Best formation for slowing the game down and holding possession?

Dare to Benteke
287 posts Sunday League Hero
Or is this non existent due to the high pressure? Every game I play is a fast paced hit out...


  • Slikwille
    486 posts Sunday League Hero
    Well part of the problem is this - - the best way to play against high pressure is to attack the space created by them pressuring. So holding the ball isn't the goal to counter pressure. Quick, decisive passes (usually into empty space) is the key. You want to move the ball quickly and attack the gaps created by their press.

    Now, if you want to slow the game down, using a wide formation with a lot of midfielders helps. It usually means you have a short passing option and a long padding outlet on the other side of the pitch. Formations like 4411, 4231, 352, 4141, and 451 all do this very well. In my personal experience, I find 4411 to be the most balanced between giving you enough passing options to slow the game down and attacking enough to exploit reckless high pressure players.
  • PTY BroZz
    2662 posts Fans' Favourite
    41212(2) or 4141 ;)
  • thanick
    139 posts Has Potential To Be Special
  • deankenny
    77 posts Park Captain
    352, start your work using the CDMS, pass between the cdms till your CAM or LM/RM get some space, and slowly progress your attack, remember the CDMS are always there to pass back to, if they are pressuring too much, don't be afraid to use your CDM's in a 352 formation the CDM position is OP as hell, and taking advantage of it is key, draw your opponent to your cdm to open up your attacking midfielders.
  • sinasipahioglu7
    1863 posts Play-Off Hero
    4141 is extremely solid when it comes to hold possesion on your own half and give your opponent frustration on the other hand 433-4 is the way to dominate possesion on your opponents half but it is extremely vulnerable against counter attacks, you have to use fast cbs such as cacares , manolas
  • Rumplefish
    18748 posts World Class
    4141. You have to play slow to get the striker involved
  • Johnny Bravo
    1303 posts Professional
    I've been having a lot of luck doing this with 451(2).

    The sheer number of CM's mean you will nearly always have a passing option to counter the high pressure and it's wide enough to switch the play.

    It's very good defensively as the bank of five midfielders is hard to break through quickly and you still have four at the back if they do get through your midfield.

    The biggest issue is the striker can be isolated if you try to break out quickly but as long as he has a bit of strength it's not an issue as you can hold it up until support arrives.

    If you're building up slowly and playing a possession game the midfielders will move up with your striker naturally and the gap between them is then not an issue.
  • Eisenhardt
    4131 posts National Call-Up
    I like 4231 this year (both variations) with a playmaker CDM and a defensive CDM. I have more possession and passing accuracy than my opponents most of the time.
  • Adrian095
    34071 posts National Team Captain
    Ask mourinho
  • 3lex
    307 posts Sunday League Hero
    4-3-3 (3) for holding, passing back and so on.
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