WARNING: This might be a long post, but if you are bored of the same old 4231 and want to find a fun and rewarding way to break down drop backs then this is worth the look!
These past 3 weeks, ive been trying out the 433False Nine formation (along with 41212(2) at times). Im usually your average G3, maybe sometimes G2 if lucky player. However these past 3 weeks have been much different for me. On the first weekend of me trying out this tactic, I finished 16-14, losing last game 4-3 AET. On the 2nd weekend I finished 19-11 which is my highest so far, unfortunately I lost on penalties on my final game which led me to not reach Gold 1! And last weekend I finished 11-5, sadly I didnt have time to play all my games. Ill first talk about this formation in general and why its important. Then ill provide you guys with my team, custom tactics and instructions.
Anyways, the reason why 433(5) is so good is because of the drop-back meta thats going around right now. If you see the shape of 433(5), it is pretty obvious that this formation is balanced in every way:
- 4 standard defenders
- 3 man midfield with a CDM thats fluidly transferrable into a 4 man midfield if desired
- Despite the overloaded midfield, IT HAS WIDTH! The wingers provide essential plays and drag out the centered defense
- The CF plays between the midfielders and the defenders, this will cause chaos on who will mark who. When the CF is marked by their CDM, your CMs will have more space down the middle because their fullbacks and centrebacks are also occupied with your wingers
- Passing Triangles everywhere; between the 3 mids, between 2CM and CF, between CF, CM and LW/RW, between LB/RB, CM and LW/RW, between 2 CB and CDM. You are never out of options to pass
Playstyle: ♻️ 🗑 ♻️
- Use the triangles to escape the opposition press by using short quick passing. Naturally this will mean that ATLEAST one of RW/LW, LB/RB, CF will have an open space that you can loft the ball into and start the recycling process. Basically its pass-pass-pass-change positions-pass-pass-pass and recycle the ball until one of your players make a run into open space.
Why? Because having a recycling possession triangle means that all the players who dont have the ball will be constantly on the move. Pass, move, pass, move. You can help this process by also using the L1 pass aswell. This also means that the constant recycling of the ball and shifting of positions will let the opponents defenders manmark and inevitably leave space. If you watch most players in div 6-3, you can see that they make a mistake when they apply pressing and a 2nd man press and so their defenders are caught out of possession. This will happen even if they are on drop back since the dumbass AI makes an attempt at an interception they cant win, exposing their backline.
Theres nothing more satisfying than when you are passing the ball patiently in the middle of the park, shifting sides, letting the opponents run, then when your opponents press you hard to win the ball, you do the recycling process all over again, only for this time when one of your players make then rocket bursting run, you just loft or through ball that motherfucker and suddenly your players are 3,4 on 1 against the keeper, even if they are playing a 1 depth drop back.
The key here is creativity IMO. Creativity and patience. Do anything to keep the ball. Fake shots. Roulettes. Spins. No look passes. Drag backs. You guys remember when we were in our amateur teams the coach would make us play monkey in the middle? Its like that, except theres more defenders and your players move alot more. Just know to try daring passing moves and to enjoy yourself. Because this is the only thing that makes all those short passes worthwhile. However, this formation and playstyle isnt just about short passing and acting like thats the godsend. If you watch real life football, you’ll know that long passes are just as important. In fact, I would say vision and long passing stats are really important here. Theres two reasons why long passing is important in this formation:
1) because your passing area might and actually will get too congested. There will be passes you just cant make anymore, and when this happens, shifting the ball to the other wing or even back to your defense will allow you to retain that important recycling ♻️ that im talking about
2) It helps start counter attacks. Another beauty of this formation and playstyle is that you don’t have to only play slow build up football and walk it into the net like Arsenal. Especially if you have pacy wingers you can launch the balls into them after you open up the play.
SO, now that I explained why this formation is rewarding; lets get to my team and the tactics ingame
DEFENSE: – Press after possession loss – 6 WIDTH – 4-5 DEPTH – The reason why its such low depth compared to other attacking formations is, IMO when you are passing your way up, it doesnt really matter where your depth is. And now especially with counter attacking meta you dont want to get caught too far up the pitch all the time. 5 depth is perfect balance of defense and attack. If you are wary then you can try at 4 too.
