FIFA 20 Defense Formations Guide – Defending Formations, Tips

A comprehensive guide to the defense formations in FIFA 20 and FIFA Ultimate Team (FUT). The guide covers the pros, cons, and counters as well as other variants of the formations mentioned. We have covered the variants of formation with more differences as a separate entry while the ones with minor changes are mentioned alongside the base formation.

FIFA 20 Defense Formations

4-3-3 (Defense)
This defensive variant of 4-3-3 is available in FUT. It places two CDM on the sides and a CM in the middle. The defensive midfielders block the counter-attacks. This would work best if you are comfortable with accurate long balls.

The CDMs cover the back and if you like to be in possession than this might just be the thing for you. However, with this formation, the attackers might fall short sometimes as the winders need to cover more field. The distances also make the midfield isolated.

Counters: 4-2-3-1, 4-3-3, 4-5-1, 3-4-3.

4-2-3-1
Another narrow formation from FUT, the three CAMs give a variety of options to attack. Though defensive, it is quite flexible given how the wingers and the full-backs can support the attack. The tree attacking players increase the possible attacks with the two CDMs covering the back to a great extent.

CAM’s on the wings might fall short on their abilities with this formation while the CDMs stamina would end up depleting faster as they defend as well as fill in the midfield.

Counters: 4-1-2-1-2, 4-1-2-1-2 (2): 4-5-1 and 4-4-2.

4-1-4-1
This formation, available in FIA and FUT, focuses on possession and counter-attacks. A defensive variant of the 4-4-2, this gives you an edge in capturing the ball and continued possession. The lone striker is responsible for the counters. The ST should have a high PAC for the success of this strategy.

The organization of the formation and a powerful midfield prove to be a real challenge for the enemy to counter. However, it might not be able to shell out a lot of attacks. The CM need to have high enough attacking work rate to support the ST.

4-4-1-1 (2) is a potential variant of this with the CAM instead of another ST increasing control on the midfield. This improves passing, with the CAM doubling down using creative tactics. However, he should not be too high up on defensive work rate and the midfielders need to have good defensive attributes to back up the other four.

Counters: 4-2-3-1, 4-3-3, 4-5-1, 3-4-3.

5-2-1-2
Available in both FIFA and FUT. This formation creates a wall for the opponent with five defenders and three central defenders. The two wide full-backs would also double as the wing-backs and support the midfield and STs on counters.

The play would be focused on going through the center with the CAM having to put in the work. If the LWB and RWB work when needed, this is a very powerful defense.

With this formation, the FIFA 20 defense is solid all the while leaving space for wings backs’ movements. It’s best suited to people that like to counter rather than be proactive on attack. An alternate version of this would be 5-2-3 which has more attackers.

Lack of attack power may prove to be difficult to manage. Given the pressure on CAM, the player must be outstanding.

Counters: 5-2-1-2, 5-2-2-1, 4-4-2 and 4-3-3.

5-2-2-1
Usable only in FUT, this formation packs in five defenders, three CBs, a possible sweeper and two wide full-backs that also shift in as wing-backs.

The base formation is 5-2-3. Although quite similar to the 5-2-1-2, the three attackers, LW, RW, and ST enable the player to perform counter attacks with the wings, in addition to the center. With this formation, you also have the ability to attack from the wings.

Lack of attack power may prove to be difficult to manage. Given the pressure on CAM, the player must be outstanding.

Counters: 4-4-1-1, 4-2-3-1, 4-3-3, 3-5-2.

5-3-2
Part of both FUT and FIFA, with three CBs, it greatly depends on the wing-backs putting in the work. Wide full-backs doubling as the wingbacks, they must work out the defense on the field, while also supporting attack and defense in FIFA 20.

Although clever passing and good movement is required, long shots would also work given STs that are good mid-air. This formation has powerful defense with wing-backs to fall into but is still limited due to few attacking options.

Counters: 4-3-3.

5-4-1
Available in FIFA only, it is particularly defensive. Best suited for a game where you do not want any goals scored against you and rely on counter-attacks. It provides a wall of defense as well as two people to cover either wing. However, the fact that it only has one striker may prove a problem occasionally.

5-4-1 Diamond A mildly attacking version where a CAM helps out the lone striker and 5-4-1 Flat – A more defensive form, with a wall of defenders protecting the back, while a lone striker manages the counter-attack are slightly better variants.

Counters: 3-5-2