In this week’s Backpage, football journalist and FIFA fan Darren Cross picks out three more top teams to use online, and how you can get the best from them…
Last time we took an in-depth look at one of my favourite FIFA 13 teams to use online in Seasons – RSC Anderlecht – how I set them up and why I think they’re such a good choice for anyone looking to progress through the divisions.
In this week’s Backpage I have three more teams for you to try that are, like Anderlecht, great alternatives to 5 star and 4.5 star clubs. All three offer something different, so you should find at least one that will suit the way you like to play, which is a huge advantage in any game mode; knowing how to use a team effectively can be the difference between promotion and relegation.
Okay, first up is an old favourite of mine from FIFA 12…
Russian Premier Division
Anzhi were the team that changed my fortunes in Seasons last year. I’d been doing okay using a few different clubs, but it wasn’t until I switched to Anzhi that everything clicked and I went on to pick up the first of a few Division 1 titles. As soon as I went into my first game with them I knew they were the club for me – the players they had suited my style, and preferred formation, perfectly.
Back then Anzhi were a 3.5 star club, but they’ve since been busy in the transfer market and are now back up to four stars. Newbies like Diarra certainly boost the team on paper, but there’s one signing in particular that really makes a difference on the pitch; Lacina Traore.
Some of you may have seen Traore in action for Anzhi this season. You’ll know if you have because you can’t miss him – he’s 6ft 8in tall. Obviously he’s great in the air but he’s also lethal with the ball at his feet thanks to his rocket of a left foot. Being tall, good in the air and left footed makes him the perfect partner for a sharper right-footed striker, and Anzhi have one that’s not bad.
His name is Samuel Eto’o.
That’s quite a partnership at this level, and it’s supported by a very creative midfield and a couple of decent defenders, once you’ve moved players around a bit.
Here’s how I set them up using my favoured 4-4-2 Diamond wide:
LCB Joao Carlos
RS Eto’o LS Traore
You’ve got the option to play Chris Samba at centre-back but, although he’s exceptionally strong, he’s too slow for me so I opt to bring Jucilei back from midfield. The full-backs aren’t great so you may also want to look at Zhirkov at left-back, but I prefer him further forward because I like what he offers in attack.
I realised how good Marseille are in FIFA 13 after an opponent who was using them caused me all sorts of problems. As well as looking like they were going to score from every attack, I found them tough to break down at the back so decided that I’d check them out once my ordeal was over.
I’m glad I did because, with a bit of tinkering, Marseille can be set up as a really well-balanced team with a handful of genuine match winners in there too. The keeper is excellent, the full-backs are solid, they’ve got two strong, quick centre-backs, there’s loads of creativity and speed in midfield plus electric pace and two good finishers up top.
Again with the 4-4-2 Diamond wide, here’s how I like to use them…
LM A. Ayew
France international Mandanda is obviously the best choice in goal and I think Abdallah and Morel are the top full-backs, but you may want to consider Diawara next to N’Koulou at centre-back. Rod Fanni is quicker but there isn’t that much in it and, whoever you choose as N’Koulou’s partner the middle of your defence will be solid.
You could go for Kabore over Joey Barton as the holding player, but Barton is better technically so he keeps the spot in my team. I also start with Amalfitano on the right but if you prefer pace to craft then you could go with Jordan Ayew. I use his brother on the left but he’s also a quality forward so, again, if you want speed above all else then you should consider playing him next to Remy. The pace of those two combined will make your strikeforce hard to handle for any defence at this level, and they’re supported by the excellent Valbuena.
Talking of a strikeforce that’s hard to handle…
Udinese have two incredible strikers. Di Natale and Muriel are goalscoring machines and would cause problems for even the best five star defences but, well, there’s a but…
The defence is the weak point.
Now I haven’t used Udinese quite as much as the other teams we’ve looked at here, but it didn’t take many games for me to realise that defending with them can be a challenge. If you’re Udinese against teams like Anzhi or Marseille then, unless you’re good enough to spend the whole game attacking, you probably will at some stage find yourself hit by a quick counter that will make the sluggish defence look like they are running in treacle.
At least that’s what happens to me. Quite a lot.
With such an Achilles heel it may seem odd for me to be recommending them to you, but they really are so good in attack. That’s why I love using them. Yes games with Udinese may end 4-3 or 3-4, but every time you go forward you’ll feel like you’re going to score and in my experience that makes for the most exciting games.
Here’s how my 4-4-2 Diamond wide Udinese looks…
LS Di Natale
You could combat the lack of pace in defence by sending Armero back there, but I really like him on the left wing so he can support Di Natale. I also bring in Fabbrini on the right as he’s an excellent dribbler, and go with Barreto as the CAM because he feels quite responsive, although Maicosuel is a good option there.
Just writing about Udinese has made me want to get back online with them, so that’ll do for this week’s Backpage.
Give Anzhi, Marseille and Udinese a go and let me know how you get on by leaving a comment below or getting in touch on Twitter @darren_cross.
As always, thanks for reading and I hope to see you back here next week.