FIFA 19: Cardiff Career Mode Guide, Tactics, Formations & Tips

Cardiff have a chance of survival in the Premier League relegation dogfight. Can you keep the Bluebirds up on FIFA 19's Career Mode?


Few gave Cardiff any hope of staying up in the Premier League this season, with the Bluebirds perhaps having the least amount of on-field quality in the top flight. Under Neil Warnock they have battled incredibly hard, showing that quality will only get you so far, but when the chips are down, you need grit, heart and determination.

The rub of the green has not gone their way this season, not to mention the horrifying events surrounding record signing Emiliano Sala, but even with three games to go, they have the chance to beat the odds and stay up.

Just like in real life, it will be no easy task keeping the Bluebirds above the drop in FIFA 19’s Career Mode. RealSport gives you everything you need as you set up with the Welsh club in the game.

Team Rating

Cardiff receive a three and a half star rating on FIFA 19, made up by a 73 attack, 74 midfield and 72 defence. Things won’t be easy, but there is enough to keep the side up this season. 

Formation

Cardiff’s default formation is a 4-2-3-1 wide, and for balance, it is the best system to use. Alternatives include a 4-3-3 or a simple 4-4-2. 

Nathan Etheridge (77 GK diving) is a big presence in goal, with the back four made up by Ashley Richards, Sean Morrison, the experienced Souleymane Bamba (83 aggression) and Greg Cunningham

Joe Ralls and Harry Arter are in defensive midfield, with Josh Murphy and Junior Hoilett supplying the width. Victor Camarasa (78 short passing) provides the quality in attacking midfield as the versatile Callum Paterson starts in attack. 

On the bench, go for Alex Smithies, Bruno Ecuele Manga, Joe Bennett, Aron Gunnarsson, Nathaniel Mendez-Laing, Oumar Niasse and Bobby Reid. 

Tactics and instructions

When you have the ball, you need to be looking to get the ball out wide and use the pace of wide men Josh Murphy (86 sprint speed) and Junior Hoilett (88 acceleration). When they have the ball, you can stretch defence or look to pick out Callum Paterson (93 jumping) in the box.

Victor Camarasa (77 ball control) provides the spark, and when the wide men get the defence back peddling, the Spaniard can cause an impact. He can then get on the ball to have a shot at goal, or play in other attackers. 

Customising your instructions can help your big players have a greater impact, and the first thing you should do is to set both wide midfielders’ support runs to ‘get in behind’. This will ensure Hoilett and Murphy to run beyond the defence. 

You can then move on to Victor Camarasa and change his positioning freedom to ‘free roam’, making him hard to pick up for the opposition. Not only that, it may be worth altering his support on crosses to get into box for cross’ to increase Cardiff’s goal threat. 

Training

Not many players have a high potential at Cardiff, which means you will want to be using Callum Paterson, Josh Murphy and Victor Camarasa in the vast majority of your training sessions. These three will improve quicker than the rest of the players in your squad. 

The Transfer Market

Starting transfer budget: £29 million

Starting wage budget: £82,000 a week

Who should go

Cardiff still have a lot of players who are Championship standard or below, so you can certainly afford to sell them to top up that transfer budget. First team players Danny Ward, Lee Peltier and Stuart O’Keefe can all be shipped on, and they will collect you a combined fee of £1.6 million, freeing up £44,000 a week in your wage budget. 

The rest that can go are the younger players, whose futures aren’t promising enough to make it to the first team. Selling Cameron Coxe, James Waite, Lloyd Humphries and Tyron Duffus will give you £250,000 and save £12,000 a week in wages.

Who to sign

New transfer budget: £31 million

New wage budget: £138,000 a week

Starting right back

With a healthy budget for a side battling relegation, you should be able to bring in a number of new signings to strengthen the squad. Right back is the clear weak link in the side, and with some of the Premier League’s finest players left wingers (think Eden Hazard, Sadio Mane and Leroy Sane), you will need to bolster that right side of the defence. 

Eintracht Frankfurt’s Timmy Chandler looks to be a great fit and looks to be a bargain at £8.5 million. For wages starting at £29,000 a week you have a 28-year-old in his prime that can play on both sides of the defence and in midfield. A 77 overall for the American contains stats of 83 aggression, 82 strength and 79 sprint speed.

Alternative options

Player

Age

Club

Country

OVR

POT

Cost

Wage

Denzel Dumfries

22

PSV

Holland

76

81

£10m

£11k

Daniel Brosinski

29

Mainz

Germany

76

76

£8m

£22k

Noussair Mazraoui

20

Ajax

Morocco

75

82

£11m

£10k

Renzo Saravia

25

Racing

Argentina

75

80

£9m

£15k

Milton Casco

30

River Plate

Argentina

76

76

£6m

£18k

Reliable striker

Callum Paterson is one of the finest players at Cardiff, but he isn’t really a striker with a finishing stat of just 70. The Scottish international plays at right back for his country, so you may wish to use as a utility player over the course of the season. 

Bringing in someone you can count on to score goals is crucial, and you should look at the Brazilian Luiz Adriano. He 31-year-old Brazilian is now at Spartak Moscow, and with an overall rating of 78, he will be your main man over the campaign. The forward has stats of 83 jumping, 82 positioning and 80 finishing, exactly the kind of stats you need at the bottom of the table. You can pick him up for around £13 million with wages starting at just £880 a week. 

