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Learn how to defend in FIFA 19 with these tips

© EA Sports
Written by Ford James
Keep clean sheets with this guide on how to master defending in FIFA 19.
Defending in FIFA has always been tricky. You can try to nick the ball from opposing attackers with standing tackles and sliding tackles, jockey strikers away from goal, or press with two players at once, but like when a pundit suggests that a defender should 'show him down the line', it's easier said that done. Especially when it's Messi.
With the introduction of 50/50 battles, defending is more complex than ever in this year's game, but this guide will explain how to defend in FIFA 19. So, check out these tips and you'll start keeping those precious clean sheets.

1. How to jockey effectively

Jockeying is the key to successful defending in most situations when the attacker is running at you. Hold down L2/LT and your player will turn and face the attacker. Get close to them with the left stick and perform a standing tackle – most times, you’ll win the ball back.
Defending in FIFA 19
You need to get close to attackers, jockey, and put in a standing tackle

2. How to slide tackle without fouling

It’s always risky to perform a sliding tackle because you’ll almost certainly face a red card if you don’t get the ball. The key to slide tackling is to ensure you get the ball – always slide head on or when you’re very close to the player. A flailing slide from a distance is going to hack the attacker down by his ankles but a controlled slide with a solid defender can work very well.

3. Use Dynamic Tactics

Make sure you go into your game plans before each game and customise them to your liking. It allows much more control over how you attack and defend compared to the basic catch-all settings in previous iterations. Edit your Defensive and Ultras Defensive game plans to your strengths and you’ll have an easier time defending a lead.
You can set your tactics to Ultra Defensive to defend a 1-0 lead
You can set your tactics to Ultra Defensive to defend a 1-0 lead

4. Perform a second man press

Holding down R1/RB calls over the nearest player to help you defend. It goes without saying that having two players pressuring the attacker is a lot better than one. The second defender will cut off more passing angles, leaving you to perform a tackle.

5. Should you contain?

Alongside holding R1 for a second man and L2 to jockey, you can hold X or A to contain. It’s like switching your defender to autopilot. They’ll track the attacker and hold their ground, but a skilled player will still be able to pass it around you and get past without too many difficulties. Containing is often useful to get nearer to an attacker, since containing will automatically pull you towards them, but you'll fare better by jockeying and tackling manually when you're close enough.
Defending in FIFA 19 using the contain button
Using the X or A button to contain isn't always a good idea

6. Don’t spam the standing tackle button

If you’re new to FIFA, it can be tempting to spam the standing tackle button. The problem is that once you’ve pressed it once, you’re committed for the next second or two. Wait until the opportune moment and then go in for the lunge. Otherwise you’ll be left for dust as the attacker sprints past you.
How to defend in FOFA 19
Call another defender to help you stop this attack

7. Use the right stick to switch players

There’s nothing worse than an attacker getting past your first defender, you press L1/LB to switch to the next defender and the game selects your central midfielder instead, who’s even further behind the attacker than your original defender. For scenarios like this, get into the habit of using the right stick to switch player. You can manually choose which player you control next and it stops situations like that from happening.
One addition to FIFA 19 that can prevent this from occurring is the new white player selector that appears over a player you aren’t controlling. This basically tells you which player you’ll switch to if you press L1/LB. It’s safer to rely on the right stick, but if you’re keener on the button switch, pay attention to the icon so you know who you’ll move to.

8. How to intercept through balls

If you’re competing against someone who loves to play through balls, try to intercept them instead of tackling players directly. Watch the attacking players’ runs off the ball and get between them and the player with possession. If you can get a touch on it, it scuppers their attacking momentum.

9. Play the defending skill games

Of course, using all these methods in a game straight away is a big ask, so jump over to the defending skill games and try them out. Bronze is great for head-on challenges and slide tackles, silver is focused on interceptions, and gold and the skill challenge combine everything into one. Use them to practise and aim for an A ranking on all of them.
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