FIFA 21 Formation Guide 5-3-2 - Tactics & Lineup

The back five formation has been extremely popular since the last patch (Source: EA Sports)
The latest FIFA 21 patches have shaken up the meta quite a bit. Stepovers are less effective, team pressing has been toned down and many players now rely on counter-attacks. However, there is a new formation that is becoming increasingly popular among FIFA pros: the 5-3-2. Our formation guide reveals what makes this formation so strong. We also tell you how to set up your team perfectly.

The 5-3-2 in FIFA 21

FIFA athlete Dylan “DullenMike” Neuhausen and many other pros use the 5-3-2 since the last patches. After all, this formation is currently THE best formation when your opponent is in the back and relies on counterattacks.

The reason is simple: the 5-3-2 is extremely variable. With attacking fullbacks, this formation shifts to a 3-3-4 in attack. In many cases, the outside defenders (LWB and RWB) are uncovered, which creates a lot of freedom to combine.
With this team DullenMIKE dominated the FUT Champions Cup 2 (Source: YouTube - DullenMIKE)

5-3-2: The best tactics

The most important position in the 5-3-2 formation is occupied by the two outside defenders. Defensively, you stand compact and switch quickly when you win the ball. The following individual tactics are recommended:
  • Defensive style: Balanced
  • Width: 5-6
  • Depth: 5
  • Offensive style: Balanced / Long ball
  • Width: 5
  • Players in the penalty area: 6-8
  • Corners: 2
  • Free kicks: 1
Alternatively, you can try the “Long ball” option in the offensive style, which will force your switching game on counterattacks even more. Try both options to find the one that suits your style of play.
The individual tactics for the 5-3-2 (Source: EA Sports)

The player instructions in the 5-3-2

Since your LWB and RWB will be running up and down the pitch the entire game, both defensive players should have high stamina scores of 85 or more. They should also have a high passing value to provide your strikers with crosses and passes.
At least one of the two fullbacks doesn’t necessarily have to be a good defender. For example, if you start in 4-4-2 and switch to 5-3-2 via the individual tactics in the game, you can also have your RM or LM play in defense. A CDM should also provide stability as a classic six in front of the defensive chain, while the other two midfielders get involved in the offense.
Then use the player instructions in the menu to make the following settings:
  • Outside defender: Attack with, overlapping runs
  • Defensive CMs: Stay back in attacks, cover center, conservative interception
  • Offensive CMs: Orient forward, cover center
  • Strikers: run over the defense
If these instructions are too offensive for you, you can give one of the two CM players the additional instruction to stay behind. This way you will always have two central midfielders in front of the defense.
If you want to get more knowledge about FIFA21, check out our CLUB. We show you everything you need to know about the game, to ensure to step up your game. BOOST your SKILLS.

By Philipp Briel

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