Alternative options

Player

Age

Club

Country

OVR

POT

Cost

Wage

Santiago Garcia

27

Godoy Cruz

Uruguay

78

78

£12m

£17k

Nils Petersen

29

Freiburg

Germany

78

78

£14m

£27k

Graziano Pelle

32

Shandong Luneng

Italy

78

78

£13m

£21k

Paulinho

25

Braga

Portugal

77

79

£16m

£14k

Niclas Fullkrug

25

Hannover

Germany

77

78

£14m

£31k

Contracts

A whole host of players have contracts expiring at Cardiff this season, but you are likely to only extend two of them. Bruno Ecuele Manga is one of just three recognised first team centre backs at the club, so you will certainly need him beyond the end of the season. Aron Gunnarsson will be on the bench week-in, week-out this term, and if you have any injuries in central midfield, he will be the man to come in. 

It’s less clear for Ashley Richards, but if you sign new right back, you may not need him anymore. Either sell him before the season is out, or just release him at the end of the campaign. 

Brian Murphy, Cameron Coxe, Stuart O’Keefe, James Waite and Tyrone Duffus are all short on quality, so you can afford to let them go at the end of the season. 

Managerial objectives

No objective at Cardiff is above a medium priority, meaning you shouldn’t get too down if you fail an objective or two. Your financial goal is the most important, for which you will need to keep player salary growth under 10%. 

For brand exposure, you must sell out half of your home games this season. Winning regularly and scoring plenty will get the crowds coming in. 

Youth development involves you having to sign one defender to your youth academy. Not only that, you must sign one youth player to your first team and play them in five matches. The dream here would be to sign a centre back to the academy, train them for the first half of the campaign, and bring them into the first team fold in the second half of the season. 

Lastly, and surprisingly, domestic success has a very low priority. Here you need to avoid relegation from the Premier League and reach the last 32 of the FA Cup

Beat the drop

As you can see, you are short on quality as you embark on Cardiff’s Premier League journey. That said, you do have a surprising amount of cash, and it is plenty to see the Bluebirds away from the drop zone. The second season will be equally as challenging with your loan players leaving you, but if you stay up in your first two campaigns, you can think about climbing the table or targeting a cup competition. Just far can you take ‘little old Cardiff’ on FIFA 19?

Full Cardiff player ratings

Player

Age

Pos

Country

OVR

POT

Value

Wage

Goalkeepers

Nathan Etheridge

28

GK

Philippines

75

77

£5m

£29k

Alex Smithies

28

GK

England

73

74

£3m

£24k

Brian Murphy

25

GK

Rep. Ireland

64

64

£100k

£4k

Defenders

Souleymane Bamba

33

CB

Ivory Coast

76

76

£3m

£35k

Sean Morrison

27

CB

England

74

75

£5m

£31k

Bruno Ecuele Manga

29

CB
RB

Gabon

74

74

£4m

£33k

Greg Cunningham

27

LB

Rep. Ireland

73

73

£3m

£29k

Joe Bennett

28

LB
LWB

England

72

72

£2m

£26k

Ashley Richards

27

RB
LB
RWB

Wales

69

69

£800k

£16k

Lee Peltier

31

RB
RWB
LB

England

68

68

£500k

£14k

Matthew Connolly

30

RB
CB

England

66

66

£400k

£10k

Cameron Coxe

19

RB

Wales

54

69

£100k

£2k

Midfielders

Victor Camarasa

24

CM
RM
CAM

Spain

76

80

On Loan

£17k

Joe Ralls

24

CM
CDM

Englan

74

77

£6m

£30k

Junior Hoilett

28

LM
LW
RM

Canada

74

74

£5m

£36k

Harry Arter

28

CM
CDM

Rep. Ireland

74

74

On Loan

£45k

Aron Gunnarsson

29

CDM
CM

Iceland

73

73

£3m

£30k

Josh Murphy

23

LM
ST
RM

England

72

77

£4m

£24k

Nathaniel Mendez-Laing

26

RM
RW

England

72

72

£3m

£28k

Loic Damour

27

CDM
CM
CAM

France

69

69

£800k

£16k

Leandro Bacuna

26

CDM
CM
RB

Curacao

68

69

£800k

£14k

Kadeem Harris

25

LM
RM

England

67

70

£800k

£12k

Stuart O’Keefe

27

CM
CDM

England

65

65

£500k

£10k

Aaron Bolger

18

CM
CDM

Rep. Ireland

59

79

On Loan

£1k

Tyrone Duffus

21

CM

England

55

63

£100k

£4k

James Waite

19

CM
CAM

Wales

53

69

£100k

£2k

Lloyd Humphries

20

CM

Wales

51

62

£50k

£4k

Attackers

Callum Patterson

23

ST
CM
RWB

Scotland

74

78

£7m

£33k

Bobby Reid

25

ST
CF

England

73

75

£4m

£33k

Oumar Niasse

28

ST

Senegal

73

73

On Loan

£61k

Kenneth Zohore

24

ST

Denmark

71

74

£3m

£23k

Danny Ward

27

ST

England

69

69

£1m

£20k

Rhys Healey

23

ST
LW

England

63

70

£500k

£7k

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Alastair Pusinelli

I am RealSport's Editor-in-Chief having covered almost everything across the board on the platform. Starting with content on football and the Chinese Super League, I have expanded into esports and gaming, via a stint as rugby editor.

With RS now focused on gaming and working alongside Gfinity, I led the site's coverage on the football titles of FIFA, Football Manager and PES. This has enabled me to cover official esports events such as the FIFA eWorld Cup, FUT Champions Cups and the Gfinity FIFA Series.

Elsewhere, I have been published in The Sunday Times and Variety magazine, as well as working in the offices of Brighton & Hove Albion FC and Hampshire CCC.

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