Football Manager 2022 tactics guide: Best formations in FM22

Football Manager 2022 best tacticsSports Interactive

FM22 is better when you’re winning. Luckily, our Football Manager 2022 tactics guide should help you rack up the points on 

Football Manager 2022 has arrived, but it’d be fair to say as fun as transfer negotiations for wonderkids and setting training plans can be, the biggest part of any FM22 save is the on-pitch results.

Whether you’ve avoided relegation on the final day, clinched the title, or are prepping for a cup final, there’s no “one size fits all” tactical setup for Football Manager. Instead, your success will be based on your squad, their ability, and dozens of other variables.

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Still, the game offers plenty of flexibility, from formations to player roles, and combinations of players that play well together. With that in mind, here’s our guide to tactics in Football Manager 2022, based on the kind of team you’re managing.


Best tactic for possession-based teams

Football manager 2022 screenshot showing a formationSports Interactive
This formation will let your team dictate the tempo of a match.

If you see yourself as a Guardiola-like purveyor of flowing, tiki-taka football, we’d recommend something like a 4-2-3-1 formation.

Opting for this tactic, while also allowing one of your wing-backs room to roam, will let your team overload the ball side while leaning on a full-back as an attacking outlet.

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A striker with some experience holding the ball up is also crucial, otherwise they can end up a little isolated.

Best tactic for pressing teams

Football manager 2022 screenshot showing a formationSports Interactive
This formation will pressure opponents into mistakes all over the pitch.

For managers looking to contain opponents with gegenpressing while still offering plenty of room for creativity, look no further than a 4-1-2-1-2.

You’ll need a fit squad given the chasing down involved, but this narrow setup with force opponents out wide where your full-backs can nip in to intercept. It also allows for two forwards, so with the right number 10 you can create plenty of scoring opportunities.

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Best tactic for defending

Football manager 2022 screenshot showing a formationSports Interactive
This tactic will make your team hard to beat.

When your team is the underdog or the away side, sometimes not being beaten is more important than trying to win a match – or maybe you’re a disciple of Diego Simeone’s defensive setup.

In this case, we’d opt for a 4-4-1-1 with one striker and a shadow striker as backup, with two flat banks of midfielders and defenders. This should help you frustrate the opponents, while allowing the possibility for snatching a goal at the other end, too.

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Best tactic for three-at-the-back

Football manager 2022 screenshot showing a formationThis tactic makes use of the new WCB player role.

If you’re looking to deploy Football Manager’s new Wide Center Back option, look no further than this 3-2-2-3 tactic which keeps them pushing up the pitch, allowing your wing-backs to move ever further up the pitch and hit early crosses into a trio of forwards.

Sadly, though, this does cause plenty of gaps at the back – so you’ll want your entire backline to be as mobile as possible to be able to track back and spot danger.

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Best tactic for counterattacking

Football manager 2022 screenshot showing a formationSports Interactive
Emulate Leicester’s title triumph with this counter-attacking style.

Claudio Ranieri’s Leicester City side defied the odds in 2015-16 to win the Premier League title with a fast, aggressive counter-attacking style, and it’s surprisingly easy to pull off in FM22.

Using a 4-1-2-2-1 with a pacy front three and a central midfield trio cable of winning, retaining and playing the ball, it’s an effective tactic for fast transitions from defense to offense.

That’s all we have so far on tactics in Football Manager 2022. For more on the game, be sure to check our other guide content at Dexerto.

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