FIFA Defending

FIFA15 defending

FIFA defending. How to defend in FIFA 16

Defence is just as important in FIFA as attacking. Become skilled at defending and you have a good chance of beating more experienced players or more importantly those with stronger teams. Defending is about reading your opponent and anticipating. Look for patterns in your opponents play. Use tactics to help you if finding it hard to defend. Try a 5-2-1-2 or 4-5-1 for a bit to stop opponents breaking you down easily. Containing in FIFA16 is same as in previous FIFAs and is not as effective as in 13 or 12. CHECK out the video we created covering points 6 and 7. How to defend crossing and corners. It is a must watch. Shown in section 6.

Here are the sections for Defending:

1. FIFA Controller settings



The key settings for defending are shown to the right. Number 1 is change autoswitching to Airballs. So you have to manually change players unless in the air when it picks the player the ball is heading for. 2 autoswitching move assistance means when you change to a player they keep moving slightly in the direction they were facing rather than simply stopping. 3 is analogue sprint also useful when defending because your player reacts to the amount you are pressing the left stick to move. Also make sure have tactical defending set for if you play offline to get used to the game online. Online it always uses tactical.

Then you need to know the defence buttons on your controller. By default classic settings are as shown here. If you use alternative all that changes are sliding tackle with Tackle/Push Pull.

There is also one IMPORTANT thing people don’t know about or use often in FIFA. You can change manually to a different player defensively by flicking the right stick in the direction of them. Sometimes you will curse as pressing the change player button switches to a player you didn’t want so you have to press it again until they are highlighted. Much quicker is flicking the right stick towards them, especially if defending a break away counter attack. Get used to using this as it helps a lot!

2. Reading your opponent in FIFA

This might be easy or hard depends on your opponent. Look for patterns and use the knowledge you learn on this page to stop them. Cover the next pass and players in space if a passer. Use jockeying if they use skills. Drop defenders and midfielders deeper if they like to do lob through balls. If they like to cross it have extra cover down your wings or force them inside. Once you get used to reading opponents you will improve your attacking play as it will help you learn how the best players defend. It is also a good idea to mix up your defensive style. So you could use a high pressure tactic and run at his players for a few minutes, then change to a more relaxed containing position. It is as useful as mixing up your attack.

3. How and when to tackle in FIFA

There are four main parts to tackling, 1. Lunging, 2. Push and pull, 3. The tackle, 4. The slide tackle.
If there is a gap between you and the player with the ball pressing tackle will actually make your player lunge at them with his leg. This is best when in front of a player running at you or if you are running towards the player from an angle and quite close. If too much of a gap your player will lunge at space and his leg will be stuck out meaning you can’t control him quickly again. Sometimes players do this themselves if you aren’t controlling them and it makes it easier for attackers to run round them.

If running along side a player or behind them you can use the push pull button to try knock them off the ball or pull their shirt. This is best used outside the box and mainly against wingers to put them off their cross. Can also be used to try stop players shooting but the animations of the game might mean you give away a free kick as you catch their shooting leg.

Go for a tackle as soon as your opponents foot touches the ball and it is about to leave their foot. They will have least control of it. You have to practice timing tackles and it always better to attempt them head on or diagonally to the player with the ball.

Sliding tackles are an art you should practice. In FIFA 16 they work even better than in any other FIFA because you can slide from the side and actually win the ball. You can use the left stick to curl your feet round a player to make a tackle. It is even more effective with better players. So if running along side press the left stick in same direction while pressing slide tackle and then curl the left stick round in the direction of their feet as if your foot is wrapping around the ball. Only try this if slightly ahead of your opponent. Otherwise slide tackling is more useful for cutting out passes. Look where the pass is and cut it out sliding in that direction. This can be effective just sliding in the way of a run. Make sure not last man we don’t recommend sliding in that situation or in the area. We know what the collision system can be like players will fall over and get a penalty.

4. How to contain in FIFA

Containing can be done manually using jockey LT/L1 in our image above and also hold RT/R2 for running jockey. Containing and jockeying means your player is tracking your opponent blocking his path and doesn’t tackle, he is trying to stop the run or pass and the player running towards goal. You have to move the left stick in the direction of your opponent to keep him contained. Containing can also be done automatically by you pressing the contain button. Shown as A or Circle above. Using this the computer controls where the player jockeys not you. So just hold it down and your defender will track the player with the ball. The contain button was very effective in FIFA13 but probably too much so was changed in FIFA14. Remains the same in FIFA16 players hold off. It is better to learn to manually jockey and use the Team Mate contain button. Shown as RB/R1 above. When you use team mate contain a different player to the one you are controlling goes towards the player with the ball to track and jockey them. Now you can move the player you are controlling nearer the person you think your opponent will pass to. In effect intercepting passes. Or if near the box you can move into an area which will block any shot. Explained more in the next section defending your area. Also you can use both the contain button and team mate press button at the same time with certain tactics to press heavy to win the ball back if losing. Explained in the final section pressing with many players.

