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Football Manager 2021 – Formations to Build Around

Here are 5 Football Manager 2021 formations that you should consider researching as your go-to formation in your next FM21 save.

For any manager, it’s always good to have a clear and solid system in mind when building a club. 

Having a system that you can 100% trust to deliver what you need is always a big part of being a manager. 

So with that in mind, here are five Football Manager 2021 formations that you should start researching if you want to have a go-to formation.

Just remember that you still need a squad that can play your system; what use is a formation if you don’t have the players to execute it?

4-4-2 Formation

4-4-2 FM21 Formation

Ah, good old 4-4-2. Though not as you know it – a 4-4-2 today is much different to the good old pie-and-beans style of the 1990s. 

Today, most 4-4-2s will look to use their wide midfielders as either more box-to-box midfielders with engines or creative playmakers who can then use the overlapping full-backs to provide width, all the while ensuring the team isn’t left short in the middle of the park.

The strike pairing offers some interesting combinations, as well.

5-2-1-2 Formation

5-2-1-2 Formation FM21

Want to pair up forwards but lack good wingers? Try this out instead. 

The three central defenders can give the wing-backs the chance to keep on getting forward. Meanwhile, the midfield trio of two box-to-box midfielders with a playmaker working with a pair of strikers can work extremely well.

Definitely, a good choice if you are looking for a way to use a three at the back system without having to try and find space for wingers or leaving the centre exposed.

3-4-3 Formation

3-4-3 Formation FM21

Definitely the formation of choice for anyone who wants to use three central defenders and use wingers. 

Just make sure that both of your wide central defenders are technically sound and fast enough to cover for the wing-backs and wide forwards should you get caught up the pitch.

You’ll need a pair of workhorses in the middle to make this work, but it’s a cracking formation to build around if you have lots of central defenders and wide players.

4-2-3-1 Formation

4-2-3-1 Formation FM21

A solid formation that can give you both attacking prowess and defensive structure, this works well with most modern playing teams. 

You can use the attacking midfielder as a Shadow Striker and then use a False Nine up top if you would prefer a bit more movement – the main criticism of a 4-2-3-1 is that it can be quite rigid at times.

You also need to make sure you have enough specialisation in the middle of the park, as it’s not a formation for all-rounders.

4-3-3 Formation

4-3-3 Formation FM21

If you are building a team who is intending to press the opposition into oblivion, then you should use a 4-3-3. This formation allows you to really push and press from the middle of the park, giving you the numbers and the energy to flow forward. 

The use of a holding midfielder can give you all the opportunity that you need to have the defence stay safe and structured if your three forwards and two more aggressive midfielders get caught up the pitch, too.

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FM BLOG: Football Manager 2021 – Formations to Build Around
Football Manager 2021 – Formations to Build Around
Here are 5 Football Manager 2021 formations that you should consider researching as your go-to formation in your next FM21 save.
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