FIFA 20 Formations

There are over 30 formations on FIFA 20 and FIFA 19, making it very difficult to decide which system to use. Teams in real life are continually chopping and changing how they shape-up, but you will need to be more disciplined when taking to the field on FIFA 20.

 

Strengths: Another one of the most solid of the 5 at the back formations in terms of defensive set-up and overall structure. This is largely down to the packed area in the central areas whilst also having x 2 players on either wing. If you have 2 quick CM’s with good stamina you can still pose opposition defenders lots of problems. Excellent for seeing out the latter stages of games.
Weaknesses: The wing areas and the lone ST are huge weaknesses of a formation set-up like this. You HAVE to play the right way (see below) for a formation to work like this. All you have to do is look at our diagram to see what we mean by exposed areas.
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FIFA 20 Formations 5-4-1 Flat Guide

Strengths: The most solid of the five at the back formations in terms of defensive set-up and overall structure. This is mostly down to the extra CM, which in turn means the team shape has a better balance and can usually match other teams in midfield with the defense again being very hard to break down. If you have two quick forwards with good stamina, you can still pose opposition defenders lots of problems.
Weaknesses: Lacks the natural width playing with 3 CM's who needs to be balanced in terms of work rates. If the 3 CM's sit deeper, then options in the box are also limited. This is so the ST's aren't isolated for the entire game as it will be easy to defend against. The defensive work rates aren't as vital for the CM's, but if they can provide some cover to the back five then obviously it will make you harder to break down.
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FIFA Formations 5-3-2 Guide

Strengths: Definitely has a case for claiming to be the best formation for retaining possession of the ball as it has a bit of everything. The wide players provide key width to your play and the CM acts as the main playmaker which can provide the 2 CAM’s with ample space to join in with the ST to create plenty of goal scoring opportunities.
Weaknesses: The main problem which most people will find with this formation is the CM can sometimes become a little lost and caught out of position if you’re not used to using them as the focal point of your play. The tendency is to try and get the 2 CAM’s involved quicker which can backfire as they won’t have as much space to play. RM & LM’s with low defensive work rates can leave you exposed on the wing so try to have a medium for both attacking and defensive work rates for these players.
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FIFA Formations 5-2-1-2 Guide

Strengths: Definitely has a case for claiming to be the best formation for retaining possession of the ball as it has a bit of everything. The wide players provide key width to your play and the CM acts as the main playmaker which can provide the 2 CAM’s with ample space to join in with the ST to create plenty of goal scoring opportunities.
Weaknesses: The main problem which most people will find with this formation is the CM can sometimes become a little lost and caught out of position if you’re not used to using them as the focal point of your play. The tendency is to try and get the 2 CAM’s involved quicker which can backfire as they won’t have as much space to play. RM & LM’s with low defensive work rates can leave you exposed on the wing so try to have a medium for both attacking and defensive work rates for these players.
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FIFA Formations 4-5-1 Attack Guide

Strengths: has a case for claiming to be the best formation for retaining possession of the ball as it has a bit of everything. The wide players provide critical width to your play and the 3 CM's act as the playmakers who can provide lots of room for other players on the team to join in with the ST to create plenty of goal scoring opportunities.
Weaknesses: The main problem which most people will find with this formation is the CM's can sometimes become a tad too close and play on top of each other. It's crucial to select a mixture of work rates for your CM's as if you have 3 with the same they will all be too close. RM & LM's with low defensive work rates can leave you exposed on the wing so try to have medium or high for both attacking and defensive work rates for these players.
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FIFA Formations 4-5-1 Flat Guide

Strengths: Probably thought of as THE classic formation, but thought of as less ‘fashionable' in the days of 4-2-3-1 and 4-1-2-1-2. However, it is still a reasonably well-balanced formation and an effective one with the right squad of players. The 2 ST's obviously provide you with opportunities for the vastly dangerous 1-2 passing as well as holding the ball up in the final 3 rd of the pitch while the four midfielders join in the attack. As with the 4-4-1-1, the two sets of 4 in front of your GK will be hard to penetrate if you are organized defensively.
Weaknesses: A considerable disadvantage of this formation and probably the reason for its decline in popularity (particularly on FUT) is without the right players with the correct work rates you can be quickly overrun in the middle of the pitch and be left very prone to the counter-attack and your back four exposed. If the opposition has a deep-lying playmaker such as Pirlo, then they can find ample space to dictate the play, which is obviously something you want to try and avoid.
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FIFA Formations Guide 4-4-2 Flat

