5221 Guide - "The Art of Counter-Attacking"

1345
Chris
5401 posts Big Money Move
edited October 2015
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Introduction

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Howdy folks, my names Chris, and welcome to my comprehensive 5-2-2-1 formation guide, or as I like to call it – the art of counter attacking football. I love the 5-2-2-1 formation, and for many years, it has been my go to formation for FUT. It all started due to the fact I when I came to the conclusion that I was awful at defending (Like worse than Sunderland), and so naturally, my re-action was to pick a formation with more defenders, hence how I came across 5-2-2-1. For the last few FIFAs, the formation has not changed, but this year it feels different, and although it took me a few games, I finally realized the perfect way to utilize this formation on FIFA 16 – and that is through counter attacking football. Other wise known as the only way Leicester City can score, counter attacking football is highly effective on the latest FIFA, and when paired with a 5-2-2-1, it becomes unstoppable. Before I get any further, I would like to answer some things I know will pop up in the comments:

Why are you promoting a sweaty formation?
Simply put, I am not. This formation used to be sweaty back in the days when any formation with fast players could be considered sweaty, but now, although fast players are required, I would not class this formation sweaty.

What custom tactics do you use?
Only the default counter attacking one pre-loaded in the game.

Why do you support a tragic club like Sunderland?
Ask my granddad, he has more details.


The Playing Style

I'm going to honest with you. When Pele said play beautiful in the FIFA 16 trailer, he obviously hadn't played with the 5-2-2-1 formation. When using the 5-2-2-1, chances are you will not hold the possession of the ball for more than your opponent; for me I normally average at around 40% possession, but before you close this guide because I'm a N00B, just hear me out.

This is exactly the way this formation is meant to be used. With a strong back line of defenders, and two well rounded center midfielders, you will invite a lot of pressure from your opponent; however with the back 5, it won't be an issue. Even if you suck at defending on FIFA, having five bodies, six if you include the keeper, defender becomes easy enough.

As you can probably guess from the title, the positive side to this formation is the counter-attacking side. If you're able to withstand the pressure from the opposition for large parts of the game, the rewards are fantastic. As more of the opposition players push forward, all you need to do it get the back back, give it you to your center midfielder and go from there. Long balls to the wingers, getting the striker to hold up the play, or just playing a killer ball to anyone running through on goal, all of these tactics work perfectly when counter attacking. See the graphics below for suggestions on how to attack on the counter attack in this formation.
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Obviously there are a lot more possibilities, this was just me showing some of the ones I have adopted in counter attacking. It's important to note, if you hold well enough against pressure, chances are you will out number the opposition when counter attacking.


The Team

Now I will address each position, how they play and what type of players you want to slot in, and of course, my suggestions.


The Goalkeeper

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Literally anyone you want. Whichever keeper fits your team best.


The Center Backs

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The beautiful gift of having three center backs is that one can act like a sweeper, constantly pressure players coming forward, and collecting loose balls, all the while safe in the knowing there is still two of central defenders covering the goal. I like to split the three center backs in two groups. The two rocks and the drifter.

The two rocks, are the center backs in the RCB and LCB position, and serve as more traditional defenders. For this position you want big strong defenders, where defensive capability outweighs pace. I wouldn't recommend any under 6'2" for these two spots, as they will have to deal with a lot of air balls and will be called upon to deal with this. These two center backs shouldn't be the ones chasing down attackers, that'd down to the CB, and therefore pace is not an issue for these two big lads. Work rates don't matter too much for the two rock center backs, as long as their defensive is higher than their attacking work rate.

Recommended Center Backs: Per Mertesacker, Raul Albiol, Martin Skrtel, Holger Badstuber, Ryan Shawcross, Dejan Lovren, Younes Kaboul, Big John O'Shea.

Now onto the other center back. I think I have already covered the basics of this guy in your team. He is the sweeper, the pit bull of the defense. He will chase down every ball, whether it's loose or at the feet of an attacker. Now, the CPU won't do this for you, which is very important to remember. When defending against the onslaught of pressure, I would highly recommending controlling this defender and chasing down the ball. Once you get the ball, dump it off to the center mid, and counter attack.

Recommended Other Center Back: Thiago Silva, Kostas Manolas, Marquinhos, Marcos Rojo, Gabriel, Mapou Yanga-M'Biwa, John Stones, Kurt Zouma.


