Review, Tips and Custom Tactics for the 451 Formation in FIFA 20

The 451 formation is one of the strongest in FIFA 19 as it gives you a great deal of flexibility in both attack and defence as you can flood the midfield to stop people who like to play one-twos down the middle as well as cover space out wide to stop your opponent’s wing play.

Custom Tactics

As this formation only gives you one striker it is important to make sure that you get your midfielders to support him quickly. The AI of players in the latest version of the game is better than in the previous one which means that they are better at getting themselves forward and I find that I can leave my players on my balanced instructions and they will still do some of things that I want such as supporting the striker and getting in behind the defence.

Something that I feel that I sometimes need to control is my players running forward too much or too many of them running forward. Even in the 451 I want some midfielders to hang back as I will be left open to a counter attack if they all run beyond my opponent’s defence or into their penalty area for a cross.

With this formation I set-up a few different versions of it using Dynamic Tactics with the main difference being how far up and down the team is by changing the “Depth” setting. I find that different levels of depth work well against different types of formations and depth. I usually see what is happening within the match and respond to it. For example, if I find I am getting overrun and can’t impose my team enough, I will either drop my team back a bit to then play through-balls behind my opponent’s defence or push further up to get in the faces of their midfield and defence.

Sometimes, I try different amounts of depth for 15/20 in-game minutes depending on whether I feel my teams energy levels are high or low and the same for my opponent’s.

Ways to Score With This Formation

As this formation will give you a lot of players across the middle of your team it is a good one for keeping possession of the ball. This means that the best ways to score are from in front of your opponent’s defence or playing through-balls to midfielders running behind your opponent’s defence.

Timed Finesse Shots

As you will have decent amount of possession and players in midfield, it means that you will have at least two or three players around the edge of your opponent’s penalty area when you work the ball up the pitch and move your team up.

If you keep moving the ball around your midfield and striker it is often the case that you will find a player in space just outside of the penalty area that can get a timed finesse shot into the corner of the goal. The edge of the penalty area can often be congested though so it is important that you stay patient, keep passing the ball between each side of your team and also look for opportunities for through-balls.

We also have a guide on scoring timed finesse shots which you should definitely read if you do not think that you are as good at converting them as you should be!

Through-balls Down the Middle

While you only have one striker in this formation, your midfielders will often make runs beyond him and the opponent’s defence, especially when you tell them to using the L1/LB button. If you are playing an opponent that is high up the pitch, then there will often be opportunities to play through-balls down the middle. When doing this, it is key that you play the through-ball when your striker is just about to run beyond the defender. If you do it before this then it will be easy for the defender to get the ball.

Through-balls Down the Wings

These are a great way of getting in behind your opponent’s defence as most players will crowd the middle of the pitch and won’t have as much discipline, in a defensive sense, with their full backs so will often jump into a tackle. This means that you have more space on the wings and it is more effective to play a through-ball down the wing and in behind their full-backs.

Also, opponents will often push their full-backs forward to overlap their wingers which is something that you should keep an eye on and, if they do, then try to work the ball down the wing behind that particular full-back.

A benefit to this formation is that, as well as giving you three midfielders in the middle of the pitch, it also gives you wingers so it is great for playing these types of passes.

The through-ball along the ground is what most people will try first however the chipped through-ball is quite powerful in this version of the game and is a great, relatively risk-free way of trying to get in behind full-backs. If you time it wrong and the defender gets it they will still be quite far in their own half and will have to turn around so it won’t be as quick a counter attack as if you play a through-ball on the ground and the defender intercepts.