FIFA 15 Scoring More and Conceding Less Guide



FIFA 15 Scoring More and Conceding Less Guide by mc564

I have been an avid player of FIFA for a number of seasons and every year, I play the same football with the same kind of players to mixed results. World football has placed possession above else; more often than not, teams will play it sideways with no real urgency simply to play-it-like-Barca.

I was firmly in this camp when it came to FIFA and Football Manager. There is nothing quite as rewarding as seeing your possession stat up in the 60s or 70s, being patient and pinning teams back in their own half. That was until I researched the ways of Diego Simeone. His entire mantra and ideology has changed the way I think about football and FIFA 15.

For an in-depth, interesting read about the specifics of Simeone’s tactics at Atletico Madrid, I would recommend this: http://theinsidechannel.com/2015/01/10/analysis/tactics/guide-atletico-madrids-tactics-diego-simeone/. But to keep things as relevant to FIFA as possible, I will be more concise.

Ultimately, this formation, squad and tactic puts a solid, compact defence at the heart of everything. Defending is a series of calculated risks; do you really need to press the opposition in their own half? What risk do they pose? Would doing so break your shape and open you up? I am happy to surrender possession in order to focus on my shape, dropping deeper to absorb pressure and allow myself space to exploit.

The formation, custom tactics and instructions

To truly apply this maxim, you need a formation and tactics that promote good defence with the potential for fast, breakneck counter attacking play. For this, I use the conventional 4-3-3. Alternatives include the 4-4-2, the 4-1-4-1 and the 4-4-1-1 but it is the 4-3-3 I have found to be most effective.

I won’t outline specific sliders for your custom tactics; it is dependent on your teams’ strengths and your budget to build on those strengths. But it should always reduce the team width, aggression and pressure (mine are sub 30 on each), while upping the build up speed. Parking the bus is the best mentality to use, unless the opposition shows something in their play that suggests you can be more aggressive.

In terms of player instructions, it is vital you set your back four and midfield to stay back at all times. Think of them as a brick wall in your defensive third; they exist to break attacks when it is least risky to do so, hold their shape and move it onto your attacking trio. Your wingers should be told to come back on defence, while cutting inside – if they have a good weak foot – and getting in behind the defence when on the attack. Your centre forward should be told to stay central, as a target man to cut off passing lines. If they can capitalise on the oppositions’ mistakes high up the pitch, it is ideal.

What kind of players fit the bill?

Your goalkeeper really is up to you. It’s FIFA so they will always screw up.

Your defence should be formed of four no-nonsense defenders with strong physicality, positioning, heading and interceptions. Pace is not essential in this tactic because you’ll be sitting very deep and the opposition won’t have much room to dribble and move their way through. I would recommend H/M work rates for the full backs and M/H work rates for the centre halfs.

Your midfielders should combine defensive prowess with sheer strength, vision and passing. I have found the likes of Matic, Luis Gustavo, Fernandinho and Felipe Melo to be most successful in terms of holding the line and cutting down the opposition. Each have a M/H work rate; I would stick to that.

Your wingers are key; sheer pace is countering will not cut it so you want two players who have speed, creativity and the ability to finish chances. The majority of these chances will come from deep, driving forward to cut inside and finish.

Finally, you want a centre forward who can hold up the play to support the wingers while finishing anything that might come his way. Think of the role Diego Costa played at Atletico; his strength, relative pace and finishing made him the all-round forward, as good on his own as he was supported from the flanks. They will spearhead both your attack and your defence, often sitting deeper than the oppositions’ midfield.

Main flaws

So you have your team, formation, tactics and instructions set. You now realise the value of only engaging the attack when it is almost certain you will win back possession; allowing them to make their own mistakes. But where does the weakness lie? From my own experience, I concede in two ways: long shots and set pieces.

By giving the opposition so much time and opportunity in your half, you are giving them the freedom to try their luck from 18 to 25 yards. Skilled players will take advantage of this but the majority will not; unless for the times when FIFA decides your average player is Lionel Messi, in which case, you’re fucked.

The second way is set pieces; your team should be competent enough to deal with the majority of corners and free kicks but there will be times when they slip through the cracks.

Summary

Diego Simeone has shown the footballing world that it’s ok to let a team knock it about in front of you. More often than not, they are doing so with no real purpose and to try and close them down is actually hindering your efforts. Concentrate, only engage the opposition when you know you can effectively break the attack down and move forward with pace and vigour.

I have no statistics to back up any of these claims, in regards to FIFA. This is all purely anecdotal but consider it an idea on how to eliminate any defensive frailties. Doing so will make your life ten times easier, while decreasing the risk of heart attack when you concede because of your own stupidity.

Feel free to try it out and let me know you get on.

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