Defending in FIFA 19 is tricky as it is different from previous versions of the game and there are a number of new techniques and features that you need to get comfortable with before you will be defending to the best of your ability.
By holding down L2/LT when you are in control of you defender they will “jockey” which is to move side to side while they face the player with the ball. This means that they are in a good position to put in a tackle whatever way the attacker with the ball moves.
When the attackers moves close to you then you can then press the tackle button to put in a standing tackle.
Put Your Opponent Under Pressure With Multiple Players
When you are in control of your defender, holding down R1/RB will make another of your players, the closest player to the ball, will start to close down your opponent who has the ball.
In the latest version of the game slide tackles are quite powerful however as with most versions and real life football slide tackling should be used as a last resort or when you are sure you will get the ball. Missing the ball and fouling your opponent with a slide tackle will result in a foul and, in most situations, at least a yellow card. Whatever you do, don’t slide tackle from behind or directly to the side of your opponent.
This is a new feature that has been brought into the latest version of the game and this tackling system uses a number of stats to determine whether your player or your opponent will come away with the ball.
Use Dynamic Tactics to Improve Your Defending
Dynamic Tactics is a new system brought into the game as part of FIFA 19 and allows you to specify five sets of different formation, tactics, instructions and roles. We have a guide to Dynamic Tactics here.
With this control, you can help your defending by having a range of different formations that allow you defend against different types of attack.
This refers to the switching of the player that you are in control of. The way that most people switch players is to use L1/LB to switch to the player that is nearest to the ball. However, you will often want to control a defender that is further away from the ball than this to cover space and anticipate what your opponent will do. You can have more control over which player you will switch control to by using the right stick and moving it in the direction where the player that you want to control is.
Don’t Use Sprinting All of the Time
There are a number of reasons why you shouldn’t spring constantly. It’s easy to think that this will help you but in tight spaces this will mean that you have less of a chance to make a successful tackle as you will be more unbalanced.
Time Your Tackles Correctly
When trying to get the ball from your opponent it’s important that you don’t spam the tackle button as the opponent may change direction if you press the tackle button too early and go past you quite easily.
Don’t Concede Goals From Crosses
Crossing is a bit more powerful in FIFA 19 that the previous version of the game which means that you need to be on the ball when it comes to stopping the opposition from scoring from them.
When picking your defenders you should take a look at the stats that they have which relate to defending against crosses such as their height, heading and aggression as these will help. This is fundamental to improving your chances from the start.
If you do not allow your opponent to cross the ball in the first place this will obviously reduce their chances of scoring from them too. You can do this using methods such as keeping possession of the ball and playing higher up the pitch so that you push your opponent back.
If your opponent does get a cross in against you, you can use techniques such as manually moving the player you are controlling so that they are in front of the attacker that you think they will cross the ball into. Also, pressing the tackle button early will give you a decent chance of your player winning the ball in the air.
A high risk strategy is to bring your keeper out early so that he can try and catch or punch the ball although if they cross isn’t near the goal and the attackers get to the ball first they may have an open goal to head or volley the ball into.
How to Defend Against Chipped Through-Balls Down the Wings (Over Your Full Backs)
One common method to get behind your defence is to use the chipped through-ball (Hold L2/LT and press triangle/Y) down the wings and over your full backs. This is because this pass is overpowered in the latest version of the game and using it down the wings means that the keeper will not usually be able to come out and get the ball.
These passed work if they are played either from your full back from front to back in a straight line to your winger although this is a bit of an obvious pass, especially if you do it a lot, or to use one of your players in the middle of the pitch to place a chipped through-ball diagonally over your opponent’s full back when they are not expecting it and when your winger is making a run in behind them.
Defending against this can be tough as wingers are often in space but probably the best method is to stop your opponent from having the chance of playing the chipped through ball in the first place. You can do this using tactics such as putting pressure on the player in the middle or the full back that has the ball by moving your team higher up the pitch and ensuring that your players are on top of your opponent’s.
You can also do this by using the high pressure tactic by pressing up on the D-pad and then pressing left. You have to note that these methods can leave your defence exposed if you do not put pressure on your opponent successfully though.
Another way to defend against these chipped through-balls is to limit the space in behind your defence so that there is nowhere for your opponent to pass into. You can do this by changing your team’s tactics so that they are further back towards your goal. You can also change your team’s width so that they are closer to the wingers which will reduce the space that they have to receive the pass in.
As with most things, there is no one solution to help you defend against every type of chipped through-ball down the wing as there are so many different formations and tactics that your opponents may be using so you have to be flexible and watch what they are doing and adapt to it.