1 Leave the Pass Button Alone:
One of the problems I have playing defense is always hitting the pass button when defending corners and inside the box. I love the pretty and easy plays for getting the ball out of dangerous situations. I always try to head the ball to a teammate to start a counter offensive rush. Giving the ball right to an opponent and conceding a goal has occurred too many times because of this habit.
To avoid this situation, instead of holding the pass button, switch to the shoot button while fighting for a header. Instead of attempting to make a pass in dangerous areas, you now can clear the ball away from attackers. This gives me valuable time to regroup and reorganize my defense. It is not pretty but it works and helps in tight situations.
2 Always Face the Play:
Jockeying is one of the most useful tools for defending in FIFA. Jockeying keeps your players facing the attacker making him constantly facing the play. This increases the chances of a successful standing tackle and prevents having to guess which way the opponent is going while sprinting backwards.
Jockeying is so easy to use that not many people take advantage of it. Just hold LT or L2 will keep the players facing the ball until you release the button. If the opponent is running then hold the right trigger to maintain a running jockey. Just wait for the right moment and strike with a standing tackle to get the ball back.
3 Look Around:
After a goal kick, DO NOT JUST PRESS THE PASS BUTTON. Look around and find an open man to pass to instead of just giving the opponent a goal. This happens all the time online and it can be easily avoided.
The next time you have a goal kick, resist just hitting the pass button. Look where your players are on the radar and make a good pass. If you want the short pass then pass it out wide and not dead center to an opposing player. Most of the time you will find a player with lots of space who can begin a good offense.
4 If in Doubt, Kick it Out:
I do not know if you have ever played soccer in real life, but the same principles that are seen on TV are applicable in FIFA 11.
Now the common phrase "If in doubt, kick it out" is true and is a perfect strategy in many situations. When you are facing the goal with the ball and do not know what to do, just kick it out. If you are really in trouble, just kick it out as far as possible if you do not know if you should pass it. Kicking it out is not pretty but it is effective.
Do not just hit the shoot button when defending a cross because you might just put it in your own net. Play it up the field when you can but do not be afraid to kick it out. The further you get the ball away, the more time you have to regroup for better defense.
5 Do Not be Afraid to Drop Deeper:
In addition to kicking the ball out, in real life emphasis is placed on conceding space to defend against pace. Speed is one of the hardest attributes to defend against in real football. When a player is faster than his opponent than he will most likely fly by that defender unless you can tackle them. Lobbed through balls are deadly when defending against fast players.
It is not impossible, however, to defend against pace and there are a number of ways to reduce the abilities of those fast players. One of the most risky strategies is to use the offsides trap to catch the running players offsides. Double tap on the D pad right before the opponent passes the ball and the defenders will move forward placing the opponent receiving the ball offsides. I do not recommend doing that however because if you are just off by a mili-second then you just gave up a breakaway.
A much more preferred and safer tactic that is actually used by real life managers is to drop back one defender back more than the others. This takes time to set up but can be very helpful to prevent goals. Open up Custom Tactics and edit a defenders bas position so that he sits back farther than everyone else. How far back depends on preference and trial and error. The goal is to give that defender the ability to sweep in and intercept balls over the top and through balls but not to allow strikers to pick up the ball with space. The last defender can also angle the striker to a bad shooting position.
Once the position is mastered, then use the other defender to press the ball carrier to give the striker as little room as possible.
6 Secondary Press:
Pressing is common among FIFA players but it is overused. Pressing all over the pitch works against weak opponents but is terrible against players who can move the ball quickly and efficiently. Over pressing creates huge gaps in the defense and gives the opposition large open areas to work in.
Secondary pressing is not as common but can be more effective when used in the correct situations and with other defensive strategies. Holding the shoot button while the other team has the ball begins the Secondary Press which will move one of your AI-controlled teammates to press the ball while leaving you in control of a second defender. This allows you to keep pressure up and organize a more solid defensive position with the player you are controlling ready to clean up.
7 Manually Select Defenders:
A different tactic that can have immediate effects is manually selecting your defenders instead of waiting until the AI does it for you. Some players like to have an automatic player switch for high balls and such but once you get used to it, manually switching is far more efficient and effective whether its on the offense or defense.
By pressing LB or L1, you can switch to your defenders and move them in more strategic locations. This tactic is effective with Secondary Press while having one player defend the area where the ball is going. Switching to different defenders allows you to quickly rush at the ball for a quick tackle to regain position.
Anticipating which way a player will move helps exponentially against online opponents especially. Knowing when they turn and which way they pass the ball can help increase the number of interceptions you create.
8 Think Like a Striker:
As I just said, always try to predict your opponents move. When the opposition has the ball, think what would you do in their situation. Nine times out of ten you can guess where they are going to pass or which way they are going to turn. Mastering and successfully predicting where your opponent is going can give you easy goals during online games.
Use these techniques and your defense is sure to improve tremendously. If you have any questions or comments, please leave them in the comments and I will respond!
For the previous second on defense click the link below: