THE 4141 : A unique formation (GUIDE inside)

10927 posts Has That Special Something
edited July 2017
The 4141: A unique formation

The 4141 is a rareley used formation in Fifa 17 ultimate. Does it mean it’s a bad formation? As always … it depends. It depends on the players you use and your playstyle. If you want an ultra high paced game or playing counter attack only, then its not a formation for you. If you like to play a nice buildup game, lots of variety in terms of creating chances and goals, than its perfect.
I have experimented the whole year using this formation from time to time, and a few days ago I decided to go full 4141 and taking this formation to another level.
As I had no success finding a 4141 guide, I decided to make one for everyone interested.
Feedback is very welcome of course and would really help to make this formation a bid more popular.

The strength of the 4141:
- Very good for controlling the game. Easy to hold position and to dictate the speed of the game.
- Lots of different goalscorers in your team.
- Huge variety of creating chances by mixing all kind of passes and crosses
- Very hard to break down because of a CDM and two CM´s
- The unique strength of the “DELAYED COUNTER ATTACK” (more detail on this later)
- Way more offensive than you would think when looking at these formation
- I usually have around 60% possession and my midfielders get about 30 passes each per game.

The weakness of the 4141
- Only 1 striker (he needs to be a top tier allrounder) which can lead to situations where he is isolated
- Not suited for extremely fast counter attacks (but excellent for the “delayed counter attack” with lost of players joining the counter)
- Hard to hybrid


- Best striker for this formation is a world class allround striker with good pace, height, strength and of course finishing.
- Suarez, Lewandowski, Ronaldo, Lukaku,…. Are perfect examples
- The striker is involved a lot and needs very high short passing and at least average long passing

- They need to be very good finisher, as they get a lots of chances from close and longrange. The success of this formation completely depends on the quality of your CM´s. Top Players in this position make a huge difference. Don’t be shy to spend most of your coins for the CM spot.
- High stamina is needed as they have to contribute a lot in both directions
- Physical presence is very helpful
- You can use cam´s converted to CM (like Eriksen) as long as they have stamina and at least average defending
- Best players: Hamsik, Naingollan, Eriksen, Alli, Rooney, Pogba, Isco,… (best version you can afford)

- - He is the main distributor in your team. High defending and very good passing is very important, so is stamina.
- High defensive workrate is perfect, but med/med also works. Never use a CDM with higher Attacking workrate than his defending workrate
- Good longshots are important as he gets in shooting position regardless of your setup anyway.
- Recommendations: Kante (special cards), naingollan, Vidal, Khedira, Casemiro

RM and LM:
- Nothing special here and probably where you can save some coins (not recommend to save coins at your CM+CDM spot)
- Good weakfoot helps for cutting in as do 4 star skill moves
- Recommendations: Messi, Dembele IF+, Mane, Neymar (if you have the coins). Cheap players with decent pace, passing and shooting are no big deal and can be used if you are short on coins

- As in any formation their main focus is defending. Nothing special here and at this stage of the game everyone should have a decent backline.
- All defenders get more time on the ball than in other formations. Therefore good passing skills are helpful. Dominating the play starts at the defense and its way more comfortable with someone who can pass the ball without any troubles.
- Down to personal preference and chemistry reasons. The longthrow trait is helpful


- What is it? And why is it something special of this formation?

I will tell you:

The usual counter attack is fast and direct play where you want to get the ball (mostly by a throughball) to your striker or Winger as soon as possible and finish within a few seconds after you got the ball in your own half.
In the 4141 there is only 1 striker and the LM+RM are not that high up the pitch as they are in the 433 or as close to the striker as in the 4321. Therefore you have to change your way of counter attacking.
When you get the ball in the 4141 in your own half and go foreward, you will more often than not have the complete midfield (LM+CM+CM+RM+CDM) joining the attack in one line. Which means you can spread the play to the left or the right and the rest of your team goes foreward. This leads to a lot of passing options with usually your complete midfield line rushing towards the opponents backline. He has 4 defenders (and a CDM) to deal with that and if you use fast one-two passes (and trigger runs manually) you can really overwhelm his defense. You will always have someone to pass to while a lot of your players will try to run towards (or behind) your opponents backline.
You don’t want to pass the ball to your striker asap, you want your midfield to rush towards his defence. This is what I mean by “delayed counter attacking”: Its not about going foreward with 3 players asap, its about getting foreward with 5 players (midfield +ST) at the same time with less pace (sometimes even your CDM joins the run) The final shot on goal will usually come later than in a fast counter, but you have more possible finisher to take that shot.
If he makes one mistake with a CB your rushing midfielders are behind his defence and likely to score a goal or having an easy pass to an player in even better finishing position. Therefore you need midfielders with high finishing and good pace as said above.

