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Thread: Basic formation strategy vs different % quality opponents

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2019

    Basic formation strategy vs different % quality opponents

    To make it simple, we all want to win more against superior opponents (5%+ to. 20%), fare very well (75%+ wins, plus rest as draws) against same-quality opponent (5%+ to 5%-), win nearly all against slightly inferior opponents (5%- to 20%-) and outscore very heavily against inferior opponents (20%- or more).

    Wins against 20%+ far superior opponents require perfect counter formation & orders, on-form attackers & GK and lots of luck.

    Assume most managers understand that they could improve ‘real’ team quality by keeping well-trained young players for lots of seasons (ie. most greys gradually drop to 0% with more seasons, hence face-value player quality would underestimate real whites’ quality).

    A) Basic strategy on formation vs far superior 20%+ opponents:

    8/9-men behind ball. 4-1-3 or 4-1-4 is the basis. 4-1-3-AML/C/R-1, with AM & ST pulled back to cover as much space as possible and front-2 placed in a way to create a linked zone where they would have some territorial advantage. Opponent plays DMC then we play flank; if no DMC then we play AMC. 4-1-4-1 is similar with opponent DMC on where we plays our ST/AMC. Can also play 4-1-3-2AM with both pulled-back when our best 2 players are ST/AMC & AM.

    Very likely to be a high-scoring 1-goal win when both of our attackers are on form.

    B) vs superior opponents (5%+ to 20%)

    Similar with far superior, except that AM & ST can be played further forward to actively exploit available space where opponents are too aggressive and left certain flank’s empty with too many pushed-up defenders. Midfielders positioning can be a bit more adventurous as long as defensive shape is good.

    Could win by up to 5 goals on a very good day. 3-goal win is very possible with attackers taking chances as usual (40-45% on target; 35%-45% conversion rate).

    C) vs same-quality opponents (5%+ to 5%-)

    Basic concept is +1 defender & +1 midfielder. Could slot in an extra DMC as +1.5 each depending on situation. The rest to place 1 attacker in empty space, with the rest to stop opponents recovering that space. Should look to overload certain opponent areas with own defence shape taken into account.

    Eg. A) Opponent plays 4-4-2
    Solution 1) 3-4-1-2. High-scoring win and very likely to concede. AMC area wins the match with attack bonus. STs score most goals
    Solution 2) 3-1-4-1-1. 2-3 goal win and 50/50 with clean sheets. AMC area wins the match with defence bonus. AMC scores most goals
    Solution 3) 3-5-2. 1-2 goal win, high % with clean sheets and better possession. MC area wins match with possession bonus. Scorers random.

    Eg. B) Opponent plays 4-5v-1
    Solution 1) 4-3-2W-1. Wingers to win via outscore via both flanks. MC area wins match via possession & attack bonus
    Solution 2) 4-1-3-AML/R-ST. Solid defensive display to win via counter & 1-flank. Winger & ST-combo for goals & assists

    2/3-goals win should be standard. Interchange with formation solutions in-game plus subs to handle off-form attackers and occasionally defenders in poor form

    D) vs slightly inferior opponents (5%- to 20%-)

    Basic concept is playing matching number of defenders vs attackers & midfielders vs midfielders, DMC to act as extra 0.5 cover for both defence and midfield, so attackers numbers is -1 against opponent - can easily outnumber defence by overloading flanks (with wide fullbacks, wide midfielders & winger forwards on both flanks), 1-flank (DL, ML, AML + ST moved closer to flank) or via middle (AMC vs no-DMC). Should play +1 midfielder vs very aggressive formations.

    Engine calculation often skews towards inferior side if slightly superior side is defensive, hence needs to be aggressive yet not over-committed.

    Eg. C) Opponent plays 4-2M-2W-2
    Solution 1) 4-1-2-1-2. High-scoring win usually. Win via AMC area & counter.
    Solution 2) 4-1-3-1-1. Low-scoring win with higher chance of clean sheet. Win via AMC area with build-up.

    Eg. D) Opponent plays 4-1-4-1
    Solution 1) 3W-4-3W. Overloading both flanks to outscore. Wide forwards score most goals.
    Solution 2) 3W-5F-2(1 wide forward + 1 ST positioned widest). Overloading flanks to win with midfield possession. Lower-score win with higher clean sheet %.

    E) vs far inferior opponents (20%- or more)

    Basic concept is formulating a formation with flank overload/AMC area overload/AML+C+R area overload/DC area overload with own players +1 in that space & with 20%+ quality advantage on hard attacking plus long/mixed passing (in-game passing success rate 85%+ then switch from mixed to long to increase shooting aggression). Main DC & MC are ideally 30% better than opponents’ ST & MC to dominate each area with matching number of players, so as to release all available players into attacking position for highest scoring opportunities.

    Eg. E) Opponent plays 4-3M-3W
    Solution 1) 3W-4M(D)-3W. Diamond midfield squeezed central (DMC & MC pushed-up, ML & MR pulled central). Opponent loses whole midfield + AMC + DMC area. All players have quality advantage. Wide forwards score most goals.
    Solution 2) 3W-4M(D)-1-2. AMC pushed forward. STs will score most goals.

    A few things to avoid:
    1) Play the exact formation of opponents - match result will become a lottery, depending on the engine assigning the side with main scorers’ RNG
    2) Keep the exact formation and players after 30 mins of no goals as a far superior side - correct counter must at least score 1 by half-time. Should at least change formation and/or subs every 20-mins interval (30th & 50th). Still nil-nil then should totally revamp on 70th min the whole formation, orders and arrows to be irrelevant to starting setup - say 3-4-1-2 via middle & mixed should turn into a 3-2M-3-2 via flanks & long with at least 2 subs of attackers to force engine to recalculate again and again until our team gets that 1 goal. Should try normal with mixed instead of only hard attacking with long for 20 mins from 50th to 70th with high number of MCs & DMCs to max chances of counter-attackers triggered (sometimes engine just would not ‘allow’ any direct goals to be scored)
    3) Let the same FK/CK taker keeps taking even when he fails - 2 failed attempts then should change (not many matches would have more than 3 FKs/CKs chances) - it is a good idea to set up our team with backup FK & CKs in mind

    Hope this basic guide in formation would help new managers in finding their ways to their favourite squad building and formations, and also get more unlikely wins against superior opponents with limited players and resources.
    Tales Kuo and Der_Ryan_M like this.
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2020
    Gracias genio!!! Excelente!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2020
    Taipei, ROC
    Great and detailed post, thanks a lot.
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