FM19 Possession Tactic: 3-3-3-1 Powerful Midfield Tactic

Creative Team FM19 Tactics, Tactics 2 Comments

Ah! We are still having fun with FM19. Now we want to share an amazing tactic we created. When you think about a formation having only one central defender, you may think it will be a disaster. Well, it’s not actually so. Actually, it depends on how you set it up. But, it is possible to get an awesome tactic set up that way. This our fm19 3-3-3-1 powerful midfield tactic will amaze you.

It’s really refreshing to create weird formations in FM – really fascinating. In fact, tactics based on asymmetric formations and other weird setups can be sophisticated with any team in FM. This time, we move to the top Russian football league, testing the tactic with FC Krasnodar.

FM19 3-3-3-1 Powerful Midfield Tactic (with one CD)

In this tactic we created, there’s only one CD backed up with fullbacks and two DMs in front. However, this tactic is not a defensive one. It is more of a possession-with-speed based tactic – Sarri’s philosophy. The main powerhouse of this tactic comes solely in the midfield – this midfield is where both defensive and attacking phases initiate. Let’s talk about the in possession, in transition, and out of possession parts of this tactic.

In possession

The instructions here influence the team to build up play from the back. Nevertheless, the main aim here is to focus play through the middle since there are a sufficient number of midfielders. The midfield is the main centre of attention; therefore, it is very difficult for any opponent to overturn it.

Since this tactic is possession-based with pace, the passing directness is shorter while the tempo is set higher. In other words, enabling run at defence assists the set tempo of this tactic.

In transition

Counter-press helps this tactic’s defending ability. When pressing, the whole players engage in the pressing, while the fullbacks and CD stay back to intercept passes or sweep up through balls (the sweeper keeper assist in this too).

Moreover, when on counter, the whole team moves forward to support the attacking phase except the two DMs and CD.

Out of possession

The LOE and defensive line is set standard just to be very cautious defensively. But you can try a much higher LOE and defensive line. Though, for this particular tactic, we advise against it.

Enabling prevent GK distribution is like a trap. Once the opposition GK is pressured, he takes a long kick, which will be won back in the midfield (because of its strength). Then, the team can attack quickly.

FM19 3-3-3-1 Powerful Midfield Tactic Role Selection

Sweeper Keeper (attack)

With the attack duty, the sweeper keeper is part of the defenders. He has to come out (like an outfield player) to sweep up through balls the CD couldn’t.  Aside from the defending duties, he initiates counter attack.

One Central Defender (cover) with Two Fullbacks

This player just does what a normal central defender does. He’s like a lone defender but has supports from the fullbacks and defensive midfielders. Moreover, the two fullbacks do their duty traditionally, but being on a support duty (and not instructed to go forward) make them very cautious. In addition, with them instructed to stay narrow provides a good defensive shape, which is handy since there is only one CD.

Two Half Backs (defend)

The players installed here are indispensable. Their role is interesting. When the team attacks, both players stay back with CD to prove a cover for the team. Possibly, they also recycle possession of a failed attack. Defensively, they stay back to assist the CD in closing down opposition counter attack. The HB role is perfect in this situation because it influences the players to stay deeper and act as aggressive sweepers.

A Deep Lying Playmaker (support) in Central Area

This player here is like the tempo dictator. He controls the midfield and offers support to the team. As a playmaker, he distributes ball efficiently and can drop killer balls to attacking teammates.

Two Inside Forwards (support) at Flanks

Both wingers here are inside forwards. The assigned players drift inside when with the ball. Most times, as they drift, they give the full backs a safe space to support attack. But here in this tactic, the fullback will only move to that space if it’s necessary.

With the support duty, both IFs assist the fullbacks in defending.

An Advanced Playmaker (attack) behind Striker

This player is like the striker’s assistant. However, as a playmaker, he mostly drops killer balls and makes assists. He plays an important role in controlling the game too. With the attack duty, he can get forward to find scoring opportunities.

Top 9 as Advanced Forward (attack) 

We were finding it difficult to select the best effective role in STC position. But we just went with AF, which works pretty well. However, you can try another role and see what’s going to work best for your team.


The assistant manager handles the general training. The FM19 AI does this job perfectly. Therefore, he knows when to switch to training sections accordingly.


Just like what we said in this awesome 4-1-2-3 asymmetry tactic, using zonal marking is superb in FM19.

Stats and Analysis

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