Strengths: Probably thought of as THE classic formation, but thought of as less “fashionable” and definitely, less used formation. However, this version of the 4-4-2, we like. It is still a fairly well-balanced formation and an effective one with the right squad of players. As with the other 4-4-2 formation, the 2 ST's provide you with opportunities for the vastly dangerous 1-2 passing as well as holding the ball up in the final 3 rd of the pitch. These are the key layers as well as the 2 CDM's. They make you a really hard unit to break down.
Weaknesses: A huge disadvantage of this formation and probably the reason for its decline in popularity (particularly on FUT) is without the right players with the correct work rates you can be easily overrun in the middle of the pitch. If you look at the diagram, you can see the huge gap in the CAM area. If the opposition has a deep-lying playmaker such as Pirlo, then they can find huge space to dictate the play, which is something you want to try and avoid.
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FIFA Formations Guide 4-4-2 Holding

Strengths: This is a superb formation for those who like to build slowly and patiently through the team. A key feature of this formation is to focus the play through a skillful, creative CF who acts as your link man feeding through balls to the ST and wide midfielders. Another huge positive is the rigidness of the defensive set-up. You will have ‘2 banks of 4’ so long as you’re disciplined and structured correctly, i.e. not pushing players out of position using secondary contain then you’ll be extremely hard to break down in both central and wide areas of the pitch.
Weaknesses: The Lack of ability to counter-attack can be a hindrance from time-to-time as the play will break down, but you’ll only have the CF and ST who are both central and available in front of the ball. If you have a CF who has a medium to high defensive work rate then sometimes the CF drops too deep and leaves you isolated up top so make sure you select your CF wisely.
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FIFA Formations Guide 4-4-1-1 Attack

Strengths: The FIFA 20 Formations 4-3-3 (5) is the least of our favorite versions of the various 4-3-3's you can choose as a default set-up (although they are all very similar). The 4-3-3's are one of the most famous formations, and this is understandable for a few reasons. It allows you to mix up your passing style with short passing in the middle as well as the option to hit the wings with more extended passing. The two wingers provide plenty of widths so crossing opportunities will be plentiful and a big reason for its popularity - it's an excellent formation for counter-attacking but if any of the 4-3-3 formations suits build-up play, it's this one with the CF/CAM.
Weaknesses: The main weakness is the Wide areas around midfield for this formation. Because you have a CAM/CF in there, this creates a diamond-like the 4-1-2-1-2 narrow formation which also is a weak formation down the flanks. 5-3-2 or the 3-5-2 can cause you problems if you face them with this formation.
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FIFA Formations Tips for 4-3-3 False Nine

Strengths: The FIFA Formations 4-3-3 (4) is the most attacking of the various 4-3-3's you can choose. The 4-3-3's are definitely one of the most popular formations and this is understandable for a few reasons. It allows you to mix up your passing style with short passing in the middle as well as the option to hit the wings with longer passing. The two wingers provide plenty of width so crossing opportunities will be plentiful and a big reason for its popularity - it's a great formation for counter attacking, particularly this version as all the midfield three will look to join attacks quickly.
Weaknesses: The main weakness is that there can be huge gaps left in the CDM area (which is why we prefer the other versions of the 4-3-3's). Be careful when selecting the type of player you use if you use this formation and pay attention to our work rate suggestions.
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FIFA Formations Tips for 4-3-3 Attack

