FIFA 19 Defending - What is the Best Defensive Formation to Use?

This FIFA 19 guide will tell you how to score lots of goals, how to perform goal celebrations, how to use timed finishing, and how to defend well.

You won't get very far in FIFA 19 without a solid defense. Unfortunately, it's easily the hardest thing to get good at in the game, especially seeing as the tackling and defending have once again been overhauled for this year's entry. Luckily for you, we've been playing a ton of FIFA 19, and have pulled together some essential defending tips and tricks. In this FIFA 19 Defending Guide, we'll detail how to defend and tackle in FIFA 19. We'll take a look at the best defensive formation to use in FIFA 19, what the defending controls are, and how to defend crosses.

FIFA 19 Defending Tips

We’ve pulled together some FIFA 19 Defending Tips and Tackling Tips below. Try to keep them in mind the next time you play, and you should have the edge over your opponent. From the perfect tackle timing, to use of dynamic tactics, here’s how to defend in FIFA 19:

  • Jockey - Remember to use your Jockey button to finesse your movement. To do this, hole LT or L2, and you’ll face the attacking player. In this stance, it is easy to side step and close down space. All you need to do is get close enough and then tap circle to win the ball back.
  • Slide Tackles - While slide tackles have always been a risky move in FIFA games, they are incredibly useful in FIFA 19. As long as you do them at speed, and when you are close to a player, chances are you’ll win the ball. They’re a little OP at the moment , so take the chance while you can.
  • 50/50 battles - This is the new tackling system introduced in FIFA 19. Basically, when you have the ball, hold L2 to shield against the opposing player. From this stance any attacks made against you will be judged via the new system, which weighs up each player’s defensive stats to determine the outcome.
  • Use two defenders at once - While defending, you’ll notice a transparent icon above one of your other players, this is your second defender. Hold down R1, and that player will move to apply pressure, leaving you to block passing play. You can switch to the second defender at any time by hitting L1.
  • Switch - Speaking of switching players, you’re going to want to get used to using the Right stick to switch between players. You can switch to almost every player on the field whereas with L1 it’s just the nearest player to you.
  • Defensive Tactics - As part of the new Dynamic Tactics system, you can customize the tactics you use in game. While you’re in game, press down on the d-pad to access defensive tactics.
  • Don’t sprint - Unless you are chasing a winger, there’s no need to sprint all the time. It’s harder to perform standing tackles at speed, and players can easily change direction leaving you defenseless.
  • Learn when to tackle - You’re not going to want to be spamming the tackle button when defending, as it will lower your success rate. Instead, make sure you time your tackles when you’re sure you can get the ball, otherwise you’ll be left in the dust mid-animation.

FIFA 19 50/50 Battles - How to Win Tackles

There’s a new tackle system that has been implemented in FIFA 19, it’ called 50/50 Battles. It’s essentially an algorithm that determines the outcome of two players going for the same ball. It depends on which action each players is trying to do (pass, tackle, slide), and uses new animations to make each struggle look realistic. The outcome of a 50/50 Battle in FIFA 19 is determined by the following factors:

  • Player attributes (like strength and mass)
  • Action requested (slide tackle, pass)
  • How well-positioned you are for the battle (angle, speed, position of the body)

FIFA 19 Best Defensive Formation 2019

FIFA 19 features a new Dynamic Tactics screen that lets you customize and then switch up your formation on the fly. Because of this, there’s no longer one defensive formation to rule them all, as you can easily switch between Defensive and Ultra-defensive strategies. We’ve listed some of the ideal Defensive formations and tactics below, so that you can set your team up to defend effectively.

  • There’s a brand new formation in FIFA 19 called 4-1-3-2. This is ideal for setting up your Ultra-Defensive Game plan, bringing a CM back slightly to help out with defense.In terms of defensive tactics, you’ll want to take a look at Drop Back, which preserves your team’s shape while moving everyone back to defend. Your strikers will be more passive, but defense will be rock-solid.
  • In terms of Player Instructions, assign all defenders and CM with the Stay Back While Attacking instruction. For defensive Game Plan you can alter this to leave out the midfielders, though make sure your defenders are still staying back.
  • For your Defensive Game Plan, we recommend you adopt the 4-3-3 Defensive formation. It’ll ensure plenty of support, especially if you set your corners and free kicks bars down to around 3, so that counter attacks can be quickly dealt with.
  • In this 4-3-3 Formation, set Defensive tactics to Pressure on Heavy touch to ensure that enough players are back if the ball goes loose and ends up in the opposition’s possession.
  • In terms of instructions, set Man MArk on your CDMs, and Stay Back While Attacking on all defenders.

How to Defend Crosses in FIFA 19

Crosses can be deadly in FIFA 19, if not defended correctly that is. Knowing how to stop an attacking play in its tracks is hugely important, and there's no one stop remedy for every type of cross you'll be encountering. We've listed some all-round good tips to keep in mind when defending crosses in FIFA 19.

