Vadim-Ianis Pruteanu
Vadim-Ianis Pruteanu Last updated / Published Nov 23 · 2022
FIFA 21 Defending Tutorial: 3 Tips To Help You Defend Effectively

Time Your Standing Tackles

Back in FIFA 20, you didn’t need to make standing tackles to win the ball back. You could literally steal the ball from your opponents by running at the ball holder.

Unfortunately, that’s not the case in FIFA 21.

In FIFA 21, if you attempt to steal the ball by running at the ball holder, the game will trigger a weird animation where your player misses the ball completely, despite having a clear opportunity to win it back.

This can cause you to concede a lot of goals, especially when you’re defending close to your 18-yard-box.

If you want to win the ball back cleanly you’re going to have to start using standing tackles - and beyond just using standing tackles, you’re going to have to time them properly, so you can avoid giving away fouls.

The best way to time a standing tackle is to jockey close to the ball holder, then launch the tackle when you’re in close proximity to the ball.

It’s important to avoid making erratic tackles because they leave your player stuck in the tackle animation for about a second, and that second is all your opponent needs to execute a counter attack.
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Use Manual Player Switching

Manual player switching is arguably one of the most important gameplay mechanics in FIFA. 

Due to how inconsistent traditional L1/LB player switching is on FIFA, you need to utilize the manual switching mechanic in order to be able to switch to any player on the pitch at any given time.

Being able to switch to your preferred player while defending will allow you to cover open spaces and make interceptions more efficiently.

Imagine a scenario where an opponent’s player is running down the left flank, you could manually switch to your left-back to track your opponent’s run and win the ball back.

Manual Switching is pretty simple, all you need to do is flick the right analog stick towards the direction of the player you’d like to switch to.

Use the stay back while attacking instruction

We can’t stress this enough. Unless you’ve mastered the art of defending without full-backs, you should apply the ‘stay back while attacking’ instruction on your full-backs.

Leaving them on ‘balanced’, or asking them to stay forward while attacking, might give you a stronger presence in the attacking third, but it will leave your defence incredibly open - allowing your opponent’s wingers to exploit the free space on your flanks.

In order to avoid conceding ‘easy goals’ make sure your full-backs stick to their position in your team’s back four.

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