe crucial games, big matches against better sides or teams I'd expect to lose to anyway so perhaps it's a free shot at them.  An every game approach though....not my style.

Further I think you have to be meticulously good to get reactive play right a lot of the time.  You could prepare for a game and the opposition come at you differently to as expected or they change against you mid match.  The AI can be annoying sometimes in ignoring players fitting a particular formation but suddenly switching to something that simply works against what you are doing.  When this happens the pre match planning you've done goes out the window.

My advice would be concentrate on what you do best.  In the big picture or long run, familiarity and consistency become your friend.

 

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