The Full Backs

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In years gone by, full backs in the 5221 formation have been some of the most important players, however this year I feel like they play a much quieter role. When I last wrote this guide, back on FIFA 14, full backs were the crossing players in this formation, however I feel this year, they act more as traditional full backs and just stay back. Pace is still important for this position, because if you didn't have decent pace in this position, players could exploit the LWB LCB / RCB RWB areas. You don't particularly want this player going forward on the counters, as you won't always score, and you could be left short at the back. And there's no need for these guys to go forward anyway, with the two center midfielders and the front three pushing forward, you shouldn't need any additional bodies.

Recommended Left Backs: Alex Sandro, Benoit Tremoulinas, Kieran Gibbs, Gaya, Gael Clichy, Abdul Rahman Baba, Luke Shaw

Recommended Right Backs: Carvajal, Natheniel Clyne, Juanfran, Kyle Walker, Allan-Romeo Nyom


The Center Midfielders

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Central midfielders are the heart of any team, regardless of formation, and there for it is the same for the 5221. These two central midfielders are the engine of the team, they will be back defending with the defense, while the front three hang forward, and then going forward they will also join the attack. What I have found out with these guys is that, one tends to push up with the counter attack while one drifts a bit further behind. Then the one going forward normally finds his way to the edge of the box, which gives you another option while going forward. While pace isn't a huge issue here, in order to ensure these central players can get back to defending the times they do push forward, you need at least around 70 pace for them. Really, you need all round players for this position as they will be expected to do all most everything :tongue:

Recommend Center Mids: Yaya Toure, Blasie Matuidi, Radja Nainggolan, Ilkay Gundogan, Aaron Ramsey, Marco Parolo, Enzo Perez, Jordan Henderson, Zlatko Junuzovic, Yann M'Vila, Moussa Sissoko, Corentin Tolisson, Lee Cattermole


The Wingers

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The next part of the team, the LW and the RW are more down to preference to the user, and how you play with them. There are two things I would recommend with the wingers however, which are that they have decent pace so that your counter attack has some sting to it, and that you have one left footer and one right footer. The wingers had tendencies to both cut inside and float outside the defender so either foot would do, but however it would be better to have one of each.

Recommended Right Wingers: Karim Bellarabi, Juan Cuadrado, Willian, Patrick Herrmann, Theo Walcott, Domenico Berardi, Mohamed Salah, Zherdan Shaqiri

Recommended Left Wingers: Raheem Sterling, Yevgen Konoplyanka, Memphis Depay, Andre Schurrle, Stephan El Shaarawy, Kevin Mirallas, Jeremain Lens.


The Striker

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Now onto the striker position, arguably the most important player in any team, regardless of formation (Ok, maybe not the false 9, without a striker, but moving on). In this formation, the striker is the spearhead of the attack, who often is the one on the end of the counter attack, but often too they can help in the build up too, depending on the style of counter attack. With these formations, the attacks often accumulate with a cross into the box, so a decent size striker is needed, but also decent pace, enough to push forward with some sting. The striker really needs to be an all rounder - Salomon Rondon is the best player in this formation I can recommend, but below is some more.

Recommended Strikers: Salomon Rondon, Jackson Martinez, Alexandre Lacazette, Gonzalo Higuain, Carlos Bacca, Morata, Romelu Lukaku, Nabil Fekir, Rodrigo, Burak Yilmaz, Mame Diouf.


Conclusion

I absolutely love this formation on FIFA 16. Yes, you will be under pressure a lot throughout the game if you're playing good opposition, but if you can withstand the tirade, you will reap the rewards with quality counter attacks. I hope this formation guide helps out, it can be great for beginners or even more experienced players wanting to try something different. Hopefully this guide breaks the taboo that five at the back formations are sweaty and for noobs. Anyway, feel free to ask any questions you may have and I'm happy to build squads for anyone looking for teams. I'll reserve the next post for any more screenshots I post in the thread.


Chris out.
Post edited by Chris on

Comments

  • Chris
    5401 posts Big Money Move
    edited October 2015
    Screenshots

    My Current Team


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    Non-Rare Premier League Team


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    My Sunderland Team


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    Edit on @Ravz9 5212 Team


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    Post edited by Chris on
  • CFC-shazaam
    6327 posts Big Money Move
    Absolutely hate coming up against this formation.
  • Chris
    5401 posts Big Money Move
    Absolutely hate coming up against this formation.

    There's a good reason for that :tongue:
  • Chris
    5401 posts Big Money Move
    Shameless bump
  • Xtc
    5186 posts Big Money Move
    Nice guide.Dont think i will use it tho.
  • Chris
    5401 posts Big Money Move
    Xtc wrote: »
    Nice guide.Dont think i will use it tho.

