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FM20 Team Guide - Southampton

FM20 Team Guide - SouthamptonHere is a brief FM20 team guide of the Southampton squad, their club structure, relationship any potential managers will have with the board, expectations and possible tactics any FM manager can use.

About the club


Southampton spent 27 years continuously in the top flight before being relegated in May 2005. They returned to the Premier League in 2012 and have stayed there ever since.

Southampton had a unique attacking identity ever since their promotion, their academy also produced some superb world class talents and their scouts picked up amazing transfers during that period. This reflected in their performance with the Saints qualifying for the Europa league twice.

However, Saints became a selling club with clubs poaching most of their talents away from them. They are now sitting precariously close to relegation having suffered the biggest loss in PL Football recently.

The board's expectations


The saints barely avoided relegation last season by finishing 16th so survival is the main agenda of the board. The board requirements should be,

The board's expectations

  1. Survive relegation from the Premier League.
  2. Make the 5th round of the FA Cup
  3. Make the 4th round of the EFL Carabao Cup.

There will not be any specific football philosophies required from the manager as survival is the primary agenda of the board so they will not care how you achieve it as long as you do. The saints have already spent reasonable money on a couple of transfers so the budget available will be minimal with very little room for any major changes.

Southampton have decent training facilities & a very good youth setup that will churn out the occasional star. You will learn to heavily rely on these once you stabilise your position at the club.

Squad, Formation and Tactical Style


Wing play is the tactic that suits the Southampton squad the best. They have some good fullbacks who can give dangerous crosses if given space and you should aim to make use of this. Fluid counter attacking style may work in some games but it strictly depends on the formation.

3-5-2 is how Southampton lineup in real life and it would be ideal if we mimic this formation to get the best out of the wing-backs. This will also make the midfield more compact making it difficult for other teams to score goals.

A rough example of what your line-up would look like in a 3-5-2 formation is as follows;

FM20 Southampton Tactic

  • Angus Gunn as a regular keeper.
  • Jan Bednarek, Maya Yoshida & Jannik Vestergaard as the 3 centre backs.
  • Cedric Soares & Ryan Bertrand as the 2 wing backs with increased crossing instructions.
  • Oriol Romeu, James Ward Prowse & Pierre Emile Hojbjerg as the 3 central midfielders. Romeu to be played as a holding midfielder, Ward Prowse as the deep lying playmaker & Hojbjerg as a Mezzala
  • Nathan Redmond operating as a shadow striker or just behind the striker.
  • Danny Ings as the frontman in a centre forward role.

If you decide to go with a 4 defender formation, you can play with 2 strikers in a 4-4-2 and bring in Che Adams. If you are chasing the game as wish to play more creative players, Sofiane Boufal or Stuart Armstrong could do the job for you.



Key Players


1. Nathan Redmond

Nathan Redmond

Nathan Redmond is an attacking midfielder with a lot of flair and an eye for goal. His contributions are very important if you wish to keep the Saints up in the league.

2. Ryan Bertrand

Ryan Bertrand

Ryan Bertrand is a champions league winner and is a fine wing back. His crossing ability is high and is a crucial outlet for Southampton in creating chances.

3. James Ward Prowse

James Ward Prowse

James Ward Prowse has very good quality from central midfield, his passing and vision is up there with the best. He is also very good from set pieces and this is crucial for the tall centre backs to take advantage and score important goals.

Weaknesses


  1. With just Danny Ings and an inexperienced Che Adams to play upfront, goals will be hard to come by. The saints could finish the season as one of the lowest goal scoring teams.
  2. The overall squad depth is also quite average outside the first team. Southampton have still not replaced some key players that were sold and it is affecting their squad balance and in turn their performance.
  3. There is very little operating room in the transfer market with the budget available being quite low could leave some positions without suitable personnel.

Youngsters to keep an eye on


There are a few exciting young prospects in the ranks who have the potential to be some of the best players in the league. A few examples are;

  • Michael Obafemi (ST)
  • Moussa Djenepo (CM)
  • Yann Valery (RB)

FM20 Southampton Team Guide - Summary


To summarise, Saints are one of the favourites to get relegated this season. Can you take up this challenge and stabilise in the Premier League? Are you the person who can restore them to their former glory and take them even beyond?

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FM BLOG: FM20 Team Guide - Southampton
FM20 Team Guide - Southampton
Here is a brief FM20 team guide of the Southampton squad, their club structure, relationship any potential managers will have with the board, expectations and possible tactics any FM manager can use.
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