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Best way to defend against a speedy forward?

Hello,I regularly play a team that has a speed forward with a good shot. I wanted to get some opinions from anyone who has had success limiting these types of players. He is probably a step or 2 faster than my normal defenders. Regularly racks up goals by being one of the fastest players in the league.In the past we have tried a 4-4-1 with a man mark. Sticking a speed guy on him the full game. It has slowed him down but also limited us on offense. We lost each game by a goal.I was also thinking about using a 5-4-1 formation with more defenders to cut down on thru ball lanes for him.Any other thoughts?ThanksChad

Hi Chad,

I would definitely recommend playing a 5-3-2 formation. Having 5 at the back with two wing-backs will help in defence and will reduce the space for him to run with the ball. Encourage your defenders to be compact in the middle of the field and encourage him to go wide when he has the ball, rather than diving in to win the ball off him. Also, by having three central defenders, there are more options to provide cover if he is to knock it in behind the defence and run onto it. 

Make the most of the midfield and don't play in a flat line. Have a defensive midfielder sitting slightly deeper, this will make passing through the midfield much more difficult for the opposition, therefore reducing the amount of balls through to their quick forward.

The benefit of playing with 5 at the back and two wing backs is that when you win the ball, your wing backs have freedom to get forward, meaning that you still have good options to attack, rather than getting stuck in your defensive zone. 

So to take from all this is

  • Be compact with 3 central defenders and a deeper midfielder.
  • Look to slow him down and force him wide rather than to take the ball from him straight away.
  • Don't be flat in midfield.
  • Make the most of your wing-backs in attack.

I hope this helps and good luck!

Thanks Tom, games been postponed due to weather. I'll let you know how it goes when we see them.

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