FIFA 20: How to Defend with Manual defending, jockeying, tactics & more

Defending has changed, with a switch to manual controls and timing of tackles harder than ever.

Julian-Sims by Julian Sims

From the moment FIFA 20 was released, players have realised just how difficult defending has been to previous years.

With a switch to manual defending, players will have to take control of their own back line as opposed to relying on the AI.

But don’t worry, here at RealSport we have all the tips and tricks you need to get your defending skills up to scratch.

 

 

Get your tactics right

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:

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

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

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.

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

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.

Learn to jockey effectively

Being able to jockey is what will separate good from great on FIFA 20. Holding down L2/LT will cause your defender to hold their ground, enabling them to either sniff out a pass or simply stop a striker from advancing.

STAY BACK: Using jockey and player switching effectively will result in the opposition being wardened off to a less dangerous area of the pitch

If you hold down R2/RT with L2/LT, your player will begin to fast jockey; this makes your defender move around quicker and speeds up their lateral movements.

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

Holding down both triggers allows you to cover a lot of ground which is great when looking for an interception, but if you want to tackle, you should move toward the attacker and let go of sprint when within range for a more accurate tackle.

Player switching

The key to defending well is selecting the right player and being able to switch effectively. Rather than rely on the automatic switch, try to use the right-stick (RS) to manually select the player you want to control, especially when blocking strikers from getting in behind.

ROTATE: Cycle between players to bring on the press

However, if you’re looking to close down a player quickly, you should use L1/LB to switch players. To help you with this, there is a new setting in player controls called ‘ball relative right stick switching‘ which will focus your auto-switching to players closer to the ball.

Making the most of hard tackles

In FIFA 20, you can determine the power of your tackle by holding down the standing tackle button (O/B) or slide tackle button (Square/X).

BRAWN & BEAUTY: In this situation, holding down the slide tackle button resulted in the defender closing a big gap and winning the ball back

A full power hard tackle will send your player lunging forward, which can be great for closing big gaps, but will leave your defender completely out of position if you miss.

Usually, two bars of power will make your tackle strong enough to prevent the shot but retain some accuracy and positioning.

READ MORE: FIFA 20 complete Controls guide

Julian Sims