By Pavo Jurkic
October 8, 2019
The FIFA 20 competitive season is in full flow. The first weekend league is done and dusted, and the expectations and impressions are just starting to settle it. I have to admit I’m a bit sad with my performance. Only 17 wins, with two unfinished matches because they couldn’t help me move up the rankings. Eight wins came as total blowouts, resulting in rage quits, which is the only thing I’m partially proud of in the first FIFA 20 weekend league.
I want more wins! Not just in the weekend league but division rivals too. My placement matches were atrocious, placing me in division seven. On the bright side, I’m in division four at the moment, but that’s only because I grinded my as* off to get POTM Pukki (AN ABSOLUTE BEAST) and Zaha as my primary CAM, and explored the best FIFA 20 formations to utilize in crucial matchups.
And that’s precisely what we’re going to talk about today – the best FIFA 20 formations you can use in FIFA Ultimate Team!
No worries, I won’t just list out the formations and be done with it. Nope! We’re going b*lls deep in them, explaining their pros and cons as well as the types of players you need at certain positions to ensure the tactics go according to plans.
Talking about tactics, I’ll also guide you through my train of thoughts regarding game plan alterations, something which can prove helpful in those hard-to-win matches against opponents who are trying to counter your style of play.
There’s a ton of stuff we’re going to go through in this Best FIFA 20 Formations Guide, so let’s dive right on in!
If FIFA 20 is your first FUT experience, you might not think much of the formations and tactics. You might think it’s all in your ability to control the ball, time your passes as well as runs in behind the defensive four. If you think that, I’m afraid you’re terribly wrong.
Yes, all that stuff matters. That’s the sort of stuff that wins FIFA matches. If the skill gap between you and your opponent is noticeable (in your favor), then that’s all you’ll need to come out with a win. If, on the other hand, it’s a neck and neck match from the very start, and that’s a significant portion of the games you’ll play in FIFA 20, you’ll need a lot more than pure skill.
You’ll need to outsmart your opponent in the tactical department. You’ll need to mix things up with the formations, take a different approach to ball movement, correct the midfield spacing, and dictate the tempo a bit differently… and the only proper way of doing so is by tampering around the formations and tactics. There’s just no other way around it.
That said, let’s get down to business and check out the five best FIFA 20 formations that can help you traverse to higher divisions and get those sweet top-tier packs!
Let’s start our list of the best FIFA 20 formations with 4-3-2-1. Nope, it’s not a countdown; it’s an actual formation that’s often used in top FUT divisions. Why? Well, because it’s easy to use, offers great defensive options, and possesses enough attacking versatility no matter if you love playing via the flanks or straight down the middle.
We’re talking about a well-rounded formation here. It’s superb in every aspect, and with a bit of alteration on the tactical end, it can even face off against pacey wingers. If you end up playing 4-3-2-1, don’t be afraid of conceding goals, though. It will happen, sooner or later. Why? Because your midfielders will continuously win the ball, meaning you’ll be in your opponent’s third most of the time, which will result in a whole heap of counter-attacks.
On the bright side, those six players forming that weird circle above your defensive four will be more than enough to wreak havoc in your opponents’ third. If you are going to use this formation, make sure your central midfielder (the one in the middle) has a high/high work-rate. Another great idea would be to pressure after possession loss, which will put an extra constraint on your opponent’s midfielders. Combine that with wide runs of your supporting forwards, and you’ll have no problems with exploiting the backline either via the flanks or through the center, depending on your style of play.
Everyone seems to hate 4-4-1-1 (2). It’s been that way since FIFA 17, I believe, and I honestly don’t see why that hate is still so darn high. Yes, this formation leaves a ton of space down the middle, especially if all three of your central midfielders aren’t prolific on the defensive end. But there’s an easy fix for that in the form of active, pacey CDMs.
Yes, there’s not a lot you can do against formations such as 4-3-3 or the classic 4-5-1, but that’s what dynamic game plans are there for, so you can quickly switch to another formation without having to pause the game and tamper around the settings.
What this formation excels at is creative, passing buildups, using skilled midfielders, not necessarily physically imposing ones, but ones that are strong on the ball and possess great passing vision. That, coupled with a creative, fast-paced CAM and agile wingers will get you a ton of chances in the opponent’s third. If you know how to take finesse shots just outside the box, this will be one of the best FIFA 20 formations you’ll ever use!
If you’re thinking of recycling magnificent formations from past FIFA iterations, then 4-1-2-1-2 must be the first one that comes to mind. Yep, 4-1-2-1-2 is among the best FIFA 20 formations, despite the fact that physicality is no longer that OP.
While it’s still good, it’s not as powerful as it was in FIFA 19. You’ll need to arm yourself with high work-rate midfielders (both CDM and CAM) with decent defense stats, and instruct them to free roam the midfield on and off the ball, in case your opponent’s wingers decide to stick it into the middle.
