5 new formations FIFA 21 needs to add - Dexerto

5 new formations FIFA 21 needs to add

Published: 13/Sep/2020 17:00

by Joe Craven


We’ve picked five new formations that, while certainly unorthodox, would spice up FIFA 21’s gameplay in a way we’ve not seen from the series for some time. What do you make of the formations we’ve chosen? 

When it comes to new FIFA games and anticipated features, the inclusion of new formations is not particularly high on the list. Some fans have long been asking for completely customizable formations, but this still seems some way off. 


The list of formations, too, has not changed for some time in FIFA. Formations arguably became less important as formation-specific cards were removed from Ultimate Team, but fans still place a lot of stock in how their team lines up in game. 

FIFA 21 Ultimate Team logo
These formations could feature in Ultimate Team, as well as other game modes.

We’ve chosen five formations that we think would make worthy additions to FIFA’s list of formations. Some have been inspired by real life coaches, while others are inspired by the desperation we’ve felt while trailing 2-1 in the 90th minute of an Elite III decider. 


1: 4-3-2-1 (3 CMs, 2 CAMs and 1 ST)

The first formation on our list is inspired by Everton’s Carlo Ancelotti and his apparent affinity for Christmas trees. All jokes aside, we’ve seen Ancelotti bring in three impressive midfielders and not a single wide player yet this season. 

This formation would see a conventional back four, with 3 CMs in front of them. In front of them would be two central CAMs, and then a ST in front of them. 

Attacking centrality would be key for this formation, as well as pacey midfielders to overlap and compensate for the lack of out and out wide men. Whether FIFA 21’s crossing and heading will be as poor as FIFA 20’s remains to be seen, but this pyramid formation is one we want regardless. 


2: 3-5-1-1 (flat midfield five, 1 CF, 1 ST) 

It’s quite a surprise that a 3-5-1-1 formation is not available in all of FIFA. It’s of course similar to the existing 3-5-2, but would feature a flat midfield five rather than 2 CDMs and a CAM. Players can use it in some game modes but, for whatever reason, not in Ultimate Team. 

On either side would be a LM and RM, with a CF and ST just in front. This would, in many ways, be a more conservative three-at-the-back formation. 

A lot of FIFA’s existing three-at-the-back formations leave players exposed defensively, but the tightly packed midfield would make playing through this XI much more difficult for opponents. 

New formations FIFA 21 could use
Aneclotti’s 4-3-2-1 and 3-5-1-1 could work in FIFA 21.

3: 3-3-1-3 (3 CBs, RWB, LWB, CM, CAM, RW, LW, CF) 

Another formation taken from real life, this confusing amalgamation of positions stems from Leeds manager Marcelo Bielsa. It is similar to some five-at-the-back formations that currently feature in FIFA, but anyone who’s watched a Bielsa side play knows about his chaotic and attacking style. 

Three CBs are protected by a CM, while wide areas are marshalled by a LWB and RWB. Tradition would dictate this being classed as 5-1-1-3, but the wing-backs in a Bielsa system spend more time up the pitch than they do in their own half. 


In front of this second line of three is one CAM, who bridges the gap to the front three, made up of a RW, LW, and CF. It sounds complex, and that’s because it is. But Marcelo Bielsa’s trademark formation has had more than enough success to warrant an inclusion in FIFA 21.

4: 3-2-3-2 (2 CDMs, 3 CAMs, 2 ST)

We’ve noted previously how a lot of three-at-the-back formations leave players a bit short at the back. Well, this formation accepts that and steers into it. Similar to the 4-2-3-1 narrow formation that FIFA already features, this simply swaps out a defender for a ST, forming a back three in the process. 

It would make users undoubtedly vulnerable to wide attacks, but would give oppositions an absolute nightmare when defending centrally. One for the more competent defenders, we’d wager. Either that, or get ready to concede 5 goals per game. Although, if you’re scoring 6, who really cares?

New formations EA could put in FIFA 21
Marcelo Bielsa’s 3-3-1-3 or a more attacking 3-2-3-2 could also work.

5: 1-1-8 (CB, CM, RW, LW, RF, LF, CAM, CF, 2 STs)

Down in the final minutes of a must-win FUT Champs match? Already thrown caution to the wind and tried Ryan Kent and Wissam Ben Yedder? Then this is the formation for you. 

Needless to say, it’s a bit like football suicide, but if it gets you that last-minute equalizer then it’s all been worth it. We’d love to see this formation as a last-minute roll of the dice, but we’d warn all against starting a match with it. 

