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Mr. Buttons

How to counter hard tackling?

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Posted (edited)

I'm playing 4-3-3 with Juventus and I think my attacking potential is fairly decent with the likes of Ronaldo, Haaland, Dybala, Costa, Everton and Bernardeschi. As you already know, teams in Seria A often defend viciously with 11 men behind the ball so it's extremely challenging to break them.

I'm doing pretty good with that by playing wide so I stretch them easily. The only issue I have is how to play effectively against teams that tackle very aggressively? I've tried the following but it didn't seem much effective. It only improved the ball movement.

- Dribble less.
This way my players don't lose the ball often attempting dribbles plus increases teamwork. However, it's getting extremely difficult to penetrate the defense since every cross or pass gets easily blocked.

- Dribble more.
This only led to more tackles and giving the ball easily so the opponents can counter.

- Increase the tempo.
It improved the ball movement a lot but still every cross, shot, pass and dribble gets blocked and tackled.

- Less creativity.
This only led to ineffective penetration since players prefer keeping the ball safe.

- More creativity.
More creativity and higher tempo seemed extremely risky so players often lose the ball with a stupid pass.

Basically, it feels like every defense I play against has prime time Maldini and Baresi and it feels overwhelming. I often end up clueless on how sides with weaker defenders play so easily against Ronaldo, Haaland, Dybala, Costa, Everton and Bernardeschi. 

Any ideas worth trying to play effectively against hard tackling teams?

Edited by Mr. Buttons

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I try to use 'hit early crosses' against teams that play a deep defensive line. This is in the hope that as soon as the opposition lose the ball and are maybe out of shape/higher up the pitch, we play the ball forward in to the box where we can try to take advantage.

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You can also try playing more direct passes so the opposition have less time to get back into their defensive shape. Sometimes works well with hit early crosses.

Also consider lowering you LOE to encourage the opposition to move higher up the pitch.

Finally, when all else fails you can always deploy the 4-2-4, with four players in the most advanced portion of the pitch it makes it easier to get players into goal scoring opportunities.

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