Facebook Top Eleven Formations and Tactics Guide

Facebook Top Eleven Formations and Tactics Guide by Mind Revolution

Section 1

Heavy Defensive and Defensive Formations



Catenaccio form and tactic was originally invented back in 1930’s by Switzerland’s Austrian coach, Karl Rappan.
Rappan’s kainotomy waw the use of what we call today “sweeper defender”. A defender between his DC’s and the Keeper, who’s main goal was to recover any loose ball and clear the danger from his area.

Since then, Catenaccio has been edited by several managers in order to fit their squad.

Triestina alhough being heavy underdog, managed using Catenaccio to finish as a runner-up of the Italian Serie A in 1947.

Talented Italian side, managed to beat strong Germany side in 1982’s World Cup Final, using an alternative formation of Catenaccio, called Zona Mista (pic.1).

Several other underdogs have manage to pick-up a good result against a stronger oppostion using a Catenaccio form.

Although Catenaccio is concidered to be a non-modern aproach to the game as it’s based on heavy defending, man-mark and counter-attack, many teams with less skilled squad have managed some uprisings, like Greece, which managed to lift the Euro throphy in 2004.



5-3-2 formation, with one sweeper defender, two central defenders, a left and right wing back, three central midfilders and two strikers, is an extremely defensive tactic, based on man-marking and counter attack style. It provides your team with wide defence cover area and lots of triangles in order to keep some possession with short passes and hit on the break by motivating the form into 3-4-1-2, using red arrows on WBRL and the central MC.



4-5-1 is an essensially defensive formation based on zonal marking and counter attack style. It’s ideal when your main goal is to grab a draw or defend a lead score. Defence is a classic DL-DC-DC-DR strait line. Same happens to the midfield line using three MCs and a ML and MR. Using red arrows on ML and MR you can motivate your 4-5-1 into a 4-3-3 and hit the opposition on the counter-attack.



In 5-4-1 the aproach in the game is the same as in 4-5-1, but using red arrows on your your AMRL, you get a motivated 4-3-3 attacking form, with two more players to support the lone striker from the flanks while WBRL prevents opponent’s wide midfilders to hit back on the counter attack of yours.

4-6-0 (The Strikerless formation)


As far as I know game does not allow Keeperless or Strikerless formations, but have these formation in mind too.
Strikerless formations can be found in several forms. Some are extremely defensive using a classic defensive strait line of DL-DR and two DCs, two DMCs and four MCs. Others remove the central MC and move him forward as an AMC. The most common form is when using four defenders in strait line, three MCs and pressing upper on the field with an AMC and AMRL. In order to success using such a formation, you need a very competitive defence, strong midefielders and attacking midfielders with great pace, as you hit on the counter-attack by pressing only in your half. This strategic allows you to drag your opponent deep in your side of the field and hit him on the break.

Formation solutions when have a banned player or unable to make more subs

Using the hard tackle order can be useful sometimes, especially when dealing with stronger oppositions. But is also risky as a ban can occure. Sometimes an injury comes up while you can not make more subs. So, when the draw is an option for your side or you want to keep the leading score, you can motivate your formation into a 4-4-1 or 5-3-1, normal mentality formation with and strait lines and counter attack style in order to achive your target.

When draw or defeat is not an option, a risky 4-3-2 or 4-2-3 attacking mentality formation with strait lines and a hardworking midfield may upset your opponent.

Section 2

Midfield based squads



3-5-2 formation originaly used by Argentina’s favourite, Carlos Billardo in 1986 World Cup clashes. Like all midfield based tactics, the main goal of this formation is to hold ball possession at the centre of the pitch. 3-5-2 formation can effectively provide many scoring chances espesialy if you put pressure at whole picth but aware that there will be a gap at your flanks. In order to fix that problem, you need to employ WBRL with great pace and defending skills to replace the AMRL. In a more risky edition 3-5-2 can be played with man-marking or the offside trap when using zonal marking. Fast and effective defenders are required in order to success.



3-6-1 is an unusual but modern formation which provides to your squad significant dominant ball possession at the centre of the pitch. Like 3-5-2 formation you need to pressure at whole pitch and play the offside trap using fast defenders and zonal marking.



3-4-3 flat formation is very offensive. It provides your team with great ball possession and scoring chanses by pressing at whole pitch. In order to success you need great pace at your flanks and defence. A short passing style is required like all midfield formations. If you want to change your mentality to a more defensive style, you can employ your MLR to WBRL.

The 4-2-4 problem

Before going on with Section 3, I would llike to share with you a solution when dealing a 4-2-4 formation. This risky but effective formation can cause problems to your squad, especially if you don’t know how to deal with it. Many managers have recored many str8 wins based on this tactic.

