[Top 10] FM20 Best Tactics

Tactics makes a team what it is
War room

When you take on a new club in FM first thing you'll do is set up the tactics.

Now, there are basically two ways to do this: either you create the best tactic taking into consideration the type of players that you have available or altering the squad to fit your favorite tactic. As always, it’s best to combine these two approaches and adjust both tactics and squad.

It takes the true skill in FM to find the best tactics that work with your squad. So, let us help you there a little bit.

These are the best tactics for winning:

10. 4123

Basically, this is a possession tactic. If you like short passing and slower play this one is for you. In offense, you’ll need a complete forward, a really good attacker with both strength and finishing abilities (think of Harry Kane). On the sides you have one inverted forward that cuts inside, on the other a winger. It’s up to you to choose sides in this that best suits your squad, and you can even change sides of these players during the season or even during the match. 

In the middle you will want one good box-to-box midfielder, who’s going to run a lot up and down the field. The next role in the middle is advanced playmaker (dribbling, creativity and long shots are important for this role). Behind these two you have a deep lying playmaker. He’ll help in the back but also create attacks from the back. 

You’ll have 4 in the back, with wing backs in a more attacking role, and two center backs. Since the forwards are going to press a lot when out of possession, you’ll need very good wing backs to cover the sides. And finally the ball-playing sweeper keeper.

  • Beautiful football
  • Better for more quality squads
  • Great possession tactic

9. 442 Target man

First of all, the target man. You’ll need a strong, tall, and powerful forward. Excellent off the ball, positioning, heading, and passing is something that he must have. My favorite is Aleksandar Mitrovic, but you get the picture. Other CF striker is the opposite: small, very fast, great in movement, dribbler, finisher. These two are your deadly duo in front.

In the middle put 4 in line, where wings are fast and good at crossing, and center midfielders are box to box midfielder and deep lying playmaker. This role may be crucial, and you’ll need a player in this position who excels in creativity, vision, passing, and decisions.

In the back, 4 in line, with good wingbacks and couple standard center back. Goalkeeper with sweeper keeper role is preferable.

  • Works even with weaker teams
  • High scoring tactic
  • Great when counter

8. 4132 Narrow 

Ok, for this tactic you are not going to need any wingers. So, if you have a squad with not so good wingers this could be your choice.
Up front, put a striker with complete forward abilities, and beside him a second striker who needs to be good dribbler, but also quick, creative and flair.

Behind them you’ll have a block of 3 central midfielders in line, narrow. The middle man should be a playmaker, and on each side of him two attacking midfielders. Behind this trio you should put a BWM with good defensive skills.

In the back, 4 in line, two CBs in the middle and with excellent fullbacks aside. Fullbacks are crucial they got to be physically fantastic with very good crossing, vision, and speed. Goalkeeper with sweeper keeper role is preferable.

  • For squads without good wingers
  • Good for defending
  • Great when counter

7. 4231 Wide

This is an attacking tactic, with lots of crosses.

Upfront, put a striker in central position, with complete forward abilities. He’ll often be alone out there so he really got to be good.
Behind him you’ll have 3 central midfielders in line, wide. The middle man is attacking midfielder, and on each side of him two fast wingers.

Behind this trio you should put a BWM with good defensive skills and a deep lying playmaker.
In the back, 4 in line. Two CBs in the middle and wing backs on the each side. 

  • Excellent for crosses
  • Great for pressing opponent high
  • Creates a lot of chances up front

6. 433 

This is also an attacking tactic, with lots of goals scored.

Upfront, put a striker in the central position, with advanced forward role. Beside him two deep lying forwards will support him well.
Behind him you’ll have 3 central midfielders in line. The middle man is BWM, and beside him a deep lying playmaker and an advanced playmaker. 

Now, for this tactic, the defense is crucial. You’ll have almost six of your players out front and wing backs too, most of the time. So, you are going to need tremendous CBs. Pair them with solid wing backs and a ball playing keeper.

  • Great for pressing opponent high
  • Creates fantastic amount of goal scoring opportunities
  • Works well with good defense

5. 41212 (442 diamond) 

A very popular tactic in almost all FMs so far.

In the first line of attack you’ll have 2 advanced forwards with equal abilities. Behind them, an attacking midfielder who has to be a top class player. He will add to attack, shoot from distance, assist a lot, and play the ball on the side.

On both sides you need good and fast wide wingers, with attacking duties.
In the back middle, you will put your key to this tactic: a deep lying playmaker with both defensive abilities and vision, decisions and passing excelled.

And finally in the back 2 ball-playing defenders with inverted wing backs on the side.

  • Very attacking mentality 
  • Creates lots of chances
  • Deeper defensive line

4. 4141 

One man upfront doesn’t mean fewer goals, at least not with this tactic. Here we have one complete forward upfront, who obviously needs to be top of the class.

Behind him, positioned very wide, two inside forwards and slightly behind them, in the middle in the midfield an advanced playmaker and a box to box midfielder.

Behind them, a deep lying playmaker in front of 4 in-line defense, with 2 wingbacks and 2 CBs.

  • Good for counter 
  • Sturdy defending 
  • Higher defensive line

3. 32212

Two up front are supposed to be two strikers, one advanced forward and one deep lying forward, with one attacking midfielder behind them.

Behind them, positioned in the middle, one central midfielder, and other box to box midfielder. Slightly behind them, and very wide, are two wing backs with support duties. Possibly the most important role in this formation.

All the way back there are 3 central defenders, in line and defending deeply.

  • Good for counter 
  • Defensive formation 
  • Slower tempo

2. 532 Attacking

On paper, this tactic seems too defensive. However, it’s not the case at all.

Upfront you have two advanced forwards with attacking duties. Behind them 3 in the middle narrow, with the middle man as an advanced playmaker and 2 box to box midfielders on each side by him. Now, the advanced playmaker is the key person here. While two BBMs are going to cover almost whole midfield, he’s going to pick up all taken balls and start the attacks. Almost every attack will come from him.

Behind them, wide, there are two fast and furious wing backs on attacking duties. They need to be very fast with a lot of stamina, and good crossing ability. Don’t hesitate when spending cash on these two players, in this formation.
And finally, you have 3 CBs, slightly higher defending, with two of them as ball-playing defenders.

  • Fantastic transformation from defending to attacking 
  • Very little opportunities allowed for the opponent
  • Every counter attack is a goal scoring opportunity 

1. 4411 

This may not be the best tactic on FM20 but it’s certainly the most balanced one. You will have great defensive block in the back, and furious transformation when attacking.

First of all you will want to put an advanced forward upfront. Powerful forward is also ok as an option but with advanced forward ability you’ll get more options upfront. Operating behind him, will be the most important player of this formation in the role of attacking midfielder with support duty. Make sure that this is top-class player and you will benefit massively from this tactic.

Behind attacking duo there are four players in line: on wide positions two wingers with attacking duties, and in the middle a central midfielder with attacking duty and a deep lying playmaker in supporting role. This kind of midfield will defend in line and transform fantastically into deadly attack when retaken possession. In the back two inverted wingbacks and two ball-playing defenders, with a sweeper keeper behind them.

If you set everything right, you’ll get a fantastically balanced tactic with hard defense and ferocious attack.

  • Tremendous defending block
  • Fantastic transformation in attack
  • Can be used for less quality squads as well

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