ATTACK: – Possession – 7 WIDTH – 7-8 Get in the box – 3 CK – 3 FK – You want high width to drag out that congested, impossible to break down defense. You want your wingers to be marked constantly so that it opens up lanes for your CMs and CF. And vice versa. – The reason for such high get in the box is simple, when you are dominant in the attacking thirds, you want your wingers and CF to make runs into the box alot. Or else they tend to stay outside the box alot, which could hinder your attacks
GK: Any OP keeper, long throws and speed preferred. Im using De Gea
Fullbacks: Balanced. Conservative. Overlap. You want them to be balanced purely because the more attacking options you have the better. They will also allow your wingers to get tucked in and play as 2nd strikers at times. You want this. Conversative interceptions are because I feel like fullbacks in this game gets caught out of position WAYY too much when the AI tries to let them intercept balls they cannot win. Im using HL Carvajal-FB Baines and FB Alves-Alba as my pairings. All got a good combination of pace, defending and crossing stats, which are the most important for the fullbacks.
Centrebacks: Stay back. Normal int. This is pretty standard. But an important stat to see in defenders is passing and pace. You need all your defenders to be agile and fast so that escaping your opposition press becomes simpler. They are the first line of your teams attack. I prefer having one CB whos well rounded and can pass well, and other one more the aggressive bulldog like player. Im using Ramos-Bailly and SIF Alvaro-FS Jesus as my pairings.
CDM: Stay back. Normal int. Cut passing lanes. Cover center.. Cutting passing lanes can be balanced too, but I want my CDM to be essentially the 3rd CB and suffocate the opponent in terms of defense by limiting their passing options. Usually I dont consider passing to be too important in this position. What matters most is Defending and Physical. This position is essential in becoming the rock of your whole team and winning the ball back so you can start the attack again. I also dont like it when my CDM has too low agility and balance. I am using Allan and OTW Witsel as my CDMs of my two teams.
CMs: Get forward. One of the CM get in the box, other one stay outside the box. Normal int. Cover wings.. In my opinion, these are the most important positions in the game. Your CMs need to be the jack of all trades. They need to be quick, they need physicality, they need good passing and shooting. They will be attacking ALOT. But they will also defend alot. So this means stamina is most essential. They need good shooting for when they are in good positions. This also provides variety in your attacks. Because you essentially attack with 5 players (CF, CM,CM, LW, RW) and any one of them could get in position to score. I have Pogba at get in the box and Scream Forsberg at stay outside the box for long shots. But both of them gets forward at intervals. Scream Forsberg especially for me is an underrated gem and he is one of the most important players in my team. I am also using Paulinho who has decent shooting and all around stats, and Scream Koke whos a fast dribbling beast in my other team.
Wingers: Stay forward. Normal Int. Get in behind. Get into the box. One of them cut inside, other one free roam. Get in behind and get into the box allows your Wingers to become the 2nd striker when the time comes. And with high get in the box instructions on ATTACK, you can be assured that they will be making decisive runs from being out wide. Its really unique as I believe 7 width and 8 get in the box compliments each other nicely in a 433(5). For my LWs, I am using POTM Rashford in team 1 and George Best in team 2. Both are good physically, fast af, good dribblers, can take on a man and most of all, has mean shots. This means that naturally they are the ones with cut inside instructions. They essentially become my 2nd strikers. For my RWs, I am using FB Gotze in team 1 and Griezmann in team 2. Both of them are at Free Roam but also on get in behind. This allows them to join in the midfield to form a FIVE-GUY team. They help alot in the process of recycling the ball, and when your LW gets involved, they go back to their RW positions and provide width that you can shift back into.
THE CF: Stay forward. Stay central. Get in behind
My oh my, the epitome of this formation. First of all, the reason why its get in behind instead of balanced or false 9 is because, regardless of those instructions, the CF still works around the same midfield-attack area. So get in behind allows them to make their own runs into the box when its time to do so. I have two different CFs in both my teams. One is a big, tanky, beast whos a bit clunky but good at everything. That is FB Ibra. He has so good passing and dribbling which are important. His agility at 84 means he can turn around quick enough for the change of play. He can shoot wildly from far or tap in, so no worries there. But most importantly, the CF needs to be able to hold up the play well along with the CM. Because the CF-CM-CMs are the 3 top positions in this team. So holding the play while their teammates find space is atmost crucial. My other CF is FB Pato. Who despite some meh passing, makes it up for his brilliant positioning and dribbling and pace. This is more an Aguero-Messi type CF. With him I try more selfish plays and dribbling. Usually its dribble a bit, stop, pass the ball, find space, repeat.
Doing these made me love fifa again. I was so fed up with 4231 and 433(4). Of course, you dont have to run this 433(5) formation through the entire game. What I do is, start with a 4222 or 41212(2), try to take control of the game fast, and switch to 433(5) as im getting comfortable. This is essentially the dominance aspect. As for defending leads and I must defend in the last 10 minutes, I usually switch to a 5212 which is pretty similar to a 41212(2) but more defensive. Anyways hope you found this guide helpful and intuitive. I appreciate you reading this and if you made it this far without skipping, then I believe you deserve a W. Suggestions or any other comments and questions are welcome of course!
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