Usually the intructions which are given to this formation are:

– Attacking mentality
– Normal tackling
– Mixed passing style
– Own half pressing
– No counter attack
– No offside trap

Now, let’s crack this formation ;)

The 4-2-3-1 formation should work fine for most of you. Four defenders in strait line DL-DC-DC-DR, two DMCs, ML, MC and MR used with red arrows to support your lone Striker.






The instructions are:

– Hard tacling (if needed)
– Attacking or Normal mentality (depends on you or the previous score if it’s leg encounter)
– Short passing style
– Focus passing through the middle
– Own half pressing

Section 3

Ballanced Tactics



4-4-2 is the most common ballanced formation in the modern football. Every position covers at least one more player using zonal marking. A hard-working midfield is required in order to support both your attack from the flanks and your defence from the centre. Full backs can join the midfield in order to give space and exploit a hit on the break using your wide midfielders pace. A shot passing style should work as ball possession is vital. 4-4-2 can be played with or without counter attack orders, depending on your opponent’s squad skills. Feel free to tweak 4-4-2 into a 4-4-1-1 with an AMC joining the midfield instead of being deep into your opponent’s defence.

4-4-2 Diamond


4-4-2 Diamond or 4-1-2-1-2, is a popular tweak over the original 4-4-2. On this edition your defence line remains strait, two MCs are placed at the center of the pitch, one DMC to cover and connect your defence with the midfield playing as a deeper playmaker, one AMC employed as “10” for forward runs and drilling balls towards your STs, to crack your opponent’s defence. Diamont formation is a very effective attacking mentality formation but requiers players with grate pace both on defence and attack especially from the flanks. Can be deployed with counter attack orders and allways with pressing on your own half otherwise your players will tire up soon before the final whistle blows.

4-4-2 Cristmass Tree


Cristmass tree looks funny on your board but can be very effective and difficult to crack down. It’s similar to the 4-4-2 Diamont formation but instead of the DMC you use another one AMC with red arrows to join your lone ST from the back. The flanks gap in defence and midfield can be covered by attacking full backs. A whole pitch pressure could be effective using short passing. Attack both from the flanks and centre of the pitch. Again players with great pace are requered. If possible you can also use the offside trap.

Section 4

Attacking formations



4-3-3 is an exeptional counter attacking formation. It’s based on the Brazilian formation 4-2-4 while giving more defensive solution with the extra midfield player insted of an fourth attacker. Wide strikers force opponents defenders to split, makings line gaps. Wide defenders can also join the attack (like Arsenal and Ajax do), making the opponents midfield to split in two, giving your MCs space to run with ball and shoot or pass the ball behind opponent’s defence. A mix passing style and focus passing should work fine.



3-3-1-3 a tweak on the 4-3-3 formation used by Barcelona nowtimes, same logic and orders with the Dutch 4-3-3 but in order to sucsses you need a very skillfull squad which can put pressure at whole pitch.



The last one is one of my favourites. A classic Argentinian 4-3-1-2 since 1960. Hard-working midfilders and an outstanding playmaker are enough to route opponents defence. Plus, 4-3-1-2 is very flexible, it can be tweaked to a classic flat 4-4-2 during the match and play the transition.

:idea: Remeber, there are no magic all-winning formations, just managers willing to expiriment, adjustive squads and flexible formations. Tweak your formation!

Section 5


A formation it self can not provide your team supperiority in the field. You need to combine your formation with the correct instructions in order to achive your aim, which is a possitive result.

Ball Possession

Ball possession is a vital part of the game, especialy when you want to play dominant football. So, when you use midfield based formations or flat attacking formations such as 3-5-2, 4-5-1, 3-6-1, 3-4-3, 4-3-3 etc. you need to use shot passing style.

Counter Attack

When using defensive and ultra defensive formations such as Catenaccio, 5-4-1 etc. or counter attacking formations such as 4-3-3, you should force the counter attack. Put pressure to your opponent on your side only and take atvantage on defence gaps wich are created by his effort to score against you. Long ball passing is required.

Offside Trap

The Offside Trap is an exellent way to decrease your opponents chances of scoring against you, while you press him upper on the pitch. Play the offside trap when using attacking formations with two DC and WBRL. Aware, that you need DCs with great pace in order to deal with counter attacks or fast STs. Avoid using the Off. Trap when the opponent use AMC(s).

Section 6

Asymmetric Formation

Total Football Formation – The Dutch way


Total Football is something more than a formation. It’s a philosophy, like Catenaccio. In Total Football every player on the pitch can posse a threat to opposition keeper, no matter the role he has in the game. Even the keeper can score if possible. There is no standar tactic to represent Total Football, any tactic can be “Total Football”, but you can try out the original approach to this way of playing, which is the formation that Holland use nowdays.

-Team Mentality: Attacking
-Passing Focus: From the flanks
-Pressing Style: Own Half
-Tackling: Normal
-Passing Style: Short
-Mark: Zonal
-No Offside trap
-Yes Counter Attack

:idea: These are the original instructions, I agree to some, I dissagree to other. Alter them in order to fit your squad.