Why not use the 433 (2) then? The placing on the field is quite simila to the 433 holding variation, but the LM+RM in the 4141 are closer to the midfield and not that high up the pitch. Thats why the delayed counter works for me in the 4141, but not in the 433 (2)

Typical positioning for a counterattack in the 4321: (DEF = opponents defender (CB+LB+RB+CDM)

DEF xxxx DEF xxx DEF xxx DEF
xxxxxxxxxxxx DEF
xxxxxx RF -xxx ST xxxxx LF
(That’s 5 defenders vs. 3 attackers)

Typical positioning for a “delayed” counterattack in the 4141:

DEF xxx DEF xxx DEF xxx DEF
xxxxxxx DEF
xxxxxxxx ST
LM xx CM xxx CM xxx RM
xxxxxxx CDM
(that’s 5 defenders vs. 5 or 6 attackers)


I am using this at the moment:
75/45 organized
65/50/50 freeform
40/60/40 cover

LM+RM = cut inside + get in behind
CDM = stay back (or default)
Rest on default

I am going to add some information later.
Anyway I would really appreciate feedback. Thanks and enjoy!
Post edited by EisenErmin on


  • EisenErmin
    10927 posts Has That Special Something
    Placeholder fot further content
  • RoosterBlue
    1483 posts Play-Off Hero
    Plenty of content here!

    I've used this in the past (I'm a 4411 user). I found that I'm able to control the game a lot more, scoring less, but conceding a damn sight less too.
  • EisenErmin
    10927 posts Has That Special Something
    edited July 2017
    Plenty of content here!

    I've used this in the past (I'm a 4411 user). I found that I'm able to control the game a lot more, scoring less, but conceding a damn sight less too.

    Used 4411 a lot too this year. Mostly in the first month of the game. there is a 4411 guide in this forum which has a lot of content. Contributed a lot myself some month ago, but now i am completely focussing in the 4141.

    from my experience with both the 4411 and the now used 4141 the 4141 can actually be more attacking if you use two very good attacking CM´s (instead of two more defensivly minded players in the 4411).
  • Nankatsu
    126 posts Has Potential To Be Special
    why not set the fullback stay back while attack? With the default setting, it get exposed by the wingers
  • EisenErmin
    10927 posts Has That Special Something
    New set of custom tactics and instructions for the 4141. I won Division 1 with these tactics today with only 1 defeat. Suarez Toty at Striker was unstoppable.

    60/45/60/ freeform
    45/60/45/ cover

    Toty Suarez
    Neymar Tots - Iniesta Toty - Thiago Alcantara Tots - Dembele Tots
    Xabi Alonso SBC
    Marcello Toty - Miranda SBC - Chiellini Tots - Lahm SBC
    Handanovic IF

    The midfield is very agile and full of perfect passing players. As said before, passing and posession is the key for succes in the 4141 and you need a worldclass striker to finish your passing game. Suarez Toty is by far the bet striker in this formation. The only problem was Iniestas stamina. He was replaced after 60 minutes by Delle Alli Tots most of the time.

    I used no player instructions at all. I would not recommend to put the fullbacks on stay back, as i love them to overlapp or even cut into the middle of the field. So either let them on basic or put them on always overlapp. I make a lot of 1-2´s with my fullbacks to let them join the attack.
  • rfmfoz
    17 posts Ball Boy
    I'm from Brasil and I start to play Fifa in may and i like a lot the 4141 formation.
    Who i can buy to improve my team? I have 100k coins.

    My team
  • mHazard
    13787 posts Has That Special Something
    edited August 2017
    rfmfoz wrote: »
    I'm from Brasil and I start to play Fifa in may and i like a lot the 4141 formation.
    Who i can buy to improve my team? I have 100k coins.

    My team

    I'd buy Zlatan.

    Or Hazard.
  • Zlatan as striker because Zlatan is Zlatan and Zlatan is king.
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