    Each to their own
  • L_immortale
    3077 posts National Call-Up
    "The Art of Being a Douche"
  • Chris
    5401 posts Big Money Move
    "The Art of Being a Douche"

    Rude
  • Terminator
    8655 posts League Winner
    Why did you put @Chris in the title? :joy:
    Also, I'll probably use it in the future, nice guide.
  • Satch85
    1096 posts Professional
    Really well written guide, used well by Costa Rica in the world cup
  • Xtc
    5186 posts Big Money Move
    my perception of 5221 includes Fbs assisting in attacking. This sounds like quasi ptb.
  • Amaterasu10
    98 posts Has Potential To Be Special
    Nice guide @Chris , i will give a try. Do you use instrunctions ? What is your currently division ? The best cm to pair with enzo perez in spanish league ?
  • Chris
    5401 posts Big Money Move
    Xtc wrote: »
    my perception of 5221 includes Fbs assisting in attacking. This sounds like quasi ptb.

    It depends. If you try to force possession play with this team, the full backs will start to get forward. During quick counter attacks, which this guide is about, they won't burst forward too much
  • Chris
    5401 posts Big Money Move
    Nice guide @Chris , i will give a try. Do you use instrunctions ? What is your currently division ? The best cm to pair with enzo perez in spanish league ?

    I use the counter attack instruction normally

    Division 2, got promoted recently, haven't played since getting promoted

    Mateo Kovacic is decent, bit slack defensively but a very good player with the ball at his feet
  • Ravz9
    25767 posts Player of the Year
    may try this, because im god awful at defending tbh
    suggestions for a 300k team?
  • Chris
    5401 posts Big Money Move
    Ravz9 wrote: »
    may try this, because im god awful at defending tbh
    suggestions for a 300k team?

    The same reason why I got into it

    For squads, I'd recommend investing most money into the front three. Without them, counter attacking doesn't work at all
  • Chris
    5401 posts Big Money Move
    Terminator wrote: »
    Why did you put @Chris in the title? :joy:
    Also, I'll probably use it in the future, nice guide.

    I don't know lol

    Anyway, thanks <3
  • BlitzersNL
    24354 posts Club Captain
    Sweaty ****
  • JoeAVFC1986
    1160 posts Professional
    Great formation and love the guide.
    This is the formation I would use if I was playing a superior player (not very often) as it gives the best chance of defending high pressure
  • SJR440
    4345 posts National Call-Up
    Used the formation for Draft (it was literally the best of my choices, ridiculous I know) but it got me to the semi finals in fairly comfortable fashion. I was not looking forward at all to using the formation but it proved to be quite strong and effective. Might be one to come back to if I start struggling again...
  • FC Intl
    4394 posts National Call-Up
    Felt like I zero control over the play using this formation, no one in midfield, getting ball back difficult.
  • FredDarrell
    940 posts Professional
    Awesome guide mate, i will give it a go, i cant defend for my life in this game. Do you use any instruction ?
  • Jfo88
    22621 posts Club Captain
    edited October 2015
    Love playing against 5atb cause most don't know how to take advantage of it, well thought out guide tho always nice to see good content tho well done chris
  • FredDarrell
    940 posts Professional
    Ravz9 wrote: »
    may try this, because im god awful at defending tbh
    suggestions for a 300k team?

    I just bought reus, auba and bellarabi, maybe you should give it a go. Auba just have 3 stars skills, but he is high/low with crazy pace, so the runs he make are very dangerous.
  • ScytheeHD
    361 posts Sunday League Hero
    edited October 2015
    great guide :)
  • FredDarrell
    940 posts Professional
    Do you think lahm and junuzovic is a good duo ?
  • Chris
    5401 posts Big Money Move
    Do you think lahm and junuzovic is a good duo ?

    I haven't had the chance to use Lahm yet, but he seems decent. Maybe a bit too defensive for the counter attacking side
  • Auslo17
    1341 posts Professional
    There is a stigma about 5 back formations that will probably never go away. I may give it a go though.
  • FredDarrell
    940 posts Professional
    Chris wrote: »
    Do you think lahm and junuzovic is a good duo ?

    I haven't had the chance to use Lahm yet, but he seems decent. Maybe a bit too defensive for the counter attacking side

    Will test him, if he doesnt work i can change him for vidal
  • ChrisLFC
    7094 posts Big Money Move
    'Art' :D

    Is your team name class on grass mate?
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