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Playing as a Defender
In order to become a good defender in Football Superstars there are lots of things to consider. This article will give you a few tips on how to develop as a defender. You will want to focus on specific skills and master certain manoeuvres. As the last line of defence before the keeper, your team will rely on you to police the opposition strikers and feed the ball out to your teammates. If you are new to the game you should check out the Football Superstars Basic Guide before you read this.
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When you play football as a child there is one skill that tends to take longer than others to learn. You’ll see straight away if you watch untrained kids playing football that they cluster in a big group around the ball. They have no idea about the importance of positioning. It may seem very simple but the difference between winning and losing football matches is often just being in the right place at the right time.
The same rules apply in Football Superstars as in a real game. When your team pushes forward you should go forward too but don’t go beyond the opposition players or you are leaving your team wide open to a counter attack. The idea is to take up a position where you might catch clearances. As a general rule you shouldn’t stray out of your own half.
When the opposition attack you need to be back covering your keeper. Try to stay goal side of their forward players. Don’t sprint out to tackle the man in possession if it means leaving another opposition player open. If they are heading straight toward you avoid sprinting as you’ll more than likely pass them.
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Football Superstars features modes without the offside rule and this means you more often need to remain between the striker and your goal. If you stay level or worse go past the opposing striker and they get onto the ball you will be unable to catch them in order to tackle. On the other hand, getting in front of the striker allows you to cut out a bad pass with ease. The decision about where to stand depends on who has possession and what the players around you are doing. The more you play the better you’ll get at positioning yourself in the right place.
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Marking, Intercepting and Blocking
There are two systems of marking, man-marking and zonal marking. As the name suggests zonal marking is about covering a specific area or zone of the pitch and man marking is about following a specific opposition player. It depends on how many players are playing but in general you need to cover specific players - especially if the numbers are low. You can stay more central if the opposing player goes wide because this will give you a good chance of intercepting a pass and if the ball does get through you will still be able to fall back and get a tackle in before they can get in on goal. If the offside rule is in effect you can take more chances when trying to cut out passes to the opposition strikers. You can also step forward to try and catch opposition players offside.
Before we discuss controls it is worth pointing out that you can block the ball. Sometimes just running into the attacker is enough to dispossess him. If you don’t want to commit to the tackle then stay goal side of the attacker and do your best to block the shot with your body.
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Tackling in Football Superstars
The most effective tackle is the LMB (left mouse button) which performs a standing tackle. This is very effective at winning the ball if you are facing the opponent straight on. Since this is by far the best way to win the ball you’ll need to be behind the striker when he receives the ball so you can put this tackle in. If he is already past you don’t use this tackle as it will only slow down your pursuit.
The other tackle you can do is the Spacebar which performs a sliding tackle. This is very risky to use and most often it will result in a free kick. You should not do it from directly behind or you’ll certainly give away a free kick and probably get booked too. It needs to be done from the side or front and the timing has to be perfect. It is best to sprint (hold shift) before doing the slide tackle so that you slide further and faster.
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When it comes to passing you can use Spacebar to automatically pass to a team mate but this method is not recommended. This pass will send the ball to their position currently which means they have to wait for it to arrive and are open to being tackled. If they are running up the wing in a straight line then the Spacebar pass can work well but otherwise avoid using it.
You have to master the LMB pass in order to defend effectively. You’ll often want to smash the ball away as the striker runs in and the most important thing is firing it out of the danger zone. With this type of pass you need to direct it carefully to find a team mate but in many circumstances it is fine to just blast the ball away. Dealing with the danger comes first and allows your team to regroup. Tapping LMB is perfect for clearances.
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You can always use RMB (right mouse button) to look around and you will need to do this frequently to ensure your position is correct. It is worth practicing until you can run comfortably and use RMB to look over your shoulder. You can also use TAB as an automatic run to ball but this will take you to where the ball is now. It is best not to use TAB because you want to set an intercept course to win the ball and TAB can leave you behind the play.
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There are skills that are obviously worth pursuing to improve your defensive performances. Like most MMO games levelling up is important. You should look at developing Jumping, Interception, Tackling and Slide Tackle. It is also worth remembering to develop your speed as pace is an incredibly important facet of the game and you’ll find most of the strikers are very fast. If you want to be able to catch up or keep up so you can put a tackle in you’ll need to have some speed.
If you want to be a good defender remember to defend. Don’t go on mad runs forward or leave opposition strikers completely open. Defend your box, cover your keeper and distribute the ball quickly when you get it. Practice and the right skills will soon have you blocking opposition attacks with ease.
A collection of articles on Football Superstars.