Reacting To Match Events
Listed below are some general basic scenarios that you will encounter in matches, along with some suggested tactical changes that you may want to consider making in each scenario.
You want to protect the current scoreline or defend against a very attacking opposition formation, but also make the most of attacking opportunities.
- A slightly more defensive mentality, perhaps combined with the Counter Attacking attacking style and a more cautious defending style.
- A more defensive formation, such as one with one or two players in the central defensive midfield position, or with wide defenders in the full back positions instead of the wing back positions.
- More defensive roles and duties for your wide defenders, especially if the opposition moves their wide attackers forward.
You want to hold onto the current scoreline, possibly against a very attacking opposition formation, and make little or no attempt to attack when in possession.
- A more defensive mentality, perhaps combined with a very cautious defending style, such as the Keeping Possession, Time Wasting or Clearing The Danger styles.
- A more defensive formation, with at least one player in the central defensive midfield position.
- More defensive roles and duties for your wide defenders.
The opposition team is playing more defensively and sitting deeper to try to hold on to a result.
- A more patient attacking style, such as the Passing Through The Defence or Attacking With Creative Wingers styles, to help to create gaps and space.
- Alternatively, a quicker attacking style that makes use of direct dribbling, such as the Running At The Defence style, to try to destabilise the opposition defence.
- Alternatively, a quicker attacking style that uses attackers who have good aerial presence (Jumping Reach) and physical presence (Balance and Strength) to take advantage of a deep opposition defence, such as the Playing To A Target Man or Attacking The Flanks styles.
- A more cautious defending style to try to encourage the opposition team forward when it has possession, making them more vulnerable when your team wins the ball back.
- Alternatively, a more aggressive defending style to try to win the ball back quickly and give your team more time in possession to try to break through the opposition, as well as to try to force and exploit mistakes by the opposition.
- More attacking roles and duties for your wide defenders.
You need to score quickly.
- A more attacking mentality and a more aggressive defending style, perhaps combined with a quicker attacking style, such as the Attacking The Flanks, Running At The Defence or Playing To a Target Man styles.
- A more attacking formation.
- More attacking roles and duties for your wide defenders.
Changes Made by the Opposition
In addition to considering tactical alterations in general scenarios such as those listed above, it is advisable look out for any formation changes and substitutions made by the opposition team. Ideally, you should also watch the match attentively, as discussed above, to observe the effects of any opposition changes on your tactic.
Whenever such changes are made you may want to consider whether a different tactical approach could be beneficial, make any necessary updates to your opposition instructions, and maybe make appropriate substitutions as discussed below.
The suggestions made in the Opposition Weaknesses and Strengths section of the Tactical Planning guide can help you to decide what types of tactics may be suitable if the opposition team makes fundamental changes to its set-up, while the Opposition Instructions guide provides advice on setting opposition instructions.
Opposition Player Performance
You should try to assess the performance and influence of opposition players while watching the match, paying particular attention to the space that they are getting when both off and on the ball and the level of threat that they are posing when on the ball.
You can also keep a regular check on the player ratings for the opposition team by using the opposition’s Team Ratings widget, accessed from widgets button at the bottom right of the Full Pitch screen. As well as showing individual player ratings, this widget allows you to see if any particular opposition player is carrying a knock. In addition, you can view both player ratings and the player statistics that contribute to each rating on the appropriate sections of the Stats tab.
If a particular opposition player is performing well or causing problems for your team then you may want to make tactical changes to restrict his threat if you did not do so pre-match. You can do this by:
- Giving a specific man marking instruction to a defensively capable player who is able to play in a position near to the target, as explained in the Tactical Planning guide.
- Setting appropriate opposition instructions for him, as explained in the Opposition instructions guide.
- Changing your formation slightly to help deal with the player, for example by using an extra central defensive midfielder if he is a central attacking player.
- Giving a more defensive role and duty to your player who is best positioned to defend against the targeted player, regardless of whether you give him a specific man marking instruction, so that he stays back more to cover.
If a particular opposition player is performing badly, then you may want to make tactical changes to exploit this weakness if you did not do so pre-match. You can do this by:
- Using the Exploit The Flanks, Exploit The Left/Right Flank or Exploit The Middle specific team instruction as appropriate to focus passing into his area of the pitch.
- Using a player whose abilities can exploit his weaknesses the most. For example, you might want to use a player who has good mobility (Acceleration, Agility and Pace) and attacking movement (Anticipation and Off The Ball) against a player who has poor mobility and marking ability (Marking, Anticipation, Concentration and Positioning), or a player who has good endeavour (Aggression and Work Rate) and physical presence (Balance and Strength) against a player who has poor endeavour and physical presence.
- Changing player roles and duties, and possibly your formation, so as to create overloads in that player’s area of the pitch. A more attacking player behind a supporting player can help to create overloads.
If a particular opposition player is tired or carrying a knock, then you may want to set a hard tackling opposition instruction for him to increase the likelihood of him picking up another knock, coming off injured or suffering a further fall in his condition.
Red Cards and Injuries
If your team goes a man down following a red card or injury then it is generally advisable to try to keep your formation defensively solid by forfeiting an attacking player.
You may also need to revise your expectations for the match. For example, a draw may become acceptable even if you originally targeted a win. Therefore, you may need to consider using a more defensive tactic to try to protect the current scoreline as suggested in the general scenarios above, or even just to try to keep your team in the match before potentially switching to a more attacking tactic later if there is still a chance to salvage a result.
If the opposition team goes a man down then you may want to make changes to exploit this, such as using a more attacking tactic as detailed for the scenario listed above where you need to score quickly. However, a quick attacking tactic may not necessarily be the best option as the opposition may choose to defend deep, which may require a more patient attacking approach as suggested above for such a scenario.