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

After spending over £210 million in the summer, can you lead this revamped City club to new heights on FIFA 18’s Career Mode?

Alastair Pusinelli by Alastair Pusinelli

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.

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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.

Formation

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). 

Tactics

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. 

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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. 

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Loans

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

Contracts

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

Player Age Pos. Country OVR POT Value Wage
Goalkeepers
Ederson 23 GK Argentina 83 89 £46.9m £76k
Claudio Bravo 34 GK Chile 82 82 £14.7m £97k
Arijanet Muric 18 GK Montenegro 63 81 £1.4m £5k
Defenders
Vincent Kompany 31 CB Belgium 85 85 £42.3m £150k
Kyle Walker 26 RB
RWB
England 83 84 £40.7m £114k
Nicolas Otamendi 29 CB Argentina 83 83 £32.6m £123k
John Stones 23 CB England 79 85 £26.2m £92k
Benjamin Mendy 22 LB
LWB
France 78 86 £23.5m £75k
Danilo 25 RB
LB
Brazil 78 81 £17.8m £84k
Eliaquim Mangala 26 CB France 78 81 £18.6m £88k
Shay Facey 22 CB
RB
England 64 71 £400k £18k
Tosin Adarabioyo 19 CB England 63 80 £1.6m £7k
Cameron Humphreys-Grant 18 CB
RB
England 62 77 £450k £7k
Marcus Wood 19 LB England 56 73 £125k £6k
Midfielders
Kevin De Bruyne 26 CAM
CM
RM
Belgium 89 92 £140.6m £251k
David Silva 31 CAM
CM
LM
Spain 87 87 £71.6m £194k
Ilkay Gundogan 26 CM
CDM
Germany 85 87 £77.9m £167k
Bernardo Silva 22 RM Portugal 84 91 £78.5m £145k
Yaya Toure 34 CM
CDM
Ivory Coast 83 83 £12m £128k
Fernandinho 32 CDM
CM
RB
Brazil 82 82 £11m £114k
Fabian Delph 27 CM
LB
England 77 78 £16.9m £97k
Oleksandr Zinchenko 20 CAM
RM
LWB
Ukraine 72 82 £9m £45k
Brahim Diaz 17 CAM
CF
RM
Spain 66 85 £2.8m £13k
Phil Foden 17 CAM
CM
England 65 84 £2.8m £13k
Sinan Bytyqi 22 CAM
RW
LW
Kosovo 64 71 £600k £20k
Will Patching 18 CM England 59 75 £250k £7k
Jacob Davenport 18 CDM England 53 67 £75k £5k
Forwards
Sergio Aguero 29 ST Argentina 89 89 £108.3m £286k
Leroy Sane 21 LW
RW
LM
Germany 82 91 £62.2m £110k
Raheem Sterling 22 RW
RM
LM
England 82 87 £50m £123k
Gabriel Jesus 20 ST Brazil 81 92 £55.9m £101k
Javairo
Dilrosun
19 LW
RW
Holland 60 74 £300k £8k

Looking for other cheap high potential players?

Best cheap high potential left backs (LB)

Best cheap high potential strikers

Looking for free players? Click the links below:

Contract Expiry Signings Ending in 2018 (First Season)

Contract Expiry Signings Ending in 2019 (Second Season)

Free Agent XI

On a tight budget? Click the link below:

Best loan signings

Top hidden gems

Looking for FIFA 18 young players in other positions? Just click the link below:

Best young strikers

Best young right wingers & right midfielders (RW & RM)

Best young left wingers & left midfielders (LW & LM)

Best young attacking midfielders (CAM)

Best young central midfielders (CM)

Best young defensive midfielders (CDM)

Best young centre backs (CB)

Best young left backs (LB)

Best young right backs (RB)

Best young goalkeepers (GK)

Looking for FIFA 18 wonderkids? Just click the link below:

Strikers

Defenders (CBs, RBs & LBs)

Midfielders (CMs, CAMs & CDMs)

Wingers (LMs, RMs, LWs & RWs)

Argentinian Wonderkids

Brazilian Wonderkids

Who are you going to sign on Career Mode? Let us know in the comments section below. 

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Alastair Pusinelli

First console: GameBoy Color / Favourite Game: Assassin's Creed 2 / Currently playing: Football Manager 2020

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