Playing as the best teams in FIFA 14 won’t help you win matches unless you know how best to use them. You must play to a team’s strengths in order to make sure you get the best out of the players on the pitch. You must also take into account which players to use and whether they are in their most effective positions.
We’re going to take a look at some of the best teams in FIFA 14, and analyse in detail how you can get the very best out of them every time you play. To start with, we are going to take a look at Real Madrid.
Before getting into a game, we need to look at what the standard line-up is and what formation Madrid play. Diego Lopez is the starting goalkeeper, but I always choose Casillas, he’s better overall, and he’s Iker Casillas!
At right back is Arbeloa, who can be very slow and poor in the air. Switch him with Carvajal, who possesses great pace and is always improving in the real game, so so can sometimes receive a boost via FIFA’s Matchday updates.
Moving into midfield, Khedira and Modric should be your holding midfielders. Xabi Alonso is far too slow to offer you any protection from counter-attacks, and Illarramendi is only good enough to be a sub. Modric is a surprisingly good defender. Effective timing of your tackles will often see him win back possession. His pace and passing attributes also make him essential.
In the attacking midfield positions, relegate Isco to the bench in favour of Di Maria. Isco is slow and doesn’t offer much of an attacking threat. He’s good for passes, but in this formation receives the ball too high up the pitch to be able to use all of his skills.
Move Di Maria out to the left, Bale to the right and Ronaldo behind Benzema. The three behind Benzema can all operate in any of those positions, I choose to put Ronaldo behind Benzema for his goalscoring ability. He can receive the ball in the middle and dribble wide, dragging defenders out of position.
Playing Bale on the opposite flank makes them a greater goalscoring threat, which we’ll come onto later.
Keep rotating the position of these three and you will have a very potent attack.
Madrid’s default formation, a variation of the 4-2-3-1, is great. By operating with the wide men in a deeper base position, you’ll rarely find yourself caught out over-committing to attacks, but it does require a lot of work from your wingers. Luckily, Di Maria and Bale have excellent stamina.
On the pitch
Real Madrid posses great speed and strength on the wings, but lack pace in the middle. Defensively, right-back is where Madrid are weakest, but the speed of your wide men and the alternative 4-2-3-1 formation helps provide cover. Playing Gareth Bale and on occasion Ronaldo on the opposite flanks to their stronger foot will allow you to cut inside and get shots away from distance (in the preparation for this guide, I scored a sumptuous goal with Bale from 30 yards, even whilst under pressure from Puyol).
Your primary focus for attack will be from wide areas. If you win the ball deep in your own half, get it wide as soon as possible and get your players sprinting down the sidelines. Di Maria, Bale and Ronaldo offer lightning pace that is difficult for any side to keep up with. Benzema will be able to keep up with your breakaway attacks, and find himself in good positions in the penalty box. If you find defenders shutting down channels, preventing you from progressing further down the line, cut inside and either pass or look for an avenue to shoot.
If you can’t get a shot away in the first phase of the counter (as you get to the touchline), keep possession using body posture, as explained in Sportra’s other guide and wait for your full-back to arrive in support.
Use counter attack to take advantage of the pace of your midfield and striker. Every so often throughout a match, use “Swap Wings” to change the positioning of your attacking three, giving greater variety of how you attack the defenders. Sometimes you will cut in and shoot, others you will get to the touchline and cross the ball for Benzema. At half-time, or with pauses, you can also move Ronaldo to the wing if you feel he is better served there against a particular opponent.
The starting tactic is “High Pressure”, which can be a good starting mentality, but switching to counter ensures you have men behind the ball who will then attack in numbers once you have possession.
Ronaldo and Bale will be your primary set piece takers. Corner kicks are usually preset to Ronaldo, but have somebody like Di Maria or Modric take corners as Ronaldo is excellent in the air.
For free kicks in and around the box, Ronaldo is your first choice. If you find yourself pretty close to goal (within 23 yards or so) use Gareth Bale. Ronaldo has too much Shot Power to effectively get the ball up and over the wall from close range, whereas Bale’s Curve stat helps him from this range. Equally, free kicks from the side of the penalty box are better served by Bale than Ronaldo, as our free kick video guide shows.
And that’s our guide on how to best use Real Madrid. We’ll be posting more guides looking at how to use some of the other teams around Europe soon. If you have any favourite teams that you would like to learn how to take full advantage of, leave a comment and we’ll take a look.