Re: Sir Metz's SOccerManager Guide to Football/Soccer.
How to counter formations
By: Sir (Gavin) Metz
* =most common formations and sometimes the most effective
< =Defensive (Mentality) formation
> =Offensive (Mentality) formation
| =Normal (Mentality)
[All mentality settings are subjective, and any formation can be sucessfull using any mentality. I am merely stating the mentalities that I feel would most likely be used to find sucess with the given formation]
The Best formation against a 4-4-2 in my opinion is a 3-5-2. The 5 middies allow you do control the midfield, and thus the game. Also, the three in the back are enough to cover the two forwards of the opposition. If you need goals, this formation will also work, as you have 5 middies and two forwards to go at the goal. The problem with this is that you have to have five good/decent middies to play, otherwise you can fall apart in the midfield, and the main tactic of the formation is to control the midfield.
Also, I would suggest going with two attacking middies if you need goals, and two defensive middies if you need to defend....quite obvious I know. If you need goals and only have DM's, the put your tactics on counter attack, and men behind ball. You can also throw in a target man up top if you have a good goal scorer at forward.
I would use a formation such as the 4-4-2 or the 3-5-2 formations. This allows you to have control of the midfield, allowing you to stop their attack and go on the attack yourself. Then, when on the attack, you will have enough people to hopefully outnumber their defenders, creating some good scoring chances. Any formation with more than 4 midfielders should do well, as the situation I just described should occur every time.
This is a very effective formation if used correctly by the opposition. To stop it, use a 4-1-2-2-1 formation. This will allow you to keep the midfield under control, and then go on the attack. This formation gives you los of players in the attack and on defense because of the large numbers in the midfield. That should give you enough players and skill to stop the 5 middies and forward that will be challenging your keeper. Make sure you have some good wingers if you use this formation.
I would use a 3-5-2 formation. It’s a very common and easy formation to use. The five Middies should be able to out play the four from the other team, and then set up the forwards with some shots. Make sure you have a decent attacking mid and defensive mid, or two good wingers or LM/RM combination to assist on the attack.
This is one of my favorite formations. To go against this formation, you can either copy it, or go with a 4-3-1-2 formation. The 4-3-1-2 allows you to have three forwards to go against their defenders, and also allows you to have plenty of players back to stop the oppositions attack. Again, you can use a target man (Most likely the “1” in the formation) to help distribute the ball to the other two forwards.
I would use the 3-4-1-2. This allows for you to have a 7-7 in the back, and a 3-3 up top. If you have the better squad, you can hopefully pull off the win. You may even have to try a formation like the 5-3-2 formation, if they have some great forwards. This will allow you to stop them from scoring. You then may want to use the counterattack or target man functions to keep the ball up top for you, allowing you to score.
Counter this by copying it, or by using a 4-4-2. This will help you have a midfield battle, but still be able to throw some numbers forward for the attack. You can also think about using the 4-1-2-2-1 formation, to dominate the midfield, and then spring an attack against their five defenders. You may also want to think about using the wings for some crossing, since they will have three people in the box and the other two outside trying to stop the cross from happening. Should the cross come however, it can create a good goal scoring opportunity for you
Counter it the same way you would counter the 5-2-3 formation…
I would counter this formation using a 4-4-2 or a 4-5-1 formation. With the 4-4-2 I would try to have an attacking mentality and keep the two forwards and four midfielders shooting. With the 4-5-1 I would try a defensive mentality and counter attack, hoping to draw in their team and have an attack against 3 defenders.
*|/> 4-4-2 (Diamond)
Go with a 3-5-2 or a 4-4-2. You could maybe even go with a 3-4-1-2, depending on the squad that you possess. The key in countering the 4-1-2-1-2 formation is the ability to stop the combination created with the attacking mid and forwards of the other team. This can be done by using defensive mids, tight marking, or outnumbering them with defenders with the 3-4-1-2 or 4-4-2 formation. You also have to be able to go on the attack yourself so you can score. The 3-5-2 formation would be better for this as you would have more people able to go on the attack, with wingers to spread the field, center mids to control the middle, and forwards to do what forwards always do.
|/> 4-3-3 Wingers
I would counter this formation the same way as a 4-3-3. If you are worried about the skill level of their wingers, Ex: Christiano Ronaldo coming at your weak LB or RB, then you can try a 5-2-3 formation, causing you to have wingbacks to keep the wingers busy, but still have a people in the middle to get the ball to your forwards.
| 4-5-1 Defensive
I would try using a 4-2-3-1 formation, causing you to match numbers in the midfield, but still be able to mount an attack yourself. Since they are a defensive formation, you can try to attack like crazy, or you can try and defend against a counter attack which I would expect from the defensively created formation.
