No matter what level of squad you have, setting your team up correctly can give you the edge on FIFA 21 Ultimate Team.
MsDossary takes you through his favourite formations, tactics, skill moves and other top tactical tips in this week’s FIFA101.
Maximise your chances
One crucial aspect of FUT 21 is setting your team up correctly, and most pro players will tell you to experiment and find something to suit you.
However, as touched upon in last week’s FIFA101, MsDossary has shared his favourite formations and tactical advice to help you on your way.
“Use a formation that has two strikers and one CAM such as 4-1-2-1-2 (narrow) and 5-2-1-2 if you don’t like the wingers in this game,” said MsDossary.
“For me, the wingers are working very well. The 4-4-2 (defend) and 4-2-2-2 are also very effective formations.”
Catch them in the act
Counter-attacking is one of the most effective tactics in FUT 21, with speed crucial in hitting your opponents on the break.
The 4-1-2-1-2 (narrow) combines defensive solidity with consistent attacking options to help you spring forward quickly and take advantage of your opponent being out of position.
“It suits me really well when I play with it and I really enjoy the 4-1-2-1-2,” said MsDossary.
“It is a very attacking one, so I enjoy it. I use stay back on my CDM for the [opposition] counterattacks because I already have five players attacking.”
For individual instructions, make sure that your CDM and full backs are set to "stay back while attacking".
Your CDM should also be told to "cover centre" and "cut passing lines" to maximise their defensive effectiveness.
On the attacking front, your strikers should be set to ‘stay forward’ along with the CAM to ensure there are quick options when you win the ball back.
“If I don’t put my CAM to ‘stay forward’, he will come back too close when I want him on the counter-attack,” said MsDossary.
“It's the best instructions for this formation.”
Pack the midfield
If you like to keep hold of the ball and have shorter passing options, the 4-2-3-1 (narrow) could be the option for you.
This is another formation that plays without wingers, although a 4-2-3-1 (wide) can utilise wingers if you need them in your XI.
MsDossary recommends setting the striker to "get in behind", "drift wide" and "stay forward" as it will help you stretch the defence and create more space for your midfielders.
The three attacking midfielders (LAM, CAM, RAM) should be set to "balanced" defensively.
“In this system, some players like to put their CAM on ‘stay forward’ but it depends. For me, I like to play like this for a more balanced game,” said MsDossary.
Defensively, the holding midfielders (RDM, LDM) should be instructed to "stay back while attacking", "cover centre" and "cut passing lanes".
To ensure you have six players defending at all times, set both full-backs to "stay back while attacking" too.
If you want defensive stability and to utilise wingers, the classic 4-4-2 (defend) can be your go-to system.
The 4-2-2-2 offers the same system but with attacking midfielders instead of wide players.
“You have two strikers and pacey wingers you can play with,” said MsDossary.
MsDossary explained that both strikers should be told to "stay forward" and "get in behind". The "balanced width" instruction will also ensure they vary their runs too.
The defensive midfielders and full-backs should all be set to "stay back while attacking", ensuring six players available to defend.
“For this formation, you need to have top CDMs. I have Gullit and Zidane so that makes it easier,” said MsDossary.
With the two wide players, set them to "come back on defence". They will get through plenty of work, so it is worth having subs for both of them.
In possession, you want them to "get in behind" and it comes down to preference on runs for crosses into the box, with Msdossary preferring "balanced crossing runs".
Tricks of the trade
Sometimes you need a little bit of magic to work some space for a shot, and how better to do that than with a delicious piece of skill.
The rainbow flick has proved useful already this season, but MsDossary says a simpler trick can be far more effective.
“The bridge - It is a very easy skill move to do and gives your player a speed boost which is very difficult to defend.
“It gives you many options upfront when using it.”
To perform the bridge on FIFA 21, simply double-tap R1 on PlayStation or RB on Xbox.
This does take a bit of getting used to, but can easily beat your opponent, so make sure to practice before trying it on Weekend League.
Whatever your system, you have to finish your chances on FUT 21, and create them too.
MsDossary said “I don’t think there is anything ‘broken’ beside the AI blocks and through balls. The through balls are a very effective way of attacking and getting in 1v1s.”
Using through balls and pace strikers will provide chances, and MsDossary has some advice for finishing.
“It depends on the space you have and where you shoot from,” said MsDossary.
You can take the goalkeeper out of the equation by dribbling around him.
“The best way to go around the GK is using the ball roll, said MsDossary, “near post finishing is also very effective.”
The Beast from the Middle East
Nicknamed “The Beast from the Middle East,” Musaed “MsDossary” Al Dossary is a former FIFA eWorld Champion and current Tundra Esports pro.
One of the biggest names in FIFA esports, MsDossary has lifted three FUT Champions Cups and a Summer Cup, with his crowning moment coming in 2018 when he won the FIFA eWorld Cup.
Still very much at the top of his game, MsDossary eased through the FIFA Global Series West Asia Qualifiers with a 10-0 Grand Final win.