On the attacking end, you’ll want to exploit the flanks just like you’d usually do, but thanks to the free-roaming CAM, not only will you have space on the sides but options for passing in the middle as well. It’s a versatile formation, especially if you have physically imposing strikers who can run with the ball and shake off the opponent’s defenders. It’s a win-win situation, no matter if you’re playing it from the sides or down the middle.
Be vary of counter-attacks though! With pace buffs in FIFA 20; it’s easy to get surprised by counter-attacks. Lofted through balls are as powerful as ever, and there’s a handful of cheap wingers that can easily exploit the space left by your roaming midfielders.
If your opponent doesn’t have a ton of pace, you should immediately switch to this formation and be done with it. Why? Well, 4-3-3 (4) is a proper powerhouse against static players who concentrate on creating wonderful passage of plays instead of running and gunning down the flanks. Even though FIFA 20 gives a bit more advantage to pacey wingers than FIFA 19 did, there’s still a ton of players looking to create chances by passing the ball right through the middle… and that’s precisely what this formation perfectly counters!
If, however, you use this as your default formation, going up against a team packed with pace will get you in a world of trouble. If your opponent knows what he’s doing, you’ll have to face a barrage of wing-driven chances your defenders won’t be able to sustain. In that case, switching to 4-1-2-1-2 or even 4-3-3 (2) is the ideal thing to do.
Another thing 4-3-3 (4) excels at is Squad Battles. By using quick wingers and prolific passers in midfield, you’ll be able to wreak havoc on the AI. Even at greater difficulties like Legendary and Ultimate, your wingers shouldn’t have issues penetrating the flanks. Yes, FIFA 20 AI have superior positioning when compared to FIFA 19, but it’s still not enough to contain the likes of Felipe Anderson and that brand-new flashback Theo Walcott card. Combine that thrilling pace with a strong striker who can head the ball, and you got yourself a winning combo for Squad Battles.
Yes, I know what you’re thinking right now… Having three players at the back is a terrible idea. And yes, it might’ve been that way in the past few FIFA iterations, but in FIFA 20, thanks to better AI positioning, those two defensive midfielders do a pretty good job at containing your opponents’ attacks. If you have solid defensive midfielders, that is.
You need them to be pacey and physically strong, someone like Ndombele or Sissoko, even Kante, if you can afford him. Your back trio also needs to have a lot of wind under their feet. Bellerin, van Aanholt, and Ake are my men of choice for the backline. If you opt for slow(ish) defenders, you’ll have a very tough time dealing with people using pacey wingers. They’ll exploit the flanks, and your fast CDM’s won’t suffice, even if you instruct them to cover the wings.
You can’t go wrong with the rest of the squad, though. 3-5-2 is ridiculously powerful for any style of play. Whether you’re in it for the passing, dribbling, or lifter through balls down the flanks, 3-5-2 will be right up your alley. Goalscoring shouldn’t be an issue – it’s the defensive end you’ll have to worry about with this one.
Now that you’ve seen the best FIFA 20 formations that can give you a competitive edge over your opponents, it’s time to dig deeper into the tactical nature of EA’s FIFA 20!
The thing that many beginners tend to forget/disregard are the dynamic game plan adjustments. It’s a relatively new feature that hasn’t been in the game for too long but has already developed into an important factor that can easily sway the odds one way or another.
There are four dynamic game plans, and you can switch between them using the left and right D-pad buttons. By default, they are linked to certain tactical instructions tied to the formation you’re using. Of course, those default tactical instructions are not ideal, and you can greatly benefit by altering them.
Unfortunately, I can’t go into too many details regarding the specific things you should change, like player runs, positioning freedom, and defensive/offensive gameplay alterations. It wouldn’t make any sense since every formation plays differently, and my advice would do you no good.
What I can tell you is to experiment. Settle with one default formation and then work your way from there. You don’t have to set up a different formation for each dynamic game plan, but having two or three different formations with different attacking buildups and defensive instructions will enable you to counter your opponent’s playstyle more often than not. It’s not science fiction. All it takes is a bit of trial and error experimentation, and you’ll be as good as gold!
That’s about it as far as the best FIFA 20 formations and tactical alterations are concerned. As you can see for yourselves, there’s a fair share of strategic options you can adjust. If you want to move up the divisions and improve your Weekend League win rate, you’ll have to experiment with formations and switch between them mid-game to counter your opponents’ playstyle and formation.
FIFA 20 Ultimate Team is not just a battle of skills; it’s a battle of wits too. Not only do you have to outplay your opponents, but you have to outsmart them too. It’s an in-depth game, looking more like a simulation with each passing year. Yes, it has its flaws, but I’m sure we’ll see even more improvements through patches and hotfixes that’ll come in the next few weeks/months.