I would use a 4-5-1 against this formation. It will enable you to go offensive minded and hopefully score goals, but at the same time keep enough people on defense to have a solid shutout opportunity. This one is also good because it keeps the typical yet very effective flat back four on defense.
The classic “Christmas Tree” formation. To counter this one, use the 3-5-2 as well. This will help you to have control in the midfield and still out number their forwards. You will also be able to have basically three up top to do some damage, plus the outside mids to cross the ball in.
Use the 3-5-2 or 4-5-1 formations. They will allow you to control the midfield and set up a good attack against the four defenders. You will also have enough players back on defense to keep a (hopefully) shutout.
I would use the 3-5-2 against this formation. It allows you to conquer the midfield and go on the attack, while still being able to stop their three forward threats. Make sure you have your defensive middie on the field to cut out some of their plays, and re-distribute the ball up top for your offense.
I would use a 4-4-2. This is because the other team basically has 3 forwards, which can be covered by your 4 defenders. Then they have 4 midfielders, which can battle against your four midfielders. Then you have to figure out how to score against them (As I always think defense first) and I would do that by possibly trying the counter attack or target man. If you have fast forwards then counterattack. If you have good technically sound forwards, then use target man.
I would counter this by using a 4-4-2 formation. This is because the other team basically has 3 forwards, which can be covered by your 4 defenders. Then they have 4 midfielders, which can battle against your four midfielders. Then you have to figure out how to score against them (As I always think defense first) and I would do that by possibly trying the counter attack or target man. If you have fast forwards then counterattack. If you have good technically sound forwards, then use target man.
|/> 5-3-2 (Sweeper)
This is a very defensive minded formation. This allows for a lot of defenders, so if you are being scored on a lot, think of using this. It allows for you to have a sweeper on defense, so if the rest of your defenders cant do it, the sweeper is still there. The main problem with this is that if you don’t have outside backs to help with the attack, the attack may lack some “flash” if you know what I mean…
| 5-3-2 (Defensive)
Counter it the same way you would counter the 5-2-3 formation…
This is an awkward formation. To counter it, use a 4-4-2. This allows you to have middies and defenders back to stop their four forwards, and also still be able to get back onto the offensive side of the ball. Use mixed passing to allow for a variation of long balls to your forwards, and some quick combination play through the midfield to try and release people to goal.
I would probably try a 4-4-2 against it myself. This still allows for the wing play that you have spoken of, but also allows for enough people to defend against the possible 6 people on the attack. Also, the four midfielders can hopefully control the midfield as well, since the other team has their middies split up into 'teams' of two's...
I Would counter this formation by using a 5-3-2 Sweeper formation. This will give you enough players to defend with, and the shape of the formation will (hopefully) render their forwards
Use the 3-5-2 or 4-5-1 formations again for all of the same reasons….
I would counter this formation by using a 3-5-2 formation or a 4-5-1 formation, maybe even a 5-3-2 formation. Your team’s failure will come from the other teams incredible numbers in the midfield so try and use a formation where your defense is solid, yet where you have enough people to have a good attack against their 3 defenders.
If you are wanting to create some “In-Game Instructions” then hopefully this advice of mine will help you. I will not be going through and writing every in game instruction, because you will find out y reading this that there are too many for me to want to type them all out
However, I will tell you this… (IMO)
I would only have formation changes where you change one defender to a midfield role or vice versa, or where one midfielder changes to a forward role or vice versa. If you make a change from a 5-3-2 formation to a 3-3-4 formation, then you will have such a big change that your team will not be able to adapt to the new formation quick enough and you will probably have a negative result. If you change from a 4-4-2 to a 4-5-1 formation however, you may find some success. It also depends on the other team’s formations and playing styles as well…so I would say some luck goes into this. Make sure you make substitutes in the positions on the field that have changed if the current player’s position is not what it has been changed to, ex: if a midfielder drops into defense, make sure he is a DM/CB or something like that, otherwise substitute him out so that an actual defender will fill in.