You can set tactics specifically for all scheduled matches. This is done on the same page where you select your lineup. You find this page by either click on "Tactics" in the team menu or the edit icon show to the right of each coming match list on the coming matches page. When entering the page the information under the currently saved tab will be displayed. Information about the match you are setting match orders for is displayed above the tabs. If no match is scheduled no information will be displayed but you will be able to save a default lineup and tactics.
To set the tactics for the specific match you must click on the tactics tab. The lineup shown under the tactics tab will be the currently saved lineup for that specific match.
Every team has a standard set of tactics which are used if no other tactics have been chosen. On the tactics page you see the team you have selected and if you place the mouse pointer over a player's name you get information about that player. You see which position he/she prefers to play in and his/her skill level and current form. The skill level and form are shown with numbers, for example 4 is the same as 4 skillboxes etc. If you want to change your selected team you go to the squad page.
The tactics you choose are for the next match. You get information about the next match in the square below the square showing the selected team. There is shown amongst other things the team you are playing against, the time of the match and who the referee will be. As well as the name of the referee you see his/her S- and H- values where the S-value represents his/her skill level and the H-value how hard he/she is. It is not easy to try to cheat when the referee is highly skilled and such referees are also better at judging offsides than those less skilled. If a referee has a high H-value it means he/she is very strict and will not tolerate the slightest offence.
Style of play:
When you choose your tactics you first have to choose your style of play which determines how the team will behave when they have the ball. If you choose to play defensive the team will take few risks and will try to keep hold of the ball when they get it. Defensive play has the disadvantage of not creating so many scoring opportunities but hopefully neither will your opponents. If you choose to play offensive the whole team will go forward and you will probably create a fair number of scoring opportunities but the disadvantage is that your defence will not be so tight which will give your opponents more scoring opportunities also.
This tactical option lets you decide how the team will behave in the last third of the pitch. The alternatives you can choose between are:
The team plays as it usually does and will try to attack on the wings, with through balls and long range shots. This tactic thus means the team will play a regular game.
2) Through plays
If you choose this strategy the team will try to hit more through balls. This can be a good tactic if you have fast attackers and your opponent's defenders are not so fast and their goalkeeper is not very good against a lone attacker who has broken away from the defence.
3) Wing plays
If you use this strategy your team will try playing down the wings and cross the ball in towards the penalty area. This tactic can be good if your attackers are good headers of the ball and your opponent's goalkeeper is no good at catching high balls.
4) Long shots
This can be a good tactic if you have players who are good at shooting from outside the penalty area and the opponent's goalkeeper does not position him/herself well.
This choice of tactics lets you decide how your defenders defend the area around the penalty box. The alternatives you can choose between are:
Everything is as usual and you leave no more space on the wings than in the middle.
2) Tighten the wings
If you think your opponent is going to try to play a lot down the wings it can be good to make sure your defenders concentrate on defending the wings thereby preventing the opponents from crossing the ball in. This means that your central defence will be weaker and make you more vulnerable against through balls and breakaways.
3) Tighten the centre
If you think your opponent will use through plays or go for long shots it can be a good idea to concentrate on defending the centre. This means your defence will be weaker on the wings and you will be more vulnerable against a team attacking down the wings.
Defend against formation
You are able to prepare your team for how your opponent will play. If you think your opponent will play 4-4-2 you will be able to choose to prepare your team for that by selecting that formation in a dropdown list on the tactics page. The tactical option is possible to save within the default tactics.
If your opponent uses that formation this will have a negative effect on your opponent’s ability to create chances. How much effect it will have depends on how accustomed your opponent is to playing with that formation. That is determined by the formations used by your opponent the last 3 matches (including friendlies). The more matches (out of the past 3 matches) the opponent has played with a certain formation, the better he will be at playing that formation.
In other words this means that if the opponent uses a formation that he has used before and you didn’t prepare for that formation then your opponent will get a boost in his ability to create chances.
If you choose to prepare your team for a formation that the opponent won't use, then your opponent will always get a small positive extra effect on their ability to create chances. If you choose not to prepare your team for any formation then your opponent won't get any extra positive effect other than the experience they have on their formation used in the match.
By aggression we mean how aggressively your players behave on the pitch. You can tell them to play hard and they will then tackle hard and some times even brutally. Your team will perform a little better and if you are lucky perhaps your opponent's best player will be injured. The disadvantage is that your players will more likely get booked or even sent off and also your opponent will probably get more freekicks and perhaps penalties. It is also tiring playing this hard so your team will lose some steam towards the end of each half. If you instead tell your players to play carefully they will not tackle very hard but the team will perform slightly worse than usual. The advantages are that your team will not be giving away so many freekicks or penalties or get any unnecessary yellow or red cards. Furthermore playing a careful game will lower the risk slightly of your players getting injured since they will not tackle so hard while playing hard increases the risks of injuries. When you choose how aggressively your team is going to play you should check who the referee will be. If the referee is hard (a high H-value) you should avoid playing to agressively, you might even want to tell your players to play carefully to avoid being sent off or giving away to many freekicks or even penalties. In friendly games you cannot choose aggression, everyone plays carefully.