Possible formations for beating 4-1-2-1-2 (narrow diamond) formation

Hello again MintBerry,

Well he is not exactly your enemy, he is an opponent, sounds better and it’s more accurate as a term ;)

Now, you could possibly beat 4-1-2-1-2 in my opinion by using one of these three formations. 3-5-2, 4-5-1 and 3-6-1.

If I remember well you use 3-5-2 already, so either keep it that way or change into 4-5-1 or 3-6-1. That’s your choice.

Either way, try to root him from the flanks. Use the same orders as before.

Make sure that your player are rest, have good morale and form.

It’s a final so it’s 50%-50%.

Wish you luck!

General Tactical Tips – Part 1

Which formation should I use?

When you begin the game and you don’t want or cannot affort buy any Tokens the formation which fits your squad best is the one which your players are able to play based on your squads positioning abilities.

Several managers deploy their players into positions which their players cannot perform well because simply it’s not their natural position. This mistake is done either because the manager wants to play a formation which does not suit his squad or wants to place all his big star players into the line-up no matter what.

This will cost you both poor form from these players plus low ball possession, which is vital in order to achieve possitive results.

My player can be deployed in 2 or 3 different positions. Where should I place him?

As you have only 5 subs this or these players are ideal as subs in order to cover as much as positions you can if an injury occurs. Otherwise, if you don’t have any player to cover a starting-line up position, place this player if possible to his natural position which is the first one. The are two positions are not his natural position so prefer these positions only as a solution during an injury.

Which training program should I chose?

Automated training program is an ideal option as it trains your players based on their position which are placed whithin your formation. You can also -especially if you manage a low level team- train your players physical attributes only, for the 10 first days of each season in order to support better your rotation policy.

Why should I rotate my squad?

Rotating your squad is a good way to keep your players, trained with first team experience and fit in order to last at the later stages of each season, especially if you still play in all three or two of the competitions that game has.

General Tactical Tips – Part 2

Season plan

It’s really important to plan your season. Define your season expectations based on your squad abilities and of course…your bugdet. Greed or overconfidence are a bad way to built your season plan.

I loose constantly. What’s wrong?

Before you ask in the forum first check your self if:

1) All players play to their natural position?
2) Moral is below-par?
3) Formation and Orders are well combined?
4) Do first team players need some rest for a couple of games?

Strategy to upgrade my facilities?

There is no strategy for that since you need to fully upgrade all facilities before the game unlocks next level.
The only tip I got for you is before upgrading the training facilities, recovery facilities and youth facilities, first make sure that any process of producing points or players is done. That way you won’t loose any youth players or recovery and rest points.

Why is important to experiment with formations and tactics?

Because that way you LEARN! If you really need tips or help read carefully the forum before ask, there are answers almost for any question and opinions for all matters.

How can I compare tactics?

Comparing formations and tactcs isn’t that hard. Try out your self with this simple way:

1) Use legal formations, according to the five rules of Top Eleven.

2) Spot the gaps between the lines, within the lines and at flanks. Take advantage of them.

3) Spot weak players. A weak DR maybe a good way to root opponets defence. Focus your passing from the right flank.

4) When you are unsure about which orders to give, just use the midly ones.

Half Time team talk

Great addition to the game. If team talk is well used then a manager can turn things around, maintain a possitive result or expand the goal margin of a victory.


Aim to motivate your players. Criticism may damage your players morale with negative results. Be calm and possitive.

Demanding from your players to perform better may put unessary pressure on them, so try to encourage them.

Since team talk can concern the whole squad or each line separately try to adopt your team talk based on the formation you use and the score line.

Tell what you expect from each line during the second half. If you are unsure of how each line performed at the first half then use the team talk to whole squad.

Prepare your team for the upcoming fixture

Before any fixture takes place, make sure that your squad is tactical and phycological up for the match.

1) Know your expectations regarding the upcoming match. Make sure that you are well prepared tacticly for the up coming fixture, meaning you know what formation you’re facing plus how to deal with it. Scout the overal quality of the opposition team, take advantage over any weak player(s).

2) Make sure that all players are eligible for the match, that no bans or injuries occure.

3) All players play to their natural position

4) All key players are eligible for starting line-up, players such as captain, corner takers, free kick tacker etc.

5) Finally, take care of your players morale. Good morale is a vital factor for a good team performance.

Good luck to all!

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5 Responses

  1. cost says:

    Awesome guide. Thank u sir.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Half Time team talk isnt avaliable anywhere.. where you heard about it?

  3. Anonymous says:

    where is section 3

  4. MrJKing97 says:

    Hi, i have been using the 3-5-2 formation before i read this but it is an effective tactic because i have always been 1st my team is called Royal Kings F.C
    I tried the other formations in friendlies and they weren't as effective so thanks anyway
    P.S You need to put the orders in a list

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