FM20 Red Bull Salzburg: Jesse Marsch 4-4-2 Tactic

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Still on FM20 Red Bull Salzburg tactic of Jesse Marsch. In our previous post, we shared about his 4-4-2 Diamond, which he also uses in this 2019/2020 season. However, in this post, we present Jesse Marsch classic 4-4-2 tactic. This classic 4-4-2 is another formation he uses with the diamond version. He sometimes switches both formations in match. But irrespective of the arrangement, both formations almost work under the same Marsch style of play – no much difference.

In FM20, we also used both setups, depending on opponent we are facing. However, in the game, we find the 4-4-2 classic better in defending than the diamond tactic. In addition, the 4-4-2 classic is better when facing teams effective in using the wide areas as their focus area of play. In this situation, using the diamond 4-4-2 might not fare well against such team because the wingbacks might find it difficult to track back and close down the wide areas since there are no wingers to support them.

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One particular team made us admit the weaknesses of the diamond 4-4-2. We faced LASK Linz at their home and they really beat us in everything, including chances, shots, shots on target, possession etc. We were even lucky to get 2 goals from direct play. However, when we introduced this 4-4-2 classic, we outperformed them by turning those wide areas to our advantage.

Lost match when using the 4-4-2 Diamond. Couldn’t get the match analysis because it wasn’t available in the FM20 database again.
Match analysis against LASK Linz

Moreover, this 4-4-2 works best against teams also using 4-4-2. We got a good result against SL Benfica using it in UCL Group Stages.

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Marsch 4-4-2 Tactic with Red Bull Salzburg

Because we have discussed the team instructions in the previous post, which is the same in this tactic, we are going to skip the build-up, attacking, and defensive sections.

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Marsch 4-4-2 Role Selections

Sweeper Keeper

For the GK position, the same thing that happens in the diamond setup also happens in this tactic.

Ball Playing Defenders – Defend

These two defenders do exactly what we talked about in the previous Marsch tactic. Therefore, the American manager sets up his defence the same way.

Two Fullbacks – Support

March’s Fullbacks are not really attack-minded; though, they support forward play. However, he prefers his fullbacks to maintain shape and move forward when it is necessary. At the final third, since March is not a fan of the crossing strategy, his fullbacks usually bring ball back to the middle to any teammate in the box or a late runner. It does not mean they don’t cross at all, just that it’s not their usual way.

Fullback bringing ball back to the middle instead of going for crossing

A Holding Midfielder with a Box-to-Box Midfielder

In Marsch’s 4-4-2, one CM is usually a holding midfielder – a playmaker who drops deep. The performance of this midfielder is similar to the DLP role in the DM position of the diamond 4-4-2.

On the other hand, the box-to-box midfielder aims to shuttle from box to box, supporting both attack and defence. Players like Ashimeru and Mwepu (sometimes) feature in this role as BBM under Jesse Marsch because of their good stamina.

Inverted Wingers

In the 4-4-2 formation, the wingers stay narrow, with the aim of overloading the central area. With them coming narrow, Marsch setup sometimes changes to 4-2-2-2. This enhances the effectiveness of attacking through the middle (which is one of the Team Instructions). And focusing play through the middle is part of Marsch’s tactical strategy. Takumi Minamino usually stay at the left while Masaya Okugawaor or Enock Mwepu takes the right.

Two Pressing Forwards (Support and Attack)

We also discussed about these positions in our previous post. The way they work in the diamond 4-4-2 is the same here.

Stats and Results

The stats and results of this tactic are mixed up with the diamond 4-4-2. We used both tactics with Salzburg at the same time in FM20.

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