The player you choose as team captain should be the most respected player in the team. He/she should have his heart in the club, be amongst the most skilled and preferably a leader type. Look at the players visual skill level, you can ignore his/her form. When choosing the captain you can subtract 3 from the skill level if a player has not got his/her heart in the club and you can add 2 if a player is a leader type. If you still have 2 evenly matched players it is best to choose the leader type. A leader will perform at his/her best as team captain and get the whole team behind him/her. To choose a player who is not respected by the others is bad for the team. Note however that chosing a captain is the least important of all the tactical choices.
You are able to choose who you want as your first choice of captain and all the way down to the 20th choice. If you save a list, it will be used for all future matches as long as you don´t change and save a new player manually in the dropdownlist for a specific game. If your number 1 choice is injured or unavailable the next player in list will take the role.
If you have a good midfielder it might be a good idea to choose him/her as a playmaker and let most of the play go through him/her. His/her skill will then carry more weight than that of the other midfielders and give the team more attacking power. There is though a risk that the opponents choose to mark him/her closely and in that case the playmaker's skill will carry less weight than that of the other midfielders.
In the scrolling list you choose the player you want to take the freekicks. If you do not choose someone particular then the team captain will take care of the freekicks. A good taker of freekicks should have a lot of experience. Experience is not as important for freekicks as when taking penalties but you should not choose a teenager for this task. Furthermore the more skilled a player is and the better his/her form is the better he/she will be at taking freekicks. When choosing the freekick taker you should also take in account if the player has the special quality for freekicks or if he/she has the special quality of great power in his shots. Read more about those special qualities in the section about special qualities.
You are able to choose who you want as your first choice of freekick taker and all the way down to the 20th choice. If you save a list, it will be used for all future matches as long as you don´t change and save a new player manually in the dropdownlist for a specific game. If your number 1 choice is injured or unavailable the next player in list will take the role.
When taking penalties experience is very important. A penalty taker should also be quite skilled and in good form.
You are able to choose who you want as your first choice of penalty taker and all the way down to the 20th choice. If you save a list, it will be used for all future matches as long as you don´t change and save a new player manually in the dropdownlist for a specific game. If your number 1 choice is injured or unavailable the next player in list will take the role. This list is also used when a competitive game ends in a penalty shoot-out.
If your opponent happens to have a top class player who might dominate the match it can be a good idea to mark him/her closely. The closely marked player will not get as much space as he/she is used to and will therefore create less scoring opportunities and score less goals. Your players will also tackle him/her a bit harder increasing the probability of him/her being injured but this increase is very small. The probability of injuries in your opponent's team as a whole does not increase. The disadvantage with this tactic is of course that the other players in the opposing team will have more space and will perform slightly better than usual. If the player you were going to closely mark does not start the match everything will be as normal.
You can motivate your players to perform better by promising bonus money for winning. The more money you promise the better they will perform in the match. You must have enough money to cover it at the start of the match or the effect will be the opposite. The sum is a lump sum which is paid out to the whole team so you do not pay each player individually the stated amount. If the team wins the whole sum is paid out and if they draw only a quarter of the sum is paid out. If the team loses nothing is paid out. In cup matches played over 2 legs the money in the second leg is paid out only if you advance. Bonus money is not included in the standard tactics.
Substitute slightly injured:
You are able to choose if you want players that gets slightly injured during the match to continue to play or not. This option is a simple Yes/No-choice where No is the default. Using a slightly injured player involves the risk of the player getting another injury which in that case would lead to a severe injury. A slightly injured player is completely fit and healthy within 4 days.
If you choose to play long balls you will lessen the importance of the midfield for you and your opponent. This tactic can be useful when your opponents's midfield is very strong. If you yourself are playing with a lot of midfielders you should avoid this tactic.
By putting pressure on the holder of the ball you will strengthen your midfield which should increase your possession of the ball. Your opponent will also have difficulty in finding opportunities to shoot from outside the penalty area. In other word this tactic can be good if you think your opponent will try a lot of shots from outside the penalty area but the disadvantage is that your players will get tired towards the end of each half especially in the second half because they will be chasing the player with the ball.
If you tell your defenders to use offside traps they will leave the opponents in offside positions most of the time but when they fail your opponents will break away from the defence and have a good chance of scoring. When the referee is not very skilled (low S-value) he is not very good at judging offsides and if he is not very hard (low H-value) he might allow some offsides you think are obvious. Playing with offside traps will make it harder for your opponents to create scoring opportunities but the chances they have will instead be more dangerous.
To tell your players to cheat and try to gain advantages means that you practically are telling them to dive, pull the opponent's shirts and generally act unsportsmanly. You can gain from this tactic if you use it in a match with the "right" type of referee. A low skilled (low S-value) referee has difficulty in judging what is cheating and what is not and if he/she is hard as well you can get freekicks and even penalties by cheating or perhaps get one of your opponent's players sent off. Your defence will also be able to perform a bit better when they can pull the shirts of the opponent's players. But be very careful of using this tactic in a match with a skilled referee ecspecially if he also is hard in his judgements because then you might give away a lot of freekicks and even penalties and also risk having your own players sent off.
When you have chosen your tactics you press the "Save tactics" button to save them. If you check "Save as default" they will be saved as the new standard.