FIFA 09 advanced offensive tactics - by John Sinitsky

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The FIFA 09 game is the latest release of popular EA sports football game series, with the first one dating back in 1995. The FIFA series by EA is arguably the best computer football simulators – unless, of course you are a RES fan. The game presents improved control (including mouse-keyboard combination) and awesome graphics. Also, the tactics in Fifa 09 have been improved in comparison to previous versions. And it is exactly our subject – using tactics to improve your attack!


Of course, as in real football, the basis of every tactical deployment of your team is the formation. In Fifa 09 (compared to previous versions) even more unique “real-life” formations were designed for many teams – including Real Madrid and Barcelona, Liverpool and Manchester United, Bayern Munich and more. Those formations (one per team) are intended to emulate teams utilization of common formations. Fro instase, Barcelona’s formation is a variation of 4-3-3, and Liverpool and Bayern disposition are THEIR interpretation of commonly used 4-4-2 (actually 4-2-2-2). But of course, if you are not comfortable with the designed formation – you can switch to “predefined” general styles – from the all-out-attacking 3-4-3 to the defensive 5-4-1… It is important to understand that the formation utilization would require certain style of play – for instance, 4-5-1 (used by Lyon) is best suited for attacks from the flanks, while 4-3-3 is designed to break through the center.


But there is more! One your team is on the pitch, you can (and should!) define the attacking style of your players. To do that you have 4 options, defined by keys 1-4 on your keyboard and can be viewed via “tactics help” from the main menu. The attacking tactics, which can be switched on and off are:

  • Counter Attack
  • Wing Play
  • Box Overload
  • 3rd Man Release.

Counter Attack will make your forwards run towards opponents goal immediately when you have the control of the ball. This is very useful if you have quick forwards and like to use long passes to catch opponents defence off-guard.

Wing Play will lead to your defensive backs (left and right) moving slightly forward and strikers moving towards the corners of the penalty area when on the attack. This is useful to “wider” the game and “open up” the tight defence – providing more space for the midfielders.

Box Overload will, as the name suggests, bring most of your midfielders and attackers towards the opponent’s goal – right on the front line of the penalty box. If you are confident your defence can cope with counter attacks – it may be a good tactics to employ. However, scoring long shots can be problematic, as the defence “tightens-up“ in the penalty box as well. But you can expect multiple shots “off the rebound”.

The 3 Man Release will bring your defensive midfielder to a shot position. If you have the likes of Pirlo or Carrick there – you can use it. The drawback is that you midfield remains somewhat exposed to opponent’s strikers.

This post is part of the series: FFIA 2009 Tips & Tricks

Useful offensive and defensive tips and tricks for playing FIFA 2009.

  1. FIFA 09 Useful Tips – Defensive Tactics
  2. FIFA 09 Useful Tips – Offensive Tactics
  3. FIFA 09 – Team Mentality Tool