  • Stopping a through ball cross to a winger - When an opponent is advancing towards goal, a classic move will be one their wingers make a run up either wing to accept a through ball pass. Hold R1/RB to get a second defender to start moving towards the receiver, then switch to them using the right stick. You'll then want to start moving towards the corner flag, filling the space where the attacker is looking to run. This will prompt the player in possession to attempt a pass instead, which you can easily shut down.
  • Winning headers - When an opponent is about to cross the ball into the area from the wing, make sure you have the player closest to the crosser selected, until the ball is whipped in. Hold R1/RB and have a defender inside the box start moving towards the receiver. Switch to this defender and press nothing, until the ball starts to dip towards the two players near where the cross will land. At this point, move the left stick in the direction that the ball is traveling, and hit the shoot button. Your defender will knock the ball behind, or clear it completely.

FIFA 19 Defending Controls

While taking the tips we've outlined above to heart will definitely help you defend better in FIFA 19, it'll all be worthless if you don't know the controls. To help you out, we've listed the FIFA 19 Defensive Controls below:

  • Change Player - L1/LB
  • Switch Player (manual) - Right Stick + Direction
  • Tackle/Push or Pull (when Chasing) - Circle/ B
  • Slide Tackle - Square/ X
  • Clearance - Circle/B
  • Jockey/Grab & Hold - L2/LT
  • Contain - X/A (Press and Hold)
  • Pull & Hold (While Chasing) - Circle (Press and Hold)
  • Quick Get Up (After Slide Tackle) - Square/X
  • Engage Shielding Opponent - L2/LT + Left Stick Towards Shielding Dribbler
  • Rush Goalkeeper Out - Triangle/ Y (Press and Hold)
  • Move Goalkeeper - R3 (Press and Hold + Right Stick Direction)
  • GK Cover Far Post - R3 (Press and Hold)
  • Switch to GK - Press Track Pad

If you're looking for help with FIFA 19, we've got a full FIFA 19 guide. If you'd rather hop directly to one of our specific guides, we've got them all for you just below.

Read this next

FIFA 19 Ultimate Team Tips - How to Build the Best Ultimate Team

Info on how to build an Ultimate Team in FIFA 19. Explanations on FIFA 19 Chemistry, modes, single player, online play and more.

FIFA 19 Best Young Players - Highest Career Mode Potential Under 21

In this FIFA 19 guide we detail the best young FIFA 19 ST, CF, RW, LW, best young FIFA 19 CB, LB, RB, best young FIFA 19 GK, and best young FIFA 19 CM, CDM, CAM, LM, RM in FIFA 19 Career Mode.

FIFA 19 Best Players - Best FUT 19 Players

You can find all of the best FIFA 19 players in this Top 100 FIFA 19 players guide.

FIFA TOTW 33 FUT Team of the Week 33, May 1, 2019

A selection of FUT player cards get stat boosts every week. We're currently looking at FIFA TOTW 32.

How the Frostbite Engine Became a Nightmare for EA in General, and BioWare in Particular

DICE's engine finds a rough reception at other EA studios.

The Epic vs. Steam Fight Heats up as Loot Box Concerns Grow

THIS WEEK IN BUSINESS | Metro Exodus thumbs its nose at Steam, EA admits defeat in FIFA Ultimate Team fight, and nobody wants a pre-owned GameStop.

More Guides

Skyrim Mods - Best Skyrim Mods for Xbox One, PS4 and PC

Skyrim is a great game that can be made even better through the use of mods. Here are all of the mods that are worth your time.

Dauntless Best Weapons - Swords, Axes, Chain Blades, Hammers, Repeaters, War Pikes

Here's our guide to the best Dauntless weapons on offer, including war pikes, axes, swords, repeaters, chain blades, hammers, and others.

Dauntless Repeaters - How to Unlock and Upgrade Ostian Repeaters in Dauntless

To unlock Ostian Repeaters as a weapon in Dauntless, you first need to undertake a few specific quests.

Video Game Release Dates 2019 - Confirmed 2019 Games for Switch, PS4, Xbox One and PC

2019 is shaping up to be a great year for gaming. Here are all of the games you can look forward to.

More on PC

Dauntless Feels Like Fortnite To Monster Hunter World's PUBG

Dauntless recalls other recent games, but that might not stand in the way of success.

From Candy Crush to Hearthstone: How the Loot Box Bill Could Affect Some of the Industry's Biggest Games

The bill defines microtransactions and loot boxes, but questions remain.

"More Servers" Won't Solve Dauntless' Network Problems, Says Producer

The studio behind the breakout hit discussed server woes in a Reddit AMA today.

Scuf Wants to Outdo the Xbox Elite With a Modular Design Alternative

Last year's Scuf Vantage for PS4 is met by the Scuf Prestige for Xbox One.

Skyrim Mods - Best Skyrim Mods for Xbox One, PS4 and PC

Skyrim is a great game that can be made even better through the use of mods. Here are all of the mods that are worth your time.

Dauntless Best Weapons - Swords, Axes, Chain Blades, Hammers, Repeaters, War Pikes

Here's our guide to the best Dauntless weapons on offer, including war pikes, axes, swords, repeaters, chain blades, hammers, and others.

Replays Are Finally Coming To Overwatch's Public Test Realm

Time to watch my lowlights in slo-mo.

More Sports Games

The Madden 20 Release Date, and How to Play Early

This is our hub of information on the next Madden game, including the Madden 20 release date, how you can play the game early, and more.

All the New Madden 20 Ultimate Team Details Revealed so Far

Here's all the new details on Madden 20 Ultimate Team, including Superstars, X-Factor abilities, player Archetypes and more.

EA Play's E3 2019 Streams are Being Delayed

This should free up your Friday a bit.