Strengths: The 4-3-3 (3) is our one of our favorite version of the various 4-3-3's you can choose as a default set-up (although they are all very similar). The 4-3-3's are one of the most famous formations, and this is understandable for a few reasons. It allows you to mix up your passing style with short passing in the middle as well as the option to hit the wings with more extended passing. The two wingers provide plenty of widths so crossing opportunities will be plentiful and a big reason for its popularity - it's an excellent formation for counter-attacking. The two CDM's provide great cover.
Weaknesses: The main weakness is that the lone ST can be left exposed when going forward, especially if your wingers lack pace or have medium/high defensive work rates. The weakness of the 4-3-3 with three CM's is eradicated by the CDM's, especially if they have high defensive work rates.
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FIFA Formations Tips for 4-3-3 Defend

Strengths: This is easily one of the most famous formations on the game, and many people will use it versus you. You can see the Strength with the three men in the middle and the three attacking options up front, not to mention the back four. For this reason, the 4-3-3 is considered one of the most famous formations, and they are all very useful, balanced, and accessible within the game.
Weaknesses: This formation has little weaknesses, in our opinion, which is why it is one of our most used formations. If there is any, it's the lack of CAM or advanced midfielders to join in the central areas.
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FIFA Formations Tips for 4-3-3 Holding

Strengths: The 4-3-3 is one of the most famous formations, and this is understandable for a few reasons. It allows you to mix up your passing style with short passing in the middle as well as the option to hit the wings with more extended passing. The two wingers provide plenty of widths so crossing opportunities will be plentiful and a big reason for its popularity - it's an excellent formation for counter-attacking.
Weaknesses: The main weakness is that the lone ST can be left exposed when going forward, especially if your wingers lack pace or have medium/high defensive work rates. Another is related to the midfield 3, if your CM's have high attacking & low defensive work rates they leave your back 4 exposed, particularly if your opponent recognizes this and is playing a formation such as the FIFA Formations 4-2-2-2 or 4-3-2-1. Representing, as with the 4-3-2-1, at least one more defensive-minded midfielder is advisable.
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FIFA Formations Tips for 4-3-3 Fat

Strengths: Very similar to the formation above but with more focus on wide play. Works really well with two high work rate wide midfield men so they can overlap past the LF and RF. In terms of attack it is a very attacking formation and can become slightly unbalanced, especially if you lose the ball with many players pushed forward. If you are a player who enjoys to play with plenty of width and likes to cross the ball lots then this formation definitely would suit you. Gives the option of a big, powerful striker to get on the end of all those crosses coming in from wide areas.
Weaknesses: A big problem with this one is it is very prone to counter attacks especially if you have chosen wingers with high attacking work rates. If you have gone the opposite way and have wingers with low attacking but higher defensive work rates then this does give you slightly more protection. As mentioned in the 3-4-1-2 you need to have 3 quick CB’s and be comfortable in dealing with crosses if you are to choose this formation as wide areas can be left exposed. Key player/position: See the previous formation for an explanation on this selection. The 2 CM’s are crucial to this formations success.Most suited style of play: Quick, short, sharp passing in terms of build-up play with an attacking focus in particular.
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FIFA Formations Tips for 4-2-2-2

Strengths: Key strengths for this formation is the defensive structure of the composition. Think of the two banks of four players as horizontal lines (which would be hard to break down anyway) with an extra layer of protection moving across the pitch back on forth between. Possession play has lots of options, both short and spreading the play, particularly in your half of the field.
Weaknesses: A weakness for this formation is the lone striker (hence why we chose this man as the key man). As with a couple of previously mentioned one upfront formations, it’s clear that this player will become isolated and that this is easily the weakest area of the pitch.
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FIFA Formations Tips for 4-1-4-1

Strengths: This is another one of the most balanced formations (as with most that are similar to 4-4-2) in the game and gives you a little bit of everything which is obviously a plus point. It has strengths in it’s great passing options with good distances between most of the players on the pitch. This means you always have 2 or 3 passes available no matter where you are on the pitch.
Weaknesses: A weakness for this formation is the gap between the CM and the 2 ST’s. If you don’t select your CM and CDM carefully and methodically, then they can be exposed easily. The wide players, if they have the wrong work rates, can also mean this area in the more advanced wide areas can be deemed ‘weak’.
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FIFA Formations Tips for 4-1-3-2 Wide

