Football Manager is back! Whilst many hardcore FM players will have already been getting their teeth stuck into the PC version of the detailed football sim, some of us enjoy the more relaxed set up of FM Touch.
Whether you are a hardcore FM manager who wants to try something a little bit different, an FM novice who wants to give it a go or anywhere in between, the first place to start is with your tactics and formations.
With that in mind, we have selected our top three team set-up tactics and formations to use in order to help you secure those titles.
This style of football that has become synonymous with Pep Guardiola’s sides in recent years, and a tactical style which works really well in FM if you have the squad for it, is Tiki Taka.
PASS PASS PASS: Tiki Taka is all about keeping the ball and wearing down your opponents
As the above image explains, Tiki Taka is all about patience, keeping possession and waiting for the opportunities to come.
The key to this style is having good central midfielders who enjoy having the ball at their feet. So if you are going to chose to play this way, you’ll have to think very carefully about the team which you are going to choose to manage, or make a couple of transfers here and there.
MIDDLE OF THE PARK: You want to overload your central midfielders with this style
Given the fact that Tiki Taka is all about keeping the ball, it should come as no surprise that we have selected a five in midfield formation to compliment it.
The 4-1-4-1 DM Wide is one of three formations which FM recommends for those Tiki Taka managers, and is by far the best.
You will want a Fernandinho-style defensive midfielder who can sit in front of your back four and play the simple balls, with your more creative minded MCs just in front of him.
Pace down the flanks is important in any team, but not so much in this one. So don't worry if your wingers aren’t blessed with blistering pace, as the aim here is to set up camp in your opposition's half and ensure that the final product in terms of your passing is on point.
Fluid Counter Attack
Now if pace doesn’t matter in the Tiki Taka tactical style, it is a totally different ball game if you choose the Fluid Counter Attack.
PACE: It’s all about the wingers in the Fluid Counter Attack
The two keys to this tactical style is a solid defence and pacey wingers. A direct contrast to the Tiki Taka, this style will see your opposition dominate in terms of possession as you look to catch them out of position when you recover the ball.
It is a very direct style of play as you will look to switch defence into attack in an instant.
FREE ROAM: Playing with a conventional no. 10 gives him
As is the case with all the tactical styles, there are three recommended formations which are given to you by FM, for this particular style, we find that the 4-4-1-1 formation to be the best.
Although, if you choose to go with this formation, the MOST important position is the AMC role, as they will receive the ball from the central midfielders with their back to goal and look to quickly turn and spread it wide or feed your striker in behind.
As you will be playing on the counter attack, you will want a pacey striker rather than a target man. Someone who can get in behind the line and exploit the gaps in the defence, Jamie Vardy being a prime example.
The Wing Play style, which you can imagine, is reliant on having quality on the flanks.
This style of play is all about spreading the ball out wide as quickly as you can and is quite similar to the Fluid Counter Attack setup, however the Wing Play style will see you have more possession than an counter attacking setup.
The two keys with this are to find the open space, and having fullbacks who have the pace to overlap quickly and the quality to deliver quality balls into the box towards your target man striker.
There is a whole load of different formations which work well for this style of play, however the one we have selected isn’t a recommended style but one we found works well. That is the 4-2-3-1 Wide.
Aside from pacey wingers, the other key here is two contrasting midfielders sat in front of your defence. One who can do the nitty gritty and intercept - think N’Golo Kante - and another who can spread the ball quickly out wide.
This style of play will work well for those whose squad aren’t the most technically gifted, but have a strong enough defence to hold their own.
For more articles like this, take a look at our Football Manager page.