FIFA 18: Manchester City Career Mode Guide, player ratings, tactics, formations & tips

After a season to settle in and get to grips with the Premier League, Manchester City are ready to go with Pep Guardiola. With barrels of attacking and creative talent, the Citizens are now the favourites to win a first Premier League title in over three years. With so much ability at your disposal, City are a fantastic club to manage on FIFA 18’s Career Mode, and with their squad you can fight for silverware straightaway.

Team Rating

It’s a five star rating for Manchester City, with an 83 overall. That is made up by an 84 attack, 85 midfield, but just 81 in defence.

A slight bit of tinkering and fine-tuning is all that the squad needs, and your biggest task as City boss will be trying to work out how to get all that talent on the pitch.


In terms of system, you have so many options at Man City. Pep Guardiola has often gone for a 5-3-2 formation this season, but you want to get as many creative players on the pitch as possible, so definitely stick to a four at the back formation.

We have opted for the brave 4-3-3 attack. This allows David Silva to be the most influential, and it gives you some great options from the bench. 4-2-3-1 is another great option, and it probably offers more balance than a 4-3-3. 

You won’t have any selection headaches at the back or in goal. New ‘keeper Ederson takes his place in between the sticks, with Kyle Walker, Vincent Kompany, Nicolas Otamendi and Benjamin Mendy in front of him.

In midfield, we’ve gone for Yaya Toure and Ilkay Gundogan behind David Silva. If you want more defensive protection, go for Fernandinho who has a high defensive work rate. 

We have moved Kevin De Bruyne out to the left wing, with speedster Leroy Sane (94 sprint speed) out on the right. The clinical Sergio Aguero (90 finishing) leads the line.

On the bench you should have the experienced Claudio Bravo (OVR 82), John Stones (79), Danilo (78), Fernandinho (82), Bernardo Silva (84), Raheem Sterling (82) and Gabriel Jesus (81). 


With the game the way it is at the moment, big sides need to be able to both counter-attack and play possession football. City are well suited to do this, with pacey full backs Kyle Walker (93 sprint speed) and Benjamin Mendy (84 sprint speed), and Sergio Aguero (91 positioning) always getting in the right areas in the box.

In terms of possession, David Silva (91 short passing) and Kevin De Bruyne (90 short passing) can pass teams off the park, with Yaya Toure and Ilkay Gundogan amongst the world’s best in central midfield. You should look to get De Bruyne and Silva on the ball as much as possible and use them to find the runs of Aguero

Your bench provides some great options, with Fernandinho there if you want some more steel in midfield, Bernardo Silva providing more creativity, with Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus offering that X factor. 

The transfer market

Starting transfer budget: £132 million

Starting wage budget: £275,000 a week

Who should go?

Pep Guardiola used the summer transfer window to upgrade his squad, and in the process he sold some of the weaker members in the team. Willy Caballero, Pablo Zabaleta, Bacary Sagna, Gael Clichy, Aleksandar Kolarov, Fernando, Jesus Navas and Nolito all left the club. Therefore, you don't need to get rid of any more first team names, but you'll need to identify which young players don’t have the potential to make it at Man City. 

David Faupala, Cameron Humphreys-Grant, Sinan Bytyqi, Shay Facey, Will Patching, Jacob Davenport, Marcus Wood and Javairo Dilrosun won't make the grade at City, with all of their potentials below 78. If you sell all of them, you will save yourself a massive £84,000 a week wages, and pocket around £2.25 million. 


With so much competition in the first team at City, those high potential players who are not currently in the fold need to be sent out on loan. Brahim Diaz and Phil Foden have potentials of 85 and 84 respectively, so look to send them out to a League One or Championship club for the season. Goalkeeper Arijanet Muric has the potential to reach 81, so you should look to send him and Tosin Adarabioyo to League Two clubs. 

Who to sign

Transfer budget after recommended sales: £134 million

Wage budget after recommended sales: £359,000 a week

Left back

With just one recognised first team left back, you need some competition for new man Benjamin Mendy. The Frenchman’s harsh 78 rating means you will want someone to replace him in the starting line-up. We have gone for the reliable and versatile David Alaba. With an 86 overall and 88 potential, the 25-year-old will be in your side for around seven seasons. His ability to play as a centre back or in midfield will come in handy, and his stats of 87 stamina, 86 sprint speed and 86 acceleration allows him to keep up with any flying winger. It will cost you a hefty £67.6 million to dislodge the Austrian from Bayern Munich, but given his quality, Alaba is worth the fee and his £132,000 a week wages. 

