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FIFA 21 Defending Tips: Bench these Behaviours Now!

Written by Stakester
29 Mar, 2021

The art of defending is difficult to master. It takes time to hone your skills and craft yourself into one of the best defenders on the game. However, there are some simple mistakes that you can cut out immediately to speed up the process. Here are some Stakester FIFA 21 defending tips to help you take your play style to the next level, from head to head to Ultimate Team.

Curb the Aggression

Vinnie Jones and Gazza to discuss that 'nutcracker' incident at upcoming  Middlesbrough event - Teesside Live

If you consider yourself a bit of a Vinnie Jones and you love the big tackles, it may help to reign it in a bit! Defenders in FIFA 21 are often penalised for their tackles, so it pays to choose your approach wisely.

This year, standing tackles using O/B result in a lot of fouls. You should only use them if you have a clear angle to attack the ball. If you are in any doubt about a tackle then avoid them completely; if it looks like you’re going to take the man as well as the ball, then you probably will!

However, this year the slide tackles are highly effective (not to mention very fun) so you can make some spectacular last ditch challenges. Red cards are also rare in EA Sport’s latest franchise edition, so don’t be afraid to utilise them throughout a game.

Oh and this goes without saying, but avoid recreating the nutcracker at all costs!

Throw Caution to the Wind

Sometimes, being conservative really causes more problems than it solves, especially when you’re chasing a goal or two. That’s why it sometimes pays to take the fight to your opponent. You can do this by implementing the team press tactic (press down twice on the D pad).

This tactic is best used to win the ball back further up the pitch when you’re in need of a goal, but feel free to use it earlier in the game to bag a quick goal to help strengthen your lead.

Think like a Defender

4-2-3-1 Formation - FIFA 21 - FIFPlay


In EA Sports’ FIFA 21, few player positions deserve more respect than CDM. We recommend switching to a formation with 2 CDMs and setting their custom tactic instructions to “cut passing lanes”. This gives your back line extra cover, meaning you’ll concede fewer goals.

On top of the defensive benefits, using 2 talented CDMs will act as a link between attack and defence, so that you can stop an opponent’s build up and launch a quick counter attack.

Goalscoring Will Only Get You So Far!

We all love scoring worldies, but there comes a time when going gung ho just won’t cut it. Eventually, you’ll face an opponent who is better at attacking than you and then you’ll have nothing to best them with.

As the saying goes, “Defence wins championships.” The prospect of working on the more boring side of the game may be unappealing at first, but if you perfect the basics then you’ll be able to keep clean sheets against any opponent and let your attackers do the business up front.

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