In FIFA 14, we all know one thing for sure.. Heading is completely overpowered! Even after EA said they “fixed” the issue of headers being too accurate/effective, they are still a really good way to score. Especially if you’ve got a tank leading the line. Let me break this down for you!
Choosing your Wide Players
First off, since you’re reading this, I’m guessing you’re interested in attacking down the wings. Now, the advice I’m going to give you will help players who prefer two different styles of winger, these being:
– The “wrong foot” winger – Such as Ronaldo, who plays on the left but uses his right. Players like this are used by players who prefer to cut inside and try and open up a shooting chance on their wingers strong foot as opposed to running down the line and whipping a ball in.
– The “right foot” winger – Opposite to the above, simply a winger who uses the same foot as the wing they’re playing on. Such as Jesus Navas, a Right Midfielder whose stronger foot is his right. These types of wingers are used more by the players who are more interested in putting in a quality cross as opposed to cutting inside to shoot.
What I would say is, try and establish what style you are, and use that type of winger. So if you’ve got someone like Benteke as your striker, personally I’d prefer to have wingers who can put a quality ball in with their stronger foot because as we all know, Benteke is a monster and anything put near his head he’s likely to get on the end of it – So take advantage of it!
But also remember, if you fancy switching it up during the game, you can always get you wingers to swap sides by hitting up on the D-Pad and selecting the “Swap Wings” option. This will then allow you to start cutting inside on your players strong foot.. The best of both worlds!
This will also mess with your opponent a bit, they won’t know which way you’re going to attack which is great for us. There’s nothing easier than playing against somebody who does the same thing over and over again and it’s easy to read.
Once you’ve chosen your style of winger, now it’s time to nail down crossing and how to make the most out of them. As you may already know, there are quite a few different types of crosses, I’ll explain each one of them and explain how and when to use them properly.
Basic Cross (X on Xbox /Square on PS) – This is just a standard cross where your player will launch the ball in to the box. The more power you put in to these crosses, the further they will go. So if you have a player who is at the back post, you will need more power than if your striker was in the middle of the box or by the front post. To be honest with you, unless you have quite a tall player with decent heading stats, these crosses aren’t hugely effective because they tend to “float” in which gives defenders a little time to adjust their position. I tend to play with shorter, faster strikers so I prefer not to use this type of cross that often because they always get beaten in the air, but like I said, it’s ideal for tall, strong strikers.
Driven Cross (Double tap X on Xbox/Square on PS) – Driven crosses are a much quicker version of the normal cross, instead of being floated in, the crosser drills the ball in at head height at a high speed which makes it much harder to defend. I’ve found that these crosses are effective when:
– Your striker is your side of the defender. If there is a defender between you and your striker then it’s quite likely that they will be able to defend the cross easily because of the speed of it, there’s not much time for your player to move to get on the end of it. BUT, if your striker is YOUR side of the defender, then this cross is absolutely ideal because there’s a really high chance that they’ll get their head on it and get a shot in at goal.
– If your striker is a little bit ahead of the defender. A perfect time to use this type of cross is when your striker is a couple of steps ahead of the defender, whipping in a driven cross gives the defender no time at all to adjust their position to defend the cross and if it’s crossed in to the right area, the pace from the ball often results in a powerful header at goal, impossible to save.
Driven Ground Crosses (Triple tap X on Xbox/Square on