FIFA 20: How to master Defending – Tactics, Tackling, New Controls & more

Defending has changed, with a focus on manual controls and timing harder than ever.

One of the biggest changes for FIFA 20 is just how difficult it is to defend.

EA Sports has put a larger focus on manual defending this year, so you can no longer rely on the AI to do all the hard work for you.

In the words of legendary manager Sir Alex Ferguson, “attack wins you games, defence wins you championships”, so here’s how to get your back-line up to par.

Get your tactics right

BE RESPONSIBLE: Change your players’ responsibilities in the ‘Instructions’ menu

In order to gain an advantage over your opponent, it’s crucial you get your tactics right. While you should of course experiment and get a feel for what suits your style of play, there are a few specific player instructions that will immediately tidy up your defence:

Using two defensive midfielders really useful for protecting your backline, and you can make your midfielders more effective in doing so by instructing them to ‘cut passing lanes’.

READ MORE: All the best wonderkid centre backs (CB) to sign on FIFA 20 Career Mode

Quick passing moves in FIFA 20 are more difficult, so interceptions will be especially important. It’s also recommended that you keep your wing-backs back when you’re attacking as changes to pace has made counter-attacking really overpowered in this edition of FIFA.

AI will not save you

ON YOUR OWN: FIFA 20’s reduced defensive AI means tackling is all the more diffcult

In FIFA 19, defending was a breeze. You could hold down X/A to contain the play, or R1/RB to have one of your other players press the opponent on the ball.

This year, mindlessly charging with your defenders is not as effective. You have to be in patient, smart and in control with your defending. In fact, you hardly want to use the second man press at all so you will need to learn how to jockey (L2/LT) effectively instead.

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Julian Sims


A 22-year-old History graduate and a life-long gamer.

I started at RealSport covering football and basketball content, though my passion for esports has compelled me to expand my knowledge and explore the diversity of the gaming community.

I currently lead the site's new category RealFeatures - a collection of pieces focusing on special events, noteworthy games and important figures within the world of esports.