FIFA 20 Ultimate Team: How to Defend according to a professional FIFA player

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We are back with our third instalment in a series of tutorial-style articles from FIFA pros, Hashtag United, helping you get to your best!

After Hashtag Shawrey outlined his 10 top tips in week one, Hashtag Tom focused on the best two formations to use on FIFA 20.

This week, Hashtag Shawrey returns, telling us how best to protect our net on FIFA 20.

Defensive Tips

First of all, I'm going to share a couple of general defensive tips.

Defend Conservatively

Take your time when defending your opponent. Don’t rush into challenges and avoid sliding. Don’t spam the tackle button and be patient. Being too pushy can lead to your defence being cut open by a simple series of passes.

Also, DO NOT USE THE CONTAIN BUTTON - it might as well not exist in the game.

Advanced Jockeying

Use LT/RT on Xbox and L2/R2 on PS4 to jockey your opponent. Use this to get your player in the correct position for a defensive tackle, e.g to cut off a passing lane or square up your opponent.

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The advanced jockeyed allows a wider range of movement when defending to enable you to keep up with your opposition’s shifts, turns and skill moves.


One of the key parts of defending is what you do after you've won the ball. Take your time and try to find a pass that will keep the ball in your possession.

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Avoid passing the ball down the middle of the pitch as the opposition can easily trap you, causing you to lose possession and potentially concede a goal from the quick counter attack whilst your players are in transition from Defence to Attack.

Use the radar to see which of your players are free in wide areas and use a lofted pass (X/O) to send them the ball.

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The Hashtag United lads will be helping you improve your FIFA 20 skills over the next several weeks!

Slide Tackling

Only attempt slide tackles when you are defending desperately and feel as though a normal tackle will not win you the ball.

NEVER slide from behind as this ALMOST CERTAINLY will result in a red-card, leaving you on the back-foot for the remainder of the game.


Don't try passing out from the back when under pressure - it's not worth it. You're better off clearing your lines than trying to pass the ball to a fellow teammate who is close-by.

If you want to try to retain possession, clear the ball with a charged lofted pass (X/◻︎) as this can be aimed with the left-stick. Otherwise press B to auto clear the ball (cannot be powered up).

A lofted pass may take longer to perform as the player will take longer to kick the ball, the longer the kick is charged, however in my experience it is more effective with accuracy, direction and power.

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Defending a Set Piece

Below are my tips on how best to defend from set pieces.


When a player is crossing the ball into the box, always try to select one of your tallest defenders and place him in the area in which you believe your opponent is aiming for (it is normally near the penalty spot).

This will give you the best chance to beat the man you’re marking in the air and clear your lines comfortably.

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Selecting a smaller player may result in lower heading accuracy, or even missing the header completely, giving your opponent an easier chance to score from the set piece.

Free Kicks

An easy way to defend most free-kicks is to move your goalkeeper slightly towards the side in which he leaves the biggest gap.

That way, a MUCH more accurate free kick is required to score as your keeper can dive equally in either direction. It also plays mind games with the opponent as they may try and go the opposite way to which you moved.

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KEEPER'S!!!: Move your goalkeeper to the middle of the goal, ensuring only the best free kicks will go in

If the opponent sets up for a short free-kick, select a player who is not in the wall and stand in-front of the area in which the opponent may lay off the ball.

Do not forget to reposition your goalkeeper on short free kicks, as your opponent may be trying to double bluff you and just take the shot normally.

READ MORE: How to win FUT matches according to a FIFA pro

Defending a lead

Try and keep possession by setting up a formation that keeps your players fairly close by in a supporting role. For example, the 4-2-3-1 will keep your players closer together in comparison to a 4-3-3.


Stay calm when holding the ball and think two or three passes ahead. This will reduce panic and mistakes from occurring which could cause you to concede.

READ MORE: Best FIFA 20 Formations according to a FIFA Pro

If the game is competitive, be careful of the high pressing that may come from your opponent as he tries to chase the ball down and score a potential equaliser.

In cases like this, be patient but don’t overdo the possession game. Expose the gaps that your opponent leaves in his own defence and attempt to score another goal if a clear-cut opportunity arises.

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