28 Sep 2020 11:50 AM +00:00

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

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.

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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. 


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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. 

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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. 

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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. 

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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 Dumfries22PSVHolland7681£10m£11k
Daniel Brosinski29MainzGermany7676£8m£22k
Noussair Mazraoui20AjaxMorocco7582£11m£10k
Renzo Saravia25RacingArgentina7580£9m£15k
Milton Casco30River PlateArgentina7676£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. 

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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 Garcia27Godoy CruzUruguay7878£12m£17k
Nils Petersen29FreiburgGermany7878£14m£27k
Graziano Pelle32Shandong LunengItaly7878£13m£21k
Niclas Fullkrug25HannoverGermany7778£14m£31k


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

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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
Nathan Etheridge28GKPhilippines7577£5m£29k
Alex Smithies28GKEngland7374£3m£24k
Brian Murphy25GKRep. Ireland6464£100k£4k
Souleymane Bamba33CBIvory Coast7676£3m£35k
Sean Morrison27CBEngland7475£5m£31k
Bruno Ecuele Manga29CB RBGabon7474£4m£33k
Greg Cunningham27LBRep. Ireland7373£3m£29k
Joe Bennett28LB LWBEngland7272£2m£26k
Ashley Richards27RB LB RWBWales6969£800k£16k
Lee Peltier31RB RWB LBEngland6868£500k£14k
Matthew Connolly30RB CBEngland6666£400k£10k
Cameron Coxe19RBWales5469£100k£2k
Victor Camarasa24CM RM CAMSpain7680On Loan£17k
Joe Ralls24CM CDMEnglan7477£6m£30k
Junior Hoilett28LM LW RMCanada7474£5m£36k
Harry Arter28CM CDMRep. Ireland7474On Loan£45k
Aron Gunnarsson29CDM CMIceland7373£3m£30k
Josh Murphy23LM ST RMEngland7277£4m£24k
Nathaniel Mendez-Laing26RM RWEngland7272£3m£28k
Loic Damour27CDM CM CAMFrance6969£800k£16k
Leandro Bacuna26CDM CM RBCuracao6869£800k£14k
Kadeem Harris25LM RMEngland6770£800k£12k
Stuart O’Keefe27CM CDMEngland6565£500k£10k
Aaron Bolger18CM CDMRep. Ireland5979On Loan£1k
Tyrone Duffus21CMEngland5563£100k£4k
James Waite19CM CAMWales5369£100k£2k
Lloyd Humphries20CMWales5162£50k£4k
Callum Patterson23ST CM RWBScotland7478£7m£33k
Bobby Reid25ST CFEngland7375£4m£33k
Oumar Niasse28STSenegal7373On Loan£61k
Kenneth Zohore24STDenmark7174£3m£23k
Danny Ward27STEngland6969£1m£20k
Rhys Healey23ST LWEngland6370£500k£7k
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