With so many soccer formations to choose from... which one should I use?
When asking yourself this question, 2 factors come into consideration.
1) What players do I have available and where can they play?
2) What are my opposition's strengths and weaknesses and what formation might they play?
These two factors will be discussed on this page. If you would like
to go straight to the layout and description of various formations...
please choose one of the 3 options below.
1. Defensive Formations
2. Balanced Formations
3. Attacking formations
When considering what formation to play it is important to assess what players you have at your disposal.
You may have too many defensive players and not enough attacking players. In this case you may want to play with one striker rather than the conventional two.
On the other hand you may have good attacking players to choose from. In this case you should look to make use of these players by operating a 4-3-3 formation. The following information is suited toward a team with 11 starting players (11v11). However, the information is relevant for 9v9 down to 7v7.
Don't take risks! When you know you have a stronger team than your opponents it is wise to keep a balanced formation (4-4-2).
A balanced formation is one that is good both defensively and offensively. If your team is strong they should have no problems scoring goals and a keeping a clean sheet using a 4-4-2 formation.
However, using 4-3-3 against a weak defense can get you loads of goals!
Remember! The best form of defense... is to attack.
However, if you know you are going to be facing a strong opposition you should consider other options.
Playing defensive soccer formations (5-4-1 or 4-5-1) can stop the other team from scoring.
This can irritate teams and allow you to use the counter-attack or play out a well-earned tie.
Another good option might be to surprise stronger opposition by being more offensive (4-3-3 or 3-4-3). If you know a team has a strong midfield, you should add an extra player into midfield (4-5-1 or 3-5-2).
Most games our won and lost in the midfield. If your team can dominate from the center of the field, you'll be on to winning ways.
With youth players it is important to keep it simple. Try not to keep changing soccer formations, especially during a game.
A well-balanced 4-4-2 will allow young players to learn their roles and playing positions for this formation.