Hey guys, I am thrilled to present this my first Football Manager 2020 tactic. This is Antonio Conte FM20 3-5-2 tactic with Inter Milan. Well, as you may know, fmtrendgames is mainly known for its real-life tactics recreations. That means we usually aim to bring real-life managers’ tactics to Football Manager.
Reflecting on what we experienced last, FM19 was a blast. The tactical overhaul introduced in FM19 enhanced our creation to come very close to matching the tactics of the respective real-life managers.
But we (especially me) were expecting more new features in the tactical section in FM20. Unfortunately, we didn’t see that. Anyway, FM20 has been fantastic overall. I personally think it’s the best game SI has made yet.
Enough said. Let’s dive into the tactic I wish to present in this post.
Antonio Conte FM20 3-5-2 Tactic
Antonio Conte has been a fan of the back 3 system for so long now. He used it at Juventus, Chelsea, and now Inter Milan.
Inter Milan with the Ball
At Inter Milan, the Italian manager decided to adopt the patient build-up from the back system. That’s why I enabled play from the back. But once the team breaks up the opposition first press, they go direct for an attack. They are not interested in getting a high percentage of ball possession.
As the team builds up, their main focus of play is usually through the midfield and this is where the holding midfielder (Brozovic) comes in very handy. In addition, the team tends to look for teammates making runs inside and beyond them. And this strategy makes Inter Milan really good in direct counter-attack.
Inter’s Attacking Animation
With the way Inter play, I think Conte’s attack breaths more from the midfielder than going straight to the flanks. It’s true the wingbacks play a vital role in Inter’s attacking phase but the midfielders are the key.
Dynamically, Conte’s men attack in a 3-3-4 setup. With the wingbacks acting as wide attacking wingers, the midfielders may hang just outside the opposition box or come as a late runner into the box to flash the ball.
Statistically, the team gets most of its goals through the midfield with shot placing or hitting powerful shots from outside the box. Inter Milan has scored most of their goal this way, which is why I enabled Shoot On Site in FM20. But sometimes, the wingbacks prove effective by hitting deadly crosses for the strikers to head home instead of finding a midfielder to take the shot.
Without the Ball
When Conte’s men are out of possession, they engage in man to man-oriented press. But just like the challenges I faced in FM19, this system is difficult to implement in FM20 too. So, I used the counter-pressing method coupled with zonal marking.
Conte’s Defensive Shape
Defensively, Conte’s 3-5-2 transforms to 5-3-2. And his defense stays narrow to tighten the middle areas, making it difficult for the opposition to play through the midfield. And this usually forces the opponents to go wide. As you can see from the screenshot, the defensive width is narrow.
Moreover, sometimes Conte’s line of engagement stays very high while being cautious of the defensive line. That’s why I set the defensive line standard.
Well, this area is strictly for FM20. For me, I usually use a positive mentality at home while I use a Cautious mentality on Away games. Sometimes on Away, as the match approaches its ending (like 20 minutes left) and we are leading, i switch to defensive or very defensive, especially when the opponent is going strong.
Antonio Conte’s Role Selections
Well, there’s not much I can say about the SK. But as the SK, Samir Handanovic plays an important role in build-up and counter.
Back 3 Defenders
Antonio Conte usually selects central defenders who have the confidence and ability to play with the ball. At Inter Milan, Skriniar, De Vrij, Godin, and young Bastoni all have that ability to move the ball forward. But, De Vrij (usually the third man at the center) is more of the covering ball-playing defender who has that passing accuracy needed.
In other words, the defenders in DCL and DCR positions play the central defender (defend) role – except Diego Godin, who takes up the stopper duty because of his excellent anticipation. This is just how I arranged them in FM20.
Two Vibrant Wingbacks
The Inter Milan boss usually keeps vibrant wingbacks who can attack when it’s necessary. But because of the types of players he has at his disposal, he makes some changes. For instance, if he wants more attacking from the flanks, he picks Dimarco (at left) and Candreva or Valentino Lazaro (at right). If otherwise, he picks Asamoah or Biraghi (at left) and D’Ambrosio (at right).
Nevertheless, in FM20, I prefer instructing all of them to play the attacking wingback role instead of using the support duty for some of them.
A Holding Midfielder
This is the perfect place for Marcelo Brozovic. In fact, he blends so well with Conte’s tactic. As a deep lying playmaker, he plays a vital role in build-up. And he has that control and confidence to carry the ball, with the aim of breaking opposition first defensive line.
Apart from that, he has a good passing range and vision. His natural fitness is just impeccable. Well, I think Brozovic is the engine of Conte’s tactic. And I find the same situation in FM20. If he (or any player you place in this position) is not performing well, there’s a problem.
Another player you can try in this position is Borja Valero.
This area features a mezzala (usually Sensi) and a box-to-box midfielder (usually Barella). In most Internazionale games, the central midfielders appear energetic and can drift wide to overload the half space or open a direct passing lane to the strikers.
Of the two, Sensi acts more as the mezzala and he’s really good at attacking from the half space. On the other hand, Barella acts as a BBM or sometimes as a supporting ball-winning midfielder. But once Conte introduces Gagliardini, he takes up the supporting BWM role. Matias Vecino usually plays a mezzala under his boss. So, you can choose to make changes like this too in FM20 if you like – they all work.
Lukaku has been a regular starter under Conte. This is because he plays a very important role in the Italian manager’s style of football. Because Inter Milan sometimes go direct if the midfielders are marked tightly, Lukaku has the ability to win such direct ball and lay off a decisive pass to his attacking partner. Therefore, he is a supporting target man because he has the strength and balance to overwhelm his marker. And he often drops to receive the ball.
While Lukaku does what he does best, Martinez, as the AF, looks for spaces to exploit with his runs. Another player who’s really good as AF is Politano, while Alexis Sánchez is better as a supporting deep-lying forward. Although, Conte prefers instructing Politano and Sánchez to stay wide.
The same situation I experienced in FM19 is what I experience in FM20 too – zonal marking is more effective. But that’s not actually the marking system Antonio Conte uses at Inter Milan. However, in Set Pieces, he uses mixed marking and I used the same thing in this tactic in FM20.
CLICK THE BUTTON BELOW TO DOWNLOAD TACTIC