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Defensive Corner Setup - Breaking From Corners

Defensive Corner Setup - Breaking From CornersHello and welcome to Football Manager guide on defensive corner setup which will, when applied, hopefully allow you to score breakaway goals on your saves.

I'm not going to make claims that it will prevent you conceding goals or you that will score on every counter.

But, what I will say is that it leads to few goals being conceded from corners and creates successful breaks that give you either possession in the opponent's half, or can lead to goals from the break.

Goals usually scored by the two wide players that you have left forward.

Defensive corners setup

Defensive corners setup

The setup you can see from the image is the one I have used to defend corners for all my savings on Football Manager 2019.

Zonally Mark Six Yard Box players

Zonally Mark Six Yard Box players

The three players defending the six-yard box are ones with the best heading and jumping reach.

The players in this position require good concentration and bravery, looking at the Liverpool vs Barcelona semi-final when the fourth goal was scored by Liverpool from "that" corner due to lack of concentration.

And bravery is required as you want them to stick their foot and head in to prevent the opposition from scoring.

Man-Mark players

Man-Mark players

The two full-backs are on a 'Man-Mark' player instruction because if you have them on the 'Go Back' instruction, they will stand around and won't do very much.

Least setting them to man-mark they will track a member of the opposition and prevent them of attacking the ball.

Useful players traits you could add would be to mark opponents tightly.

Close Down Corner player

Close Down Corner player

The midfielder blocking the short corner main purpose is so that he can be involved in the breakaway, or pick up loose balls that are headed away by your defenders.

I use my mezzala for this role as he is set on attack duty, so he will look to get forward when your team wins the ball.

Having the player trait runs with the ball is a great advantage as this can get you vital yards up the pitch.

Edge of Area players

Edge of Area players

The two players on the edge of area are vital; I was sick of the opposition smashing in from the edge of the area on almost every corner.

So I played about with the setup and learned that having these specific two players has prevented lightning bolts from every corner.

Still going to get the odd one, but that happens, just look at Vicent Kompany's goal against Leicester City during the title race.

The Defensive Midfielder is set to close down more so will hunt the ball down when it comes out of the area.

He will limit space, and if he has good bravery and anticipation, it makes him perfect for the role.

SEE ALSO: All about player attributes on Football Manager

The Playmaker is on the edge of the area so that once he gets the ball, he can play a pass to the players you left forward.

He will require good levels of vision, passing, balance and agility. High levels of these attributes will allow him to create space and then get the ball to the pacey wingers.

I would set him to do more risky passes in his individual instructions and more direct passing.

Stay Forward players

Stay Forward players

The stay forward players, I use my wingers or inside forwards as they usually have the best acceleration and pace.

You need to have the pass into space option in the team instructions enabled, so your team will knock the ball into an area of the pitch not occupied by the opposition, and then this becomes a race between your attackers and their defenders.

You can generally assume that the AI will leave the full-backs back to defend so you could compare the pace and acceleration stats.

I would also train the wingers to run with the ball and cut inside. This will give you a player at pace running towards the opposition goal.

Adding final third training in the individual training will also improve the attributes required to help when it comes to breaking away.


It's essential that you set up your attacking and defensive corner routines during the pre-season. This will allow you to see if they are working and means that the players will become familiar with them.

In the team training section, I add set-piece training to the third slot available on most days.

If you are playing stronger teams, do more defensive set piece training, this will include defensive corners as well.

As you can see from the images above, important attributes are listed when you click on each player, so make sure these are done in the individual training so that you can get the maximum out of each player in each position.

Hope this defensive corner routine has helped a bit and gave you some pointers going forward with your save.

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FM20 Blog - Best Football Manager 2020 Content: Defensive Corner Setup - Breaking From Corners
Defensive Corner Setup - Breaking From Corners
Hello and welcome to Football Manager guide on defensive corner setup which will hopefully give you the opportunity to score breakaway goals on your saves.
FM20 Blog - Best Football Manager 2020 Content
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