Alternative options:

  • Alex Sandro – Juventus, Age 26, OVR 86, POT 88, Cost: £66.8 million, Wage: £154,000
  • Marcelo – Real Madrid, Age 29, OVR 87, POT 87, Cost: £68.6 million, Wage: £220,000
  • Filipe Luis – Atletico Madrid, Age 31, OVR 85, POT 85, Cost: £45.1 million, Wage: £71,000
  • Jordi Alba – Barcelona, Age 28, OVR 85, POT 85, Cost: £55 million, Wage: £189,000
  • Raphael Guerreiro – Borussia Dortmund, Age 23, OVR 81, POT 86, Cost: £37.5 million, Wage: £51,000

Defensive midfield

With so much attacking talent on the Manchester City squad, there aren't enough players who offer defensive protection. Fernandinho is your only option as a defensive midfielder, with both Yaya Toure and Ilkay Gundogan keener to get forward than defend. Porto’s Danilo Pereira should be your first choice. The 25-year-old holds an overall of 83 and an 86 potential. The defensive midfielder, centre back or centre mid has 89 strength, 88 aggression and 87 stamina making up his game, and he will set you back £50.2 million to sign. His current wages are unbelievably just £16,000 a week. 

Alternative options:

  • Bruno – Villarreal, Age 33, OVR 84, POT 84, Cost: £34.2 million, Wage: £52,000
  • Victor Wanyama – Tottenham Hotspur, Age 26, OVR 82, POT 85, Cost: £40 million, Wage: £87,000
  • Eric Dier – Tottenham Hotspur, Age 23, OVR 82, POT 87, Cost: £43.5 million, Wage: £75,000
  • N’Golo Kante – Chelsea, Age 26, OVR 87, POT 90, Cost: £88.9 million, Wage: £167,000
  • Casemiro – Real Madrid, Age 25, OVR 85, POT 89, Cost: £78.5 million, Wage: £172,000


Only two first team names have contracts expiring at the end of the season at The Etihad, and if you want to put your own stamp on the team, you could let their deals expire or even sell the pair. Yaya Toure and Fernandinho are the two men, but we feel you can’t let players of their quality leave the club for free. Toure still starts in our system, and Fernandinho could be vital against the bigger clubs, so give the two midfielders at least one more year at the club.

Shay Facey, Jacob Davenport, Marcus Wood and Javairo Dilrosun also have their contracts expiring, but you should sell these players straight away to make as much money from them as possible. 

Managerial objectives

It won’t surprise you that at Manchester City, Domestic and Continental Success are of critical importance. For your domestic goal you will be expected to win both the Premier League and the FA Cup. With a squad of City’s size and ability these are realistic aims. However, coupled with your continental target of reaching the final of the Champions Cup (Champions League), things start to look a lot more tricky. With just two recognised strikers at the club, you will need to rotate Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus and pray they don't get injured.

For Brand Exposure, which is also marked as critical, you will need to earn £176 million from shirt sales over the season. If you bring in big names and perform to City’s calibre, then this should take care of itself. 

Youth Development has a low importance, and for this task you will need to sign two players under the age of 20 with a high potential. Their potential must be higher than the average rating of those in the same position in your squad. You must also sign a youth player to the first team and play them in five matches. Your best bet is to make sure this is a striker. 

Time to step up

There are no excuses for Manchester City after their summer overhaul. They want to be a footballing superpower and progress has perhaps been slower than expected. The club are yet to reach a European final, and have only got past the quarter-finals once, so that should perhaps be your focus this season.

If you start the Premier League campaign strongly, as City have done in real life, you can rotate your squad for the other competitions, but an EFL Cup run should be at the bottom of your priorities. Use the competition to give your youngsters and fringe players some game-time. Make sure you top your Champions League group and you should find safe passage to the quarter-finals. Once you're there, anything can happen. 

Full Manchester City squad player ratings

Claudio Bravo
Arijanet Muric
Vincent Kompany
Kyle Walker
Nicolas Otamendi
John Stones
Benjamin Mendy
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Who are you going to sign on Career Mode? Let us know in the comments section below. 

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