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Blog #13 Offsides with vVv michs09 (1) FIFA Friday Series

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So I’m going to be putting out a new blog each week on FIFA Fridays where I break down teams, tactics, and formations in FIFA 12. Also if you’re into Ultimate Team mode, I can gladly go into detail about making money, getting top players, hidden gems, and differences in gameplay.

In my first entry, I’m going to breakdown one of the most commonly used formations over the past few years of FIFA. The 4-1-2-1-2

If you’ve ever played FIFA online then running into the 4-1-2-1-2 is inevitable. So what makes this formation so popular??

The Answer!! - It allows for so many different FIFA styles to coexist within a formation -- Keep Reading


The 4-1-2-1-2 provides a defensive stonewall with 4 defenders in the back and then a DM who can roam and win headers freely. Plus if you play defensive or ultra-defensive on tactics your outside mids will always come back and defend the wings. If your style has always been of a defensive mastermind, then your options on offense are usually a quick counter attack, or a slower build up depending on where you steal the ball from your opponent.

Wings / Possession

This type of player has blossomed more and more as FIFA gameplay continues to get slower with each new title. Slower gameplay = more time on the ball, tricks become more important, and fewer goals can win you matches…. Personally I hate playing “smart possession” players because they won’t get rattled by pressure and you need to be focused for the entire match. If their good at moving the ball around don’t expect too many error passes, which means less possessions for you to score. A great way to break anyone’s tactics is an early goal, because then you’re able to control the pace of the match.

Wing players are a little different because a solid wing player doesn’t have to overload on possession if they have perfected their craft. You see a lot of wing players in formations like 4-3-3, but expect to see plenty in the 4-1-2-1-2 because it offers two easy triangles that allow for outlet passing down the lines. The 4-1-2-1-2 can also sucker your opponent into the middle so a nicely timed through ball out to the wings can provide open crosses all game long. If your opponent chooses a larger team, or at least a team with forwards who sacrifice speed for size expect to be defending crosses a lot throughout the match. (Chelsea, Bayern Munich, Germany, AC Milan)

Pressing / Attacking

A pressing or attacking player in a 4-1-2-1-2 is going to “Gamble”, this type of opponent is not looking for a close game but rather to exert his dominance in each matchup. Being able to press opponents is key for forcing turnovers but there is an art to the technique. One of the largest mistakes I see online is players “blind pressing”, what this means is people over press and forget the basics leaving themselves exposed for big plays. The easiest way to beat blind pressing, is simply pass the ball back and then go forward… A lot of players don’t handle pressure that well and forget you can always go backwards, not each pass has to go towards your opponent’s goal. So lay it off and then hit your opponent with an over the top lobbed through ball…

I’ve never chosen to use the 4-1-2-1-2 in tournaments, because after using the formation plenty and experimenting I really dislike when I play against other top players in a mirrored formation. When playing against another opponent using the same formation especially in the 4-1-2-1-2 it often cancels each other out and leads to a frustrating nail biter type of game where it’s difficult to progress the ball.

To any new FIFA players, I recommend trying out the 4-1-2-1-2 and for even experienced players this formation provides extreme balance and in my opinion is one of the best default formations in terms of defense.

If you have any questions, or want to see a blog over specific FIFA related content... Feel free to ask me via twitter: @michs09usa

As of right now, next week’s blog is going to focus on “Why does everyone use Real Madrid?”

Below is a sample of a 4-1-2-1-2 designed for crossing


vVv Medusa and vVv LordJerith like this
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Nice write up!, a bit OT here .. this is the formation I coach for High School soccer, we just call it 4-4-2 with a diamond middle which ends up looking just like the 4-1-2-1-2. The only difference is our strikers, like to run them a bit off set to each other like this.

Never got into EA FIFA, always frustrated me how fake it was at times and in some cases disrespects the real game.

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funny story about fifa... was at a lan center and some guy challenged me to a game in fifa... and me never played it before of course said YEA BOY BRING IT ON

had no idea what i was doing but beat him in extra time. been playing fifa ever since.


nice writeup... your knowledge for the game is amazing.

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@Dark Yeah strikers should never be flat, I've played CF all my life and making runs is so key to any sort of success in soccer

@nocontrol appreciate it, and you won't beat me :)

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I know absolutely nothing about FIFA, but this still kind of relates to other games that need set ups. Good write up over all and I'm looking forward to seeing more of these :}

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