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Looking for mini-soccer 7-a-side formation ideas...

Hi, My team plays in a mini soccer league which is 7v7. Whats the best formation to play in the environment. We have played 2-3-1 all season but i was looking at 3-1-2 this season using the left and right backs as wingers aswell. Any one got any thoughts? Cheers

It all depends on how you want to play tactically, but for a better formation maybe 3-2-1 thus having three defenders 2 midlfielders and one attacker. 

Hi Stuart.

For me its about playing to your teams strenghts.  I have two lads that are great on the ball with both feet, one more defesively minded and one who likse to get forward and attack. Couple that with a strong quick lad at the back brought me to a 1-1-3-1 formation. When we have the ball the CM steps up to CAM  and the CMD steps up into CM. By doing this we are able to press and contain teams more in their own half. When we lose the ball they drop back into the holding positions. A quick lad at the back helps to reduce the risk of the opposition break away. I also find the formation easy to rotate players around different positions. This formation works with me based upon the strenghts of the lads I have. May be worth a try.


Hi Stuart

We played 2-3-1 last season but really it was more like the 1-1-3-1 that Neal used when we were in possession and 2-3-1 when we weren't. The two defenders play in front of each other when we have the ball, one marking (the one furthest back) and one spare (who pushes into the space between the defender behind and the midfield). I think the formation gives the best balance and I prefer to try to control the midfield.

I did try 3-2-1 but the boys weren't really comfortable with it, probably because we didn't have enough time to practice it enough. I didn't want the two wing backs both pushing on at once because it left us vunerable at the back and they needed more practice to get used to staying or going and when to do it. I guess you could have them both push on but you might want to move one of the centre midfielders back in front of the last defender as cover. If you do that you're back to 1-1-3-1 anyway!

I've read other forums and the coaches came up with all sorts of weird combinations which they said worked but as Neal says, it does depend on your players strengths.

great response. thanks.

Hi Stuart.


Look, I think the tactic depends on what  are the last results and how your team is playing, how many goals do they score per match, or how many goals do they take per match, how are the goals scored: how many from counter-attack, how many from corners, free-kicks....... And of course I think the tactic depends on what do you want to do: to play with one tactic or to change it depending on the team you play against.

And of course the tactic you want to play, 3-1-2 depends  on your midfielder. If you have in your team a good midfielder, a midfielder who run a lot who can help just as well the defense and the attack who is a good passer i think you can play easely the 3-1-2 and I tottaly agree to your ideea, BUT I also like the tactic 3-2-1 because if you have 2 midfielders maybe you can dominate the midfield wich is a good thing in a football game, but, if you play 3-2-1 you need a good striker, a talented one, a striker who can play good in the box, a type of striker who don't need too much situations to score. If you have a striker like this you can play 3-2-1 as good as well 3-1-2.

I haven't got any ideeas right now but if I remember something or if I have another ideeas I will tell you with pleasure.


Hope you understand me and my english. Have a nice day and good luck with the team!


Hi Cdr

Thanks for the great response and yes what you have said makes sense.



It depends on the ability in your team and where your strongest area is.

I have a team thats on 7a side pitch now we play 2-2-1-1, We have a strong all round team, from gk-st, I have my 1st team but can easily mix it up with other players.

I like to play a passing game and controll the tempo of the game and this formation suits me. the CAM is just given a free role and floats all round the pitch so they can link up with the striker when attacking but can drop back into defensive role without the ball.

I've always used a 2,3,1 formation, 3 defenders will stop players getting involved , so play 3 in midfield .

I've played 2-3-1 for 2 seasons now and have done very well with the tactic.
My left and right midfielders are very quick and push forward to support the striker, the midfield sits happily on the edge of the attack and is always first to balls cleared by the opposition.

But it's like many comments above you have to play to the strengths of your team, and what they are comfortable with.  I've seen teams change tactis half way through the season and it hasnt gone well for them.


This may cause a few people to raise an eyebrow, but I encourage my players to roam freely. We have naturally defensive players who are cautious so don't push too far forward, we have a natural striker that will score goals all day long and we have a plan set out for a general team shape. Each of the players make their own decisions as when to push and when to drop. We had a match as U8s and I told one particularly gifted kid to "play wherever you want". He sat quite deep to start with and I encouraged him to get forward more. He said "but you said I can play where I want and I think I should play here" so I let him. About 30 seconds later he picked up the ball on the edge of our box, ran about 15 yards with it, played a delightful 1-2, then another and then scored a beautifully side-footed goal. It made me realise that at this age I should just let them get on with it...

I don't think this will help us "win" as many games now, but mini soccer isn't supposed to be all about winning, it's about creating free-thinking, talented footballers.

How many times can you look at the pitch and say "yep, that's my 2-3-1 formation" or whatever you're playing? If 1 midfielder pushes forward you're playing 2-2-2. If a defender then pushes forward you're playing 1-3-2.

Just let them play!

Nothing fancy at this age, I find 3-3 works really well for us.

I have Query regarding formations, I have just taken over a Under 10s team. they have always played 2,3,1. the midfield would be one in the middle and 2 wide players, defence 2 along side each other, we would stuggle to create chances and score goals, they would constantly play long ball and ultametly lose the ball very quickly.
I am considering changing it to a 2,1,2,1, all being narrow and wide players, my thought process this would help get them closer to each other to pass through the pitch, obviuosly players would go wide into space, but mainly play through the middle of the pitch. It will hopefully make it harder for teams to get shots at goal against us as well.

Dear Sturat ,

i have played a long season 7s , with my team most of the matches, i started with 3-3 with a defensive minders & without a striker , then with the time if the result is draw you can change it to 321 with  striker & middfielder offensive , its really helped me out a lot .

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