Defending Timed Finesse for Beginners

FIFA19 4 - Defending Timed Finesse for Beginners

This tutorial is aimed at helping mid-low tier division players defend against timed finesse. I don’t find timed finesse that big of a problem in Div 1/2 play, namely because most players know how to defend against it. That’s not to say you never see it, but in my view the vast majority of attempts are blocked. Against good players, this will not phase them. But against lower level players who rely on the finesse shot as their sole offensive move—this should work.

1.The Drag Back

If you’re up against a rampant drag back user do not panic! Drag back users who utilize the skill have no interest in breaking your defense down and building play. They have no interest in crossing it in the box or playing give-and-go. Their sole goal is to create a bit of space to fire a finesse shot on goal. Important things to know about the drag back: 1. the user does not utilize sprint, 2. It has multiple “exits,” and 3. It’s incredibly turnover prone.

To defend against the ball roll, hold down L2 (jockey) and hold the right stick about medium distance away from the offensive player. Do not press. Do not hold sprint. You will need the acceleration and burst later. Sit back and wait for the “ball roll” animation. His exit is irrelevant unless he “back exits.” In which case you will foul him.

Once the roll animation begins, release the jockey (L2) button and sprint full on towards the player. If he forward exits towards you, your defender will aggressively tackle. If he left exits away from you, or right exits away from you, your player will start to immediately grab on. You may not dispossess but you make shooting difficult for him.


Weakness: a good player will give and go against you here the second you jockey. But if you see that develop, pull back on the right stick as far away as possible, release jockey the moment the ball is released on the give, fake to the target, and shade back to the runner.

  1. Defending the Shot
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“Dude that didn’t work. I’m up against a pro who is using multiple methods to create space. He’s getting his shot off with or without the ball roll.”

Key here is to understand what your opponent wants to do. You know if he’s walking down towards the bottom sideline, he’s trying to place the ball on his right foot and nail a shot top right. You know if he’s walking up towards the top sideline he’s trying to place the ball on his left foot and nail it top left.

My advice here is to go where he wants to go. If he begins to travel towards that bottom sideline, quickly hold jockey, pull the right stick all the way back and down, and get into his shooting lane. If he shoots, it will be a deflection. If he immediately turns the other way, hold down R1. A second defender will meet him and he will be forced to pass out of that trap.

Key here is to immediately release R1 on the pass. Goal isn’t to tackle. Goal is to contain and force the one-dimensional user to take an errant shot or make a bad pass.

Hope this helps!

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