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*UPDATED* Defending in FIFA 21: How to Improve Your Game

Written by Stakester
24 Feb, 2021

FIFA 21 may be almost over, but defending is still so difficult to master! If you’re looking to enjoy the last few months of the game, don’t just improve your defending – check out these attacking tips too!

  • Learn the all out attack tactic – make sure you have a trick up your sleeve when you need a goal and the pressure is on.

And keep up to date with all the latest FIFA 22 leaks and Rumours:

A wise man once said “attack wins you games and defence wins you money and prizes”

What? You didn’t actually think we were going to directly quote Fergie did you? But it’s true, your goal scoring prowess might not always win you games on the Stakester app or in game modes like Ultimate Team. So, if your defence is leaking like a sieve, use the following tips and tricks to shore up your defending in FIFA 21.

Cover the Back Line

Switch to a formation with 2 CDMs and set their custom tactic instructions to ‘cut passing lanes’. To successfully cut out passes, maintain a distance that you can still make a tackle from (a stride or two away from the attacking player) because running aimlessly between 2 players is a sure-fire way to concede.

Bonus: This tactic works best when you have mastered how to manually switch players.

Get Your AP McCoy On…

Jockey by using L2/LT (add R2/RT for speed jockey), keep your distance so you can react to skill moves and changes in direction. The key here is to not dive in, so keep jockeying to back off your opponent until you can make a tackle.

Choose Your Tackle

In this year’s FIFA, fouls and penalties are easily given away. Avoid using O/B tackle buttons for standing tackles unless you have a clear angle to attack the ball. Instead, jockey and move towards a player to tackle.

On the flip side, slide tackling is very effective and incredibly fun. Red cards are rare in FIFA 21, so don’t be afraid to let an opponent know you’re there!

Defend from the Front

To win the ball back further up the pitch, use the Team Press tactic. Press down twice on the D-pad to activate it. It is best used in situations where you need to get a goal quickly, but it can also be used earlier in the game to pressure your opponent, score and secure a win. EA has put a timer on the Team Press, as well as added in a cool down period, so keep this in mind.

We recommend as the press begins to have your 2 centre halves stay back while attacking so you are better equipped to deal with a counter attack.

Bonus: Last Ditch Defending in FIFA

Your last line of defence is your goalkeeper, but don’t let the AI have all the fun! Move your goalkeeper by holding down R3 and moving in the direction you think the attacker will shoot. This is a difficult skill to master, but definitely a must have.

Fullbacks at Centre-back

Now we’ve spoken about this before and it still remains a hotly debated topic, but we think that playing your fullbacks in the middle is a must. Even with the release of cards such as Player Moments Joe Gomez and Team of the Season Tapsoba, centre-backs still cannot compete for pace. Here is a short list we’ve put together of the best fullbacks for this method:

  • Flashback Mbabu
  • TOTS Tavernier
  • Showdown Walker
  • TOTS Alphonso Davies

Want to test out your improved defending in FIFA 21?


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