If you’ve got the ball then your front 8 has every chance of scoring, but if you don’t then you’re probably going to ship more goals than Chelsea did last season. Needless to say, that’s a lot. 

What do you make of our proposed formations for FIFA 21? What formation have we missed? Be sure to tweet us @UltimateTeamUK on Twitter to let us know, and to keep up with all the latest news, leaks and rumors from the world of FIFA. 


FIFA 21 Ones to Watch Team 1 countdown: OTW release time & players

Published: 7/Oct/2020 13:17

by Jacob Hale


With the launch of FIFA 21 seeing millions of football fans across the globe start competing to try and become the best in FIFA Ultimate Team, the first Ones to Watch promo team is fast approaching. Here’s everything we know about it.

Ones to Watch follows players that have transferred to other teams, promising them upgrades for every time they make a new promo such as Team of the Week, Team of the Tournament and more.


As such, OTW cards are highly desirable, and if you get a decent one at the start of the year, you could see a lot of improvements as the season unravels.

So, here’s everything we know about Ones to Watch in FIFA 21, including release dates and times, the players included and more.

Nathan Ake Manchester City FIFA 21
Nathan Ake is a confirmed OTW player after his transfer from Bournemouth to Manchester City.

FIFA 21 Ones to Watch release date & time

We now know that the Ones to Watch is going to be up and running soon, with its first availability on the weekend of launch. Here are the dates for the cards being released:

  • October 9-16: OTW Team 1
  • October 16-21: OTW Team 2
  • October 21 onwards: OTW Teams 1 and 2

It’s worth noting that you will get a Guaranteed OTW Item if you preordered the game before August 14, and the card you receive will be based on which date you open the pack, in correspondence with the dates above.

Most FIFA promos drop at 6pm BST (11am PDT / 12pm EDT / 5am AEDT), so expect packs to be available from that time starting October 9.


Confirmed OTW players

So far, a small selection of players have been confirmed as Ones to Watch cards, though we expect more to be announced over time.

AC Milan FIFA 21
A number of players and clubs are featured in the first OTW team of FIFA 21.

Here are the confirmed players that will feature in the opening weeks of FIFA 21 Ones to Watch:

  • Timo Werner – 85 – RB Leipzig to Chelsea
  • Gareth Bale – 83 – Real Madrid to Tottenham Hotspur
  • Hakim Ziyech – 85 – Ajax to Chelsea
  • Thiago – 85 – Bayern Munich to Liverpool
  • Martin Odegaard – 83 – Real Madrid
  • Achraf Hakimi – 83 – Real Madrid to Inter Milan
  • Allan – 83 – Napoli to Everton
  • Nathan Ake – 79 – AFC Bournemouth to Manchester City
  • Luis Suarez — 87 — Barcelona to Atletico Madrid
  • Kai Havertz — 85 — Bayer Leverkusen to Chelsea

Tonali OTW SBC

As well as these, Sandro Tonali (77 OVR, on loan from Brescia to AC Milan) is the first OTW SBC in FIFA 21.


We’ve written up a guide on the cheapest way to complete the SBC if you’re looking to get Tonali in your squad.

Ones to Watch predictions

On top of the confirmed players above, there are several we expect to see have their OTW cards announced soon.


Here’s who we’re expecting to see included:

  • Leroy Sane – 85 – Manchester City to Bayern Munich
  • Ferran Torres – 81 – Valencia to Manchester City
  • James Rodriguez – 82 – Real Madrid to Everton
  • Blaise Matuidi – 83 – Juventus to Inter Miami
  • Ben Chilwell – 81 – Leicester City to Chelsea
  • Jude Bellingham – 69 – Birmingham City to Borussia Dortmund
  • Gabriel – 78 – Lille to Arsenal
  • Victor Osimhen – 79 – Lille to Napoli
  • Willian – 82 – Chelsea to Arsenal
  • Rodrigo – 82 – Valencia to Leeds
  • Donny van de Beek – 83 – Ajax to Manchester United
  • Miralem Pjanic – 85 – Juventus to FC Barcelona
  • Arthur – 84 – FC Barcelona to Juventus
  • Jonathan David – 79 – Gent to Lille
  • Dani Parejo – 85 – Valencia to Villarreal
  • Reiner Jesus – 71 – Loan, Real Madrid to Borussia Dortmund
  • Everton – 81 – Gremio to Benfica

As these are only our predictions, don’t put too much stock into that list, but we would be surprised if at least a few of these players don’t get OTW cards.

In the meantime, you can check out @UltimateTeamUK on Twitter for all the latest news and updates regarding FIFA 21.