20 Nov 2020 4:51 PM +00:00

FM21 Tactics: One formation is still OP

Football Manager 2021 doesn't officially release until 24 November, but the beta has been available for a while now and we've been putting in the work on the training ground.

It's clear throughout out save that one formation is still the formation to use.

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FM21's OP formation

One of the terrific things about Football Manager 2021 is the ability to create, refine, and tweak your tactics. But in our play, one shape has proven the most potent, the 4-3-3.

It's not a surprise that this formation works well in FM21 as it is prefered by many of the biggest teams around the world, but in FM21 the flexibility you have with roles and mentalities means it can work in any situation.

FM21's best formation
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OP: The 4-3-3 has worked wonders with Arsenal in our save

The 4-3-3 lets you get bodies where you need them, and because it is so flexible it can really morph into an ultra-attacking or ultra-defensive formation without moving anyone.


Get bodies forward

As you can see from above image, we have five players on attack - the front three, one centre midfielder, and one fullback. You can add to this with the other CM or FB on attack to really push bodies up the field.

You can really get bodies in the box, even more so if you go double inside forward with the wide players.

It also retains reasonable structure with the trio in midfield, while the inside forward gives some immediate support to the solo striker.

Defensive block

You can also begin to lock down a lead with this formation.

PROTECTION: The 4-3-3 can also get defensive
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PROTECTION: The 4-3-3 can also get defensive

Without moving anyone's position, we can create a low block that is hard to break down.

Just by switching up some roles we have covered the middle of the park, while with the wide players on support they will give a lot more cover to the fullbacks without having to move down the formation.


With this 4-3-3 and no new signings, my Arsenal side is in a strong league position.

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In fourth with a game (or two) in hand and a good goal difference life is pretty good at the Emirates.

So get this formation into your save and give it a whirl! Just remember to keep adjusting those roles depending on your opponent!

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