Do you have any confuse about how to defend? When exactly should you hold sprint? I will give you my advice, these tips aren’t aimed at the top players, they will already be ahead of this guide, it’s aimed for those really struggling to adapt the advice given by top players.

The advice given on here is amazing, absolutely fantastic, however being a player of such poor quality it didn’t initially work for me. Now this isn’t because the advice is bad, it’s because there are several stepping stones in between, you need to understand in order to incorporate these tactics.


Do not defend with your CB’s, use a CDM or CM

Daily we see a handful of posts with people struggling with defending and every time the comments consist of this title. So firstly let’s break this down a little bit and explore exactly what is meant.

The basics are very simple, the AI defending is so strong this year, that not only do they keep their shape perfectly, but more often than not they end up winning the ball back for you and if not they direct the attack into your other players.

A key issue many people have here is panicking. Let’s assume that the attack breaks through your midfield, with a fairly large gap between them and your CDM. The obvious approach is to take control of a CB and attempt to win the ball back, this would be the mistake many of us make. By doing this we bring defenders out of position allowing the opponent to easily work the ball into the box. In this situation we actually have a LOT more time than we think, with our defence keeping its shape the opponent has very little space to work with, unless you provide them with it, hence we have a lot of time to bring midfielders back to pressure the ball carrier and cut passing lanes. Now if the opponent moves the ball to the wing, or passes backwards, fantastic, we can bring another midfielder back to apply pressure, again reinforcing the defensive brick wall.

The key point to take away is DON’T PANIC, you almost always have a lot more time than you think!

Do not always hold sprint

This is such an amazing piece of advice, however the sprint button is there for a reason, so when exactly are you suppose to hold sprint?

There are two situations when a sprint button is of use.

  • 1. You are attacking, and you have space ahead of you, now it’s very rare that this will be your CDM or CM, it’s most probably gonna be your ST. You’ve probably played a through ball and you want to maintain the speed in the attack, in these situations you should be able to sprint alongside knocking the ball on with the analogue stick. If you haven’t got enough space for this, your probably better off shielding the ball and finding a teammate in a better position.
  • 2. You are tracking a players run, following an attacker or bringing back your midfield to defend. Now more often than not, the player you are sprinting with here is not the player who is going to win the ball back for you. What you are attempting to do is get this player into a position that limits options for the opponent, allowing you to switch (while potentially teammate containing), and apply pressure from a second angle.
    Now sometimes while tracking a player you may over extend, running past the attacker. This is fine, this player is now behind the ball, in a better defensive position, don’t continue to track using this player, it’s time to swap it up and include another midfielder in the defensive strategy!

Take your time with your attacks

This is so important, but also difficult to fully understand. The logic most people apply is;

If you aren’t moving forward and creating chances, you aren’t going to win

However the best way to look at this is;

If the opponent hasn’t got the ball, you aren’t going to lose

Don’t force a through ball because there is a chance you’ll get on the end of it, play a through ball because you see a player making a run into space. If your attack is going nowhere, there is no harm in shielding the ball and passing backwards, you are still in possession and hence you are still ‘winning’ the game.

Now these are just a few things that helped me club from division 10, up to division 3 and rising. If this is helpful to anybody, I’ll make similar guides in regards to shooting, defending and custom tactics.

Thank you for reading!