Strengths: This is the most balanced formation in the game and gives you a little bit of everything which is a plus point. This formation, for some reason, wasn’t as famous at way back at the start of FIFA 14 but once a few players saw others having massive success with it, and tutorials appeared online, etc., it soon became one of the most used again. Its strength lies in great passing options. Even on the diagram above, you can see that all the pitch is covered with little gaps around each player. This means you always have 2 or 3 passes available no matter where you are on the ball.
Weaknesses: A weakness for this formation as with the 3-5-2 we find the RM and LM can be a little bypassed as the spine of your team is so muscular. Having a player like Ronaldo or Neymar in the LM position would be a little bit of a waste for us. Having someone like Bale who is a more all-round complete wide man is more beneficial so choose your wide players wisely.
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Strengths: This is, as we discussed earlier on, the most balanced formation in the game and gives you a little bit of everything. Not as popular as it once was (especially on FUT) but still definitely one of the most famous formations. Its strength lies in great passing options. Even on the diagram above, you can see that all the pitch is covered with little gaps around each player. The tight diamond in midfield means that if you’re running with this set-up against a team with 3 in midfield, you can dominate that area.
Weaknesses: A weakness for this formation is obviously, the lack of width because of that tight midfield quadrant. Playing against a 4-4-2 or the 4-2-3-1 and you’re running the risk of leaving plenty of space for opposition wide players. You need strong full backs because they may be outnumbered on numerous occasions if you don’t play this formation correctly.
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Strengths: This formation was overlooked on FIFA 18 (not by us though!) and became ever more popular on FIFA 19. It is now, even years later considered (although not as high as previous versions of the game) as one of the most solid of all the formations. The reason for this is that the 3-5-2, despite only having three defenders, is very solid defensively. It is very compact (2 CDM's mostly help to make it small) which helps in keeping possession, and if playing ultra-defensive or defensive then you will likely have around seven players around the ball to keep the ball and build play from the back.
Weaknesses: There are only a couple of slight negatives we can find with the 3-5-2. The first being in vast areas. We find that sometimes the game can bypass the RM & LM leaving them slightly redundant. They aren't high enough to contribute to the attack, and reasonably often they leave space in behind them for wingers of the opposition to exploit. Secondly, it is the very center of the park. If the 2 CDM's sit deep and the CAM pushes into the attack, this can leave 20/30 yards of space in the very center of the pitch if you come up against a formation with 3 x CM's such as in the 4-3-2-1 creation they can get a lot of space and hurt you.
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Strengths: The new formation for FIFA 20 is powerful, defensively. Its strength lies in the pyramid of players at the base of the picture. It will almost be impenetrable! A further advantage is the excellent passing options within the central area as well as the great ability to counter-attack. On the diagram above, you can see that all the pitch is covered with little gaps around each player in that strong, highlighted area. This means you will always have 2 or 3 passes, which can quickly open up space.
Weaknesses: A weakness for this formation is that the ST can become isolated, and if you don’t have a physical player who is going to able to hold up play while your players join in. The perfect option for this, and the key players highlighted in the picture is power and pace. If you can find three players with this, then this formation won’t have any substantial weak areas.
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Strengths: The 3-4-3 plays very similar to 3-4-2-1 and is very similar in terms of strengths. The main difference and strength is in wide areas where you can still double up and cause the opposition problems. The LW/RW's definitely play wider than the RF/LF in 3-4-2-1, and again is a great formation for a target man in the striker position.
Weaknesses: Again, similar weaknesses to the 3-4-2-1 and can cause problems particularly against a quick counter attack team such as Real Madrid. Another problem is sometimes getting caught short up top with a lone striker and definitely needs defenders with good speed and acceleration.
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Strengths: This formation gives you a considerable amount of attacking formations, with a healthy spine. We tend to stay away from this formation until we're really in desperate measures then we don't deploy this formation, but that isn't to say it's any good. On the diagram above, you can see that there is a clear line down the center of the pitch. This means you will always have options through the middle as well as x2 wide players when the wide midfielders join the attack.
Weaknesses: Perhaps one of the most exposed areas of any formation in the game. Looking at the diagram alone can show you that. If, as we said, the wide players push on, then you can easily be caught out in more extensive areas. If the CB's get pulled out of position, then this can cause serious issues, particularly if you face someone skilled with the crossing mechanics.
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Strengths: Very similar to the formation above but with more focus on wide play. Works really well with two high work rate wide midfield men so they can overlap past the LF and RF. In terms of attack it is a very attacking formation and can become slightly unbalanced, especially if you lose the ball with many players pushed forward. If you are a player who enjoys to play with plenty of width and likes to cross the ball lots then this formation definitely would suit you. Gives the option of a big, powerful striker to get on the end of all those crosses coming in from wide areas.
Weaknesses: A big problem with this one is it is very prone to counter attacks especially if you have chosen wingers with high attacking work rates. If you have gone the opposite way and have wingers with low attacking but higher defensive work rates then this does give you slightly more protection. As mentioned in the 3-4-1-2 you need to have 3 quick CB’s and be comfortable in dealing with crosses if you are to choose this formation as wide areas can be left exposed. Key player/position: See the previous formation for an explanation on this selection. The 2 CM’s are crucial to this formations success.Most suited style of play: Quick, short, sharp passing in terms of build-up play with an attacking focus in particular.
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Strengths: Very similar to the formation above but with more focus on wide play. Works really well with two high work rate wide midfield men so they can overlap past the LF and RF. In terms of attack it is a very attacking formation and can become slightly unbalanced, especially if you lose the ball with many players pushed forward. If you are a player who enjoys to play with plenty of width and likes to cross the ball lots then this formation definitely would suit you. Gives the option of a big, powerful striker to get on the end of all those crosses coming in from wide areas.
Weaknesses: A big problem with this one is it is very prone to counter attacks especially if you have chosen wingers with high attacking work rates. If you have gone the opposite way and have wingers with low attacking but higher defensive work rates then this does give you slightly more protection. As mentioned in the 3-4-1-2 you need to have 3 quick CB’s and be comfortable in dealing with crosses if you are to choose this formation as wide areas can be left exposed. Key player/position: See the previous formation for an explanation on this selection. The 2 CM’s are crucial to this formations success.Most suited style of play: Quick, short, sharp passing in terms of build-up play with an attacking focus in particular.
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FIFA 20 Formations Tips for 4-2-4

