Career Mode

Best Formations To Use for Small Teams in FC 24 Career Mode

Whether you are a seasoned FC player or just starting your journey, we can all agree that playing with a small team can be a bit challenging in Career Mode, especially when facing the football giants.

As a result, we have come up with the best formations for small teams to help you frustrate the giants in your league and win games easily. Unleash your inner Pep or Klopp with these small team formations to use in FC 24 Career Mode:

1. 5-4-1 

One thing you don’t want to do when playing against the big teams in Career Mode is conceding first. As a result, we prioritize a strong defence, and the 5-4-1 formation guarantees us that.

The formation puts bodies behind in defence and midfield, allowing your team to absorb anything that the opposition throws. At the same time, your target man is waiting for you to steal the ball and begin the counter-attack move, which is the ideal way to beat the big teams.

So basically, the 5-4-1 formation relies on defending and then surprising the opponent with a counter-attack. Below are the instructions to give your players:


  • Support Runs: Stay Central 
  • Attacking Support: Get in Behind
  • Interception: Normal Interceptions 
  • Defensive Support: Basic Defence Support 


  • Support Runs: Get In Behind
  • Support On Crosses: Get Into The Box For Cross
  • Chance Creation: Cut Inside 
  • Interception: Normal Interceptions 
  • Defensive Support: Come Back on Defense


  • Attacking Support: Balanced 
  • Positioning Freedom: Stick To Position 
  • Support On Crosses: Balanced Crossing Runs 
  • Interception: Normal Interceptions 
  • Defensive Position: Cover Center 


  • Defensive Position: Stick To Position 
  • Attacking Support: Overlap 
  • Attacking Runs: Join The Attack 
  • Interceptions: Normal Interceptions


  • Defensive Position: Stick To Position 
  • Attacking Support: Stay Back While Attacking 
  • Interceptions: Normal Interceptions

If you’re playing a must-win game and have already taken the lead, then you can instruct the Wing Backs to stay back while attacking. This will be very effective, especially if the opponent also starts to play counter-attack football while searching for the equalizer. Below are the custom tactics for this formation:

Defensive Tactics 

  • Defensive Style: Balanced 
  • Width: 35
  • Depth: 50

Offensive Tactics 

  • Build-Up Play: Long Ball 
  • Chance Creation: Direct Passing 
  • Corners: 2 Bars
  • Free Kicks: 3 Bars 
  • Players In Box: 7
  • Width: 50

Note: If you like playing through the midfield, then this formation might not work for you perfectly during attacks because the goal is to use the outside midfielders to overload a wing and then cross the ball into the box.

2. 4-1-2-1-2 Narrow 

The 4-1-2-1-2 (narrow) is one of the best formations to play with in FC 24. With four defenders, a defensive midfielder, and two central midfielders, the formation provides a solid defensive structure that’s not easy to break.

It works perfectly with small teams because the opponent won’t easily find space in the midfield area to exploit your defence. Also, intercepting the ball is easy with this formation because of the bodies in the centre of the midfield.

Below are the instruction to give your players when playing with 4-1-2-1-2 (narrow) against a big team:

  • STs: Stay Forward, Get In Behind, Normal Interceptions, Stay Central
  • CAM: Come Back On Defense, Get Into The Box For Cross, Stick To Position, Normal Interceptions
  • CMs: Get Into The Box For Crosses, Get Forward 
  • CDM: Stay Back While Attacking, Cover Center, Normal Interceptions, Stick to Position
  • RB/LB: Stay Back While Attacking, Normal Interceptions, Overlap

Generally, the 4-1-2-1-2 narrow formation also relies on counter-attacks. For you to score goals with this formation easily, then practice on attacking using the center of the pitch and not the flanks.

Below are the custom tactics to be applied in 4-1-2-1-2 narrow:

Defensive Tactics 

  • Defensive Style: Balanced 
  • Width: 40
  • Depth: 55

Offensive Tactics 

  • Build-Up Play: Balanced
  • Chance Creation: Direct Passing 
  • Corners: 2 Bars
  • Free Kicks: 2 Bars 
  • Players In Box: 7

3. 4-3-3

The 4-3-3 formation is the most recognized formation in the football world right now. This formation can work perfectly with any team, including a small team that has plenty of youngsters. Apart from the fact that it’s great at defending, you can also score goals with it, even when playing against a top team.

With 4-3-3, there is a complete balance between offense and defense as every player remains on their position. The formation needs one LB and one RB, two CBs, three CMs, one RW and one LW, and one ST.

Below are the instruction to give the players:

  • RB/LB: Join The Attack, Overlap / Inverted
  • CBs: Default Settings
  • CDMs: Stay Back While Attacking
  • CM: Default Settings
  • RW/LW: Get In Behind, Stay Wide / Cut Inside
  • ST: Stay Central, Stay Forward, Get In Behind 

Below are the custom tactics that work perfectly with the 4-3-3 formation:

Defensive Tactics

  • Defensive Style: Pressure On Heavy Touch
  • Team Width: 50-60
  • Depth: 50

Offensive Tactics 

  • Build-Up Play: Fast Build Up
  • Chance Creation: Forward Runs, Direct Passing
  • Width: 50
  • Players in Box: 3
  • Corners: 3
  • Free Kicks: 3

In conclusion, finding the suitable formation for your team will bring the desired result regardless of the opponent. When facing an opponent with full developed and world-class players, then you need to play with a formation that will ensure you’re not exploited defensively.

While we consider the 5-4-1, 4-1-2-1-2 narrow and 4-3-3 as the ideal formations for small teams in Career Mode, remember the desired outcome may not be there during matches if player instructions and custom tactics are not applied.

For more about EA Sports FC 24 Career Mode formations, check out: FC 24 Career Mode: Uncover Forgotten Formations And Tactics.

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