5. How to defend your area in FIFA

Defending FIFA16
FIFA16 Defending

FIFA16 Defending 3

From jockeying player 1 we manually changed defender using right stick to flick it towards number 2. Then held Team mate contain to keep 1 jockeying. If his player on ball was facing box he should try a lob through ball to man running through. He would need to do that quick and if he did we would go for tackle or slide with our player 1. But he cuts inside so we move number 2 forward to edge of box to block a run or shot. Then switch manually to player 4 to approach the player with the ball.

So try team mate contain around edge of box and move players manually to cover the gaps in the middle. Don’t worry about balls to the wing we cover defending crossing next.

6. How to defend crosses in FIFA

You need to have your controller settings set to airballs for autoswitching on defending. Make sure to check our video on defending crosses and corners. It is the same in FIFA16 as 15. All the points are described below but obviously helps to watch the video explaining in detail showing lots of footage –

FIFA stop cross 1
FIFA stop cross 2

FIFA stop cross 3

First off try to stop the cross! Player 3 is running towards the ball as player 4 runs down the wing. He will collect the ball and then try to put the ball ahead of player 4. So the best thing to do with people who love crossing is put a player in the space ahead down the wing to block access.
We are controlling player 1 so to manually change to the defender number 2 we need to flick the right stick in that direction. Once we have control of player 2 we run him towards the corner flag filling that space. Then your opponent won’t try the through ball to the winger but might pass it to him. So you will end up with a player in front of him. Usually they will then cut inside so you change to the player inside by again flicking right stick towards him. If he still tries to run down the wing hold 2nd man press so your defender nearest corner flag jockeys him. If he cuts inside you now have control of the player to break down the play or next pass.

If your opponent does manage to get the cross in here is how to win the header!

FIFA cross header win 1
FIFA cross header win 2
FIFA cross header win 3

STEP 1. Make sure controlling a player away from the area. Best one is closest to the crosser. If you think they are going to fake and cut inside hold 2nd man press and switch to the next closest player. Only do this if your defender inside does not have a striker to mark. So in the example above he has a man to mark and you should not switch to him.
STEP 2. When ball being crossed don’t press anything until the ball is dipping towards the two players. Then press the left stick the same direction the ball is going in away from the crosser and press shoot (don’t just tap it). IN the example above you would hold left stick up. Your defender will try to flick the ball behind him jumping into the striker. If more space he will just clear it out of the box. Make sure to watch the video showing all the steps

7. How to defend corners in FIFA

Defending the corner is the same as defending the cross. As quickly as possible change to a player near the corner taker. Run him away from the box. You can flick the right stick towards the player to do this. Then don’t press anything as ball being crossed in and it will autoswitch to correct defender. As ball is dipping down onto the striker and defender press the left stick away from the direction of the cross and press shoot. IN the example above you would hold the left stick down. If your player is facing the corner he will flick it backwards if challenged by a striker or simply clear it out of the box. Again we recommend you watch the video and practice the timing of the jump.

FIFA15 corner header win 1
FIFA15 corner header win 2
FIFA15 corner header win 3

8. Player work rates in FIFA


FIFA16 work rates are really important again. Makes a difference to your players as you attack and defend there will be gaps to exploit. A reason why in real life David Luiz runs forward out of defence. Defenders and Defensive midfielders with low attacking work rate and high defensive will do a more defensive job for your team helping you stay stronger defensively. If you attack and score lots this might not be a problem.

9. Formation and tactics in FIFA

10. Using the offside trap in FIFA

The best way to catch teams offside is press up twice on your d-pad during the game to make your defence move up as one line. Only do this when the opponent is attacking and looking to play a through ball over the top. If you do press it make sure to use dpad again to select your preferred tactic in game. Here we have a video showing how to use it. Takes skill and practice however.

11. How to press with many players in FIFA


Ever wondered how players online can rush at you with lots of players!? This can be effective if chasing the game and need the ball back desperately but can leave you very exposed as there will be big gaps in your midfield and defence. To have more players rushing you need to set your team tactics in game to high pressure or team press. By default these are done using the d-pad DOWN and then LEFT for high pressure or UP and then DOWN for team pressing. We find high pressure much more effective for this as your players will run towards your opponents further up the pitch to get the ball back. Then rush the player you are controlling hold RT/R2 and aim the left stick towards the attacker or press the contain button. Usually more pressure if you run at him yourself as contain will hold off a little. At the same time as you are running towards him hold the Team Mate Contain button. Then you will have two players running towards the player with the ball. If you manually change player to somebody further away you can also then run them towards the player or into the space to cover the pass.

12. How to defend pace abuse in FIFA

Defending pace abuse is always going to be a problem in FIFA as once a fast striker has space there isn’t much you can do to stop them running into it. What you need to try and do is stop the pass in the first place. If that fails you need to quickly manually change to a deeper defensive player either a midfielder or defender. When controlling them move them back towards your goal covering open space. You can flick the right stick to change defending player don’t forget. Also you can use custom tactics to tell defenders to stay back. Or in FIFA16 set player instructions for them to stay back when attacking. By default the CBs are set to this but go to the RB and LB and change those before or during game. Will make a big difference. Look out for player work rates as above too. High attack work rate on a defender is not going to help you as much position wise.

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