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Chat Finding the 4-1-4-1 incredibly difficult to break down


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As the title says. Just wondering if others are in the same boat here. I've made a few tactics so far that are working wonders for me at the moment, all with quite different styles of play. But every time I come across a 4-1-4-1 team, usually playing defensive/contain, my team really struggles to even get shots off. As an example, in my last 20 games on one of my current saves I averaged 20 shots a game, not including those against teams playing the mentioned formation. In those games I averaged a measly 4 shots. This is with me making changes at half time to try and breakdown their defence (turning on run at defence, switching to a faster tempo, playing wider). I was hoping someone might be willing to offer some insight as to why I'm struggling so much against these teams. How do you break them down? I'm only posting now as in my current saves this formation is becoming increasingly more common, especially in the 2nd half of the season. 

Edited by itzChris92
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How many strikers are you playing? I’m finding super attacking tactics are working way better for me at the moment since the update, probably not realistic but FMM isn’t really, if you’re struggling in a game, stick 2/3 people up front, AI can’t handle it.

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7 minutes ago, RichD said:

How many strikers are you playing? I’m finding super attacking tactics are working way better for me at the moment since the update, probably not realistic but FMM isn’t really, if you’re struggling in a game, stick 2/3 people up front, AI can’t handle it.

Funnily enough most of the tactics I've got atm are 1 at the top. Mainly preparing for some different challenges. I am playing very attacking football usually, but I'll try stick an extra man up front when I need the wins and see how it pans out. Scoring for fun against most other teams atm though. 

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1 minute ago, itzChris92 said:

Funnily enough most of the tactics I've got atm are 1 at the top. Mainly preparing for some different challenges. I am playing very attacking football usually, but I'll try stick an extra man up front when I need the wins and see how it pans out. Scoring for fun against most other teams atm though. 

Yeah I haven’t used just the one up top recently so haven’t encountered it, but it does seem like a lot of people are having that difficulty. The better your team gets, the more defensive teams get, which is realistic I guess, but very annoying 😂

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3 minutes ago, RichD said:

Yeah I haven’t used just the one up top recently so haven’t encountered it, but it does seem like a lot of people are having that difficulty. The better your team gets, the more defensive teams get, which is realistic I guess, but very annoying 😂

The last time was on hole 8 😂

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Just now, broodje kip said:

The last time was on hole 8 😂

Yeah I can’t remember how I did tbh 😂

I do use inside forwards with my CF though, maybe that helps😁

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8 hours ago, RichD said:

Yeah I can’t remember how I did tbh 😂

I do use inside forwards with my CF though, maybe that helps😁

I've been testing IFs after our chat on your Bruno thread and I must say they work very well. They seem to be much more reliable at assisting than Wingers, atleast in my current setup. Think this is mainly down to how difficult it is to max aerial compared to last year though in all honesty. I always preferred IFs on my non-challenge tactics but that may change now. Plenty more viable options for the IF roles too

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Yes an opposition 4141 caused some initial problems when I was playing as Man Utd in the first season. 

While it depends on which team you are and how your team plays, here is how I’ve mostly solved it. Apologies for the detail, but don’t have a visual tactics board to hand!

———

I was playing a 4231 - Rashford as an IF on one side (left) Lingard/Greenwood as an IW on the other side (right), with Bruno Fernandes in the middle as an AMC / AP, and Martial up front as a lone AF. But against an opposition 4141 we struggle to make good chances.

There was a consistent problem visible in the highlights, with a number of knock on implications ...

  • Key point: my AP (Bruno) was marked by the opposition DMC...
  • ... this meant neither of the opposition’s D.C. needed to push up to close Bruno down, so there was less space for my 3 forwards to get in behind.
  • ... this also meant my 2 MC were both man marked by the opposition’s MCs, so they had less opportunities for long shots.
  • Of course with Martial upfront, there wasn’t many aerial chances from crosses ...
  • ... plus when the opposition are playing contain / defensive, there are fewer chances to go long / get behind their defensive line.

This was mostly solved with a few tactical tweaks.

  1. Move the existing AMC / AP (Bruno) slightly to the right, as an AP centre-right (AMRC)
  2. Moved an MC (Pogba / Fred) forward as an AM in an AMLC position (next to Bruno).
  3. Then move the remaining MC into a central position (e.g. as a BWM).
  4. ... and move forward the IF/IW to a fully front 3 - IF left (Rashford), AF central (Martial) and a AF right (Lingard / Greenwood).
  5. ... sometimes I’d also change the full backs to be IWBs, to provide more passing options in midfield.

This gives a 4123: with IWBs, a central BWM, a AM and AP playing centrally next to each other in advanced positions, and three up front across the full width.

So what?

  • This meant the front 3 we’re making more penetrative runs inbetween / behind the defence, as they were positioned further forward.
  • As we had 2xAMC (AM & AP), there were more times where an opposition D.C. had to push up to close them down, leaving space inbetween / behind.
  • Key point - the central opposition DMC was often ‘slightly’ out of position marking my main AMRC (Bruno), as my guy was positioned slightly to the right, so had slightly more time on his right foot (Bruno’s preferred foot) to play a through ball into my central or right sided forwards (Martial or Greenwood - also into their preferred foot).

