Games

Learn how to defend in FIFA 20 with these tips

© EA Sports
Written by Jack Stewart
Defending in FIFA 20 is a lot harder with a larger focus on manual controls, here's how to get used to that.
One of the most notable changes players will notice when they pick up FIFA 20 for the first time is just how difficult it is to defend.
EA Sports has made manual defending much more important, as you can no longer rely on the AI to do all the hard work. As legendary manager Sir Alex Ferguson once said: "attack wins you games, defence wins you championships." Here's how to make sure your team is solid at the back.

1. Don't rely on your AI

In FIFA 19, defending was a breeze. You could hold down X/A (contain) or R1/RB (second man press) to have one of your players press the opponent on the ball while the rest of your defenders would maintain a good shape. Now, mindlessly charging with your defenders is not effective; you have to be in control, patient and smart with your defending. In fact, you hardly want to contain or use the second man press at all so you will need to learn how to jockey (L2/LT) effectively instead. More on that later.

2. Get your tactics and instructions right

In order to gain any advantage you can, it's crucial you get your tactics right. While you should of course experiment and look to see what suits your style of play, there are a few specific player instructions which will shore up your defence.
Having two CDMs is really useful for screening your backline and you can make your midfielders more effective in doing so by asking them to cut passing lanes. Quick passing moves in FIFA 20 is more difficult, so interceptions will be especially important; though if you're really struggling you can also instruct your CDMs to drop between your defenders. It's also recommended that you instruct your wing-backs to stay back when you're attacking as changes to pace has made counter-attacking lethal in FIFA 20.

3. How to jockey effectively

Being able to jockey is what will separate good and great players in FIFA 20. Holding down L2/LT will cause your defender to hold his ground, allowing him to either sniff out a pass or simply stop a striker from advancing forward.
If you hold down R2/RT at the same time, your player will fast jockey. This makes your defender move around very quickly and change direction on a dime while still holding back the forward. Holding down both triggers allows you to cover a lot of ground which is very good when looking for interceptions in midfield. But if you want to tackle, you should sprint or fast jockey toward the attacker and then let go of sprint when within tackling range for a more accurate challenge.

4. Practice your player switching

The absolute key to defending well is selecting the right player and being able to switch quickly. Rather than rely on the automatic switch, try to use the right-stick to manual select the player you want to control; especially when blocking strikers from sprinting in behind.
Though you should also use L1/LB to switch occasionally, especially if you're looking to close down a player quickly. To help you do this, there is a new setting in player controls called 'ball relative right stick switching' which will focus your auto-switching to players closer to the ball.

5. Make the most of hard tackles

In FIFA 20, you can determine the power of your tackle by holding down the standing tackle button (O/B) or slide tackle button (Square/X).
A full power hard tackle will send your player lunging forward which can be fantastic for closing big gaps, but if you miss then your defender will be completely out of position, making it a risky technique. Instead, two bars of power appears to be the sweet spot where your tackle will still be strong enough to prevent any rebounds but retain some accuracy and positioning.