Jonas Last updated / Published Nov 13 · 2020
The Top 5 Most Effective Formations In FIFA 21

4-2-3-1 Narrow

The 4-2-3-1 narrow is arguably the most balanced formation in FIFA 21. 

It lets you launch devastating attacking sequences without sacrificing your team’s defensive solidity. Pro players like FnaticTekkz and Boras Legend regularly make use of the 4-2-3-1 narrow formation for this exact reason.

The formation features one striker, three attacking midfielders, two defensive-midfielders, and a traditional back-four. 

The attacking-midfielders in the 4-2-3-1 operate like wingers. They run into the flanks in an attempt to stretch your opponent’s defence, which, in turn, provides space for your striker to exploit.

If you’ve been struggling to find a balanced formation in FIFA 21, look no further than the 4-2-3-1.

4-4-2 flat

The 4-4-2 plays a bit differently than it did in FIFA 20, primarily because of the way players make runs in FIFA 21.

Back in FIFA 20, the wingers in a 4-4-2 formation felt a bit static. They hardly made attempts to exploit space so you were forced to manually trigger runs. 

However, in FIFA 21, they constantly make overlapping runs, looking to play the ball off either one of your strikers.

This allows you to ‘overload’ your opponent’s backline by presenting them with a 4 v 4 situation, which has the potential to turn into a 6 v 4 if your midfielders are set on the ‘stay forward while attacking’ instruction.

The 4-4-2 is also pretty good defensively, but in order to avoid conceding unnecessary goals, make sure you set your full-backs to stay back while attacking.

4-1-2-1-2 narrow

The 4-1-2-1-2 narrow is arguably the best formation for making the most out of FIFA 21’s dynamic attacking system.

It features two strikers and a CAM, three of whom combine to wreak havoc on your opponent’s defence thanks to the quick one-twos you’re able to play in the attacking third.

The 4-1-2-1-2 (2) formation is incredibly narrow, so you’ll need to bring your full-backs into play in a bid to give your team some added width. This has its advantages and disadvantages.

The extra width allows you to stretch your opponent’s defence, which, in turn, gives your two strikers ample space to work with up-front. 

However, it leaves you susceptible to counter attacks because your full-backs might be high up the pitch instead of their traditional defensive positions, even if you apply the ‘stay back while attacking’ instruction.

On that note, we recommend that you only use the 4-1-2-1-2 (2) formation if you’re very good at attacking - that way, you can focus on outscoring your opponents.

The 4-3-2-1

The 4-3-2-1 was one of the most effective formations in FIFA 17, but for some reason, it got nerfed in FIFA 18, 19 and 20. 

After being nerfed for three FIFAs in a row, the 4-3-2-1 is now back in full force, and it’s better than ever.

The formation features one striker and two wingers - but unlike other formations, these wingers perform just like strikers - they operate close to the 18-yard-area, allowing them to make darting runs into the 18-yard-box.

It’s an excellent formation for launching quick counter-attacks, but it’s a bit difficult to retain possession with, due to how high up the forwards are positioned.

If you play revolves around retaining possession, try out the next formation on our list instead;

The 4-2-3-1 wide

The 4-2-3-1 wide is perfect for maintaining possession of the ball and dictating the pace of a game. 

The formation is best suited to a slow style of play as it allows you to pass the ball around while waiting for an opening. 

It’s a great formation for closing out a game in the final few minutes.

You can also use the formation to launch fast attacking sequences, but doing so would require you to manually trigger runs instead of relying on the AI.

P.S - We have a FIFA 21 community where FIFA players all around the world can learn directly from pros like FnaticTekkz, gain access to exclusive FIFA 21 content and connect with other FIFA players around the world - click here to find out more.


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