This meant my AMRC (Bruno) got the ball with a bit more space from the opposition DMC, so the opposition D.C. pushes up to close him down, allowing space behind that D.C. for my central or right-sided forwards to attack. Was worth a few extra shots a game.

I also noticed that my IWBs had more build up play, occasionally meaning an opposition MCR pushes up to close them down, which means the opposition MCR isn’t marking Pogba / Fred (who is now in the AMLC position), so my AMLC has more free time - to either shoot from distance, or attract the opposition DCR to close them down (giving space for my left sided attacker to attack), or the opposition DMC closes them down, giving more space to my AMRC (Fernandes).

Especially if I made these changes at half time, and ramped up the mentality gradually during the second half, I’d often get more chances & a goal.

Depends who you are and how you play, but maybe worth a try. Did that make sense?

Edited by DanEnglish
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1 hour ago, DanEnglish said:

Yes an opposition 4141 caused some initial problems when I was playing as Man Utd in the first season. 

While it depends on which team you are and how your team plays, here is how I’ve mostly solved it. Apologies for the detail, but don’t have a visual tactics board to hand!

———

I was playing a 4231 - Rashford as an IF on one side (left) Lingard/Greenwood as an IW on the other side (right), with Bruno Fernandes in the middle as an AMC / AP, and Martial up front as a lone AF. But against an opposition 4141 we struggle to make good chances.

There was a consistent problem visible in the highlights, with a number of knock on implications ...

  • Key point: my AP (Bruno) was marked by the opposition DMC...
  • ... this meant neither of the opposition’s D.C. needed to push up to close Bruno down, so there was less space for my 3 forwards to get in behind.
  • ... this also meant my 2 MC were both man marked by the opposition’s MCs, so they had less opportunities for long shots.
  • Of course with Martial upfront, there wasn’t many aerial chances from crosses ...
  • ... plus when the opposition are playing contain / defensive, there are fewer chances to go long / get behind their defensive line.

This was mostly solved with a few tactical tweaks.

  1. Move the existing AMC / AP (Bruno) slightly to the right, as an AP centre-right (AMRC)
  2. Moved an MC (Pogba / Fred) forward as an AM in an AMLC position (next to Bruno).
  3. Then move the remaining MC into a central position (e.g. as a BWM).
  4. ... and move forward the IF/IW to a fully front 3 - IF left (Rashford), AF central (Martial) and a AF right (Lingard / Greenwood).
  5. ... sometimes I’d also change the full backs to be IWBs, to provide more passing options in midfield.

This gives a 4123: with IWBs, a central BWM, a AM and AP playing centrally next to each other in advanced positions, and three up front across the full width.

So what?

  • This meant the front 3 we’re making more penetrative runs inbetween / behind the defence, as they were positioned further forward.
  • As we had 2xAMC (AM & AP), there were more times where an opposition D.C. had to push up to close them down, leaving space inbetween / behind.
  • Key point - the central opposition DMC was often ‘slightly’ out of position marking my main AMRC (Bruno), as my guy was positioned slightly to the right, so had slightly more time on his right foot (Bruno’s preferred foot) to play a through ball into my central or right sided forwards (Martial or Greenwood - also into their preferred foot).

This meant my AMRC (Bruno) got the ball with a bit more space from the opposition DMC, so the opposition D.C. pushes up to close him down, allowing space behind that D.C. for my central or right-sided forwards to attack. Was worth a few extra shots a game.

I also noticed that my IWBs had more build up play, occasionally meaning an opposition MCR pushes up to close them down, which means the opposition MCR isn’t marking Pogba / Fred (who is now in the AMLC position), so my AMLC has more free time - to either shoot from distance, or attract the opposition DCR to close them down (giving space for my left sided attacker to attack), or the opposition DMC closes them down, giving more space to my AMRC (Fernandes).

Especially if I made these changes at half time, and ramped up the mentality gradually during the second half, I’d often get more chances & a goal.

Depends who you are and how you play, but maybe worth a try. Did that make sense?

Thank you for such an in depth response. Very helpful. I am actually using the same formation as you, with some different roles. You've given me a lot of food for thought and I'll let you know how we fare. Cheers

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Alternately I force play down the flanks and/or make one of my deeper midfielders the playmaker and converting the player opposing the DM to a Shadow Striker.
By using the Shadow Striker, they put pressure on the on the DM and the CDs to win the ball back high up the pitch.

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19 hours ago, RichD said:

How many strikers are you playing? I’m finding super attacking tactics are working way better for me at the moment since the update, probably not realistic but FMM isn’t really, if you’re struggling in a game, stick 2/3 people up front, AI can’t handle it.

This is proven, the 4-1-2-3 works very well when I play with it, especially with narrow, attacking

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