I`ve been playing mostly 3 atb formations in FIFA 17, 18 and 19 and I enjoy playing them.
Last year we had very good and informative 3412 thread, but now there are only small pieces of info on these formations. Looks like there are some people that like 3 atb or would like to give them a try. So I decided to share my experience and create this 3 atb thread which I`ll dedicate to 352, but any other 3 atb discussions are welcomed as well.
I`ve seen here many times that people said "3 atb are not viable/competitive/weak defensively etc". Well, I`m very average player and best that I could get in FIFA 19 with 352 is Gold 1 in WL (usually at least G2) and lower D3.
I gotta say, if you play to win at all costs/to grind for rewards, you probably won`t enjoy this formation.
What to expect from 352?
- Great variety of attacking options as you have wingers and CAM
- You have 6 players that can and will score
- Solid defensively as you`ll have 7 players in the box/near the box
- Endless squad building potential
- It might take some time to get used to defending
- If you like to be creative in game and try uncommon things, you`ll have fun with it
Why 352 and not 3412 (or any other 3 atb)?
Most crucial thing in 352 for me - positioning of your CDMs and ability to give them CDM-specific instructions. I just find it better defensively without hurting my attack.
3421 and 343 - CAM is the bridge between your CDMs, wingers and STs. That`s why I like formations with CAM. + same thing about CMs.
How to build the squad?
There is a ton of options, especially with D-pad formation switch. Your key players are LM/RM, one of CDMs and CAM. Yes, imo this formation does not assume having single MVP.
First of all you have to decide - will you use your fullbacks or normal wingers? This will determine how you`ll build your team.
Most important parameters are: decent pace, ability to dribble, pass and proper physicality (must be able to win/hold the ball). For some people it might be fun to play with Neymar or Douglas Costa at LM, but defensively they are useless. Good shooting is a nice bonus, but not a must.
Workrates: H/H, M/M, H/M. I avoid any other workrates on my wingers (although currently have prime Figo).
Make sure you have good subs as they`ll die by 55-60 min, you need them to be fresh.
One of the key players in 352. This guy will coordinate your attacks near opponent`s box. It can be either small player like Mertens/Neymar/Zola or a bigger guy like KDB or Talisca. I used FB Kevin-Prince Boateng for a while. Key parameters - shooting, dribbling, passing. Your CAM might get into scoring position more often than your STs, so shooting is a must. High attacking workrate is preferred.
One of your CDMs (rCDM in my team) can be either box to box midfielder or pure CDM. He`ll do the majority of dirty work. Must be able to pass and last for 90 min. H/H, M/H. TOTGS Parolo is still my choice.
left CDM: this is another key player - he`ll provide defensive support, start your attacks and contribute to your scoring. I like to use someone big and tall who can do a bit of everything. Currently it`s UEL SMS, another perfect candidate is Pogba. Maybe some of these new Future Stars cards will work as well.
Nothing really new here. 80+ pace after chem (although I use SBC Skriniar without boosting his pace), one of CBs can be a smaller guy like Puyol, Cannavaro or Azpilicueta. If you switch from 4 atb in game, you can use one of your midfielders at CB (Fabinho, De Rossi, Partey etc). Central CB can have H/H or H/M as long as you can keep track of where he is, other two should not leave your half of the pitch. LCB and RCB should be able to pass.
Anything that works for you. My favorite combo in 2-ST positions is one big + one agile.
CTs and instructions
that I use
I`ll just share the ones that I use although there`s plenty of room for the experiments.
Explanation of CTs:
I`ve tried various defensive tactics and finally decided to leave default width and depth. If your 352 is too wide or too narrow, that`ll create gaps in CB line - either in the center or on the wings and then it is really easy for your opponent to counter. Balanced seems to be most consistent in a long run. Press on heavy touch will give your players a little bit more time to get back on your half.
Important: my experience shows that constant press is the biggest no-no in 3 atb as it is the easiest way to concede.
I increased width as 352 is a wide formation, so you have to take the advantage of it. I used to play with width set to 10, but 7-8 seems to be a bit more balanced and it is easier to deliver the ball from player to player.
Why I prefer fast build up instead of balanced/possession: imo that`s how you can get the maximum from your wingers. Besides that, I don`t like to spend too much time around opponent`s box as eventually I`ll get exposed to counterattack. For the same reason I don`t like to have too many players in the box - you need some room for build up in midfield and it also keeps you a bit safer. But again, you can experiment with it.
: I`ll just highlight the changes, rest of it is on balanced
STs - stay forward, get in behind
CAM - stay forward, balanced
LM/RM - come back on defense, stay wide, get in behind
rCDM - stay back, cover center, cut passing lanes
lCDM - balanced, cover center, cut passing lanes
CBs - balanced
Instructions on STs and CAM are common.
Come back on defense for LM/RM is a must, otherwise your wings will be open. I prefer them to stay wide as they will return to defense a bit faster.
CDM instructions follow from the description of their roles.
CBs - just let them be
My most recent squad:
I start 4321 to keep everyone on full chem. Figo, Rui Costa and Ibra are newcomers, most of the time I used RTTF Cuadrado, FB Kevin-Prince Boateng and IF Mertens instead of them (now they`re subs).
My other subs: RTTF Perisic, TOTY nominee Vrsaljko, Futmas Lukaku, red Balde Keita
So, how to use it in game? Well, that depends on the strengths of your team and what you can do with them. As I mentioned, there is a huge variety of attacking options - counterattacks, crossing, build up and I can`t really highlight any mechanics that you can exploit to score on permanent basis. That`s actually why I enjoy 3 atb - it`s very versatile and you have to experiment in every game that you play.
I`ll keep providing updates. Any comments, ideas and suggestions are welcome!