Strengths: A huge strength of this formation is possession play. If you are the type of player who prefers to keep possession and building up play slowly and precisely then this will be a great choice for you. The 3 CM's allow you to make short effective passes and working with the CF, especially a deeper-lying CF will act as the playmaker in the team and you'll find he gets a lot of time and space on the ball. Get the CF on the ball and you'll be threading the through balls into the ST's or finding room for a shot from distance plenty of times.
Weaknesses: Make sure to check your CM's work rates. If all 3 like to push on you're definitely going get caught short or outnumbered in the middle of the park. A fairly big weakness in this formation is in the full-back area. They can often get caught 2 on 1 due to there not being any LM/RM's to provide extra defensive cover. If you come up against a formation we have discussed before such as the 3-4-2-1 where you have 2 wide players on each side this could lead to a very frustrating game for you.
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FIFA 20 Formations Tips for 4-3-1-2

Strengths: Formerly, one of our favorite formations because of its variety in attack. If you want to keep possession, much like the 4-3-1-2 is a Good formation to do this with. The 3 CM's give you great control over the central areas of the field and if you come up against a 4-4-2 or a FIFA Formations 4-1-2-1-2, then you'll be outnumbering them in the middle and can control the game from there. Our favorite point is the three frontmen working closely together. Get an LF/RF with a high attacking work rate, and you're going to be causing their defense all kinds of problems.
Weaknesses: The weaknesses are similar to 4-3-1-2 again. If your CM's have high attacking work rates, then you're going to be generally getting caught short or outnumbered in the middle of the pitch, a crucial area in a game of football. Make sure at least 1 of the CM's (preferably the middle one) has a high defensive work rate with a medium attacking work rate at the most.
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FIFA 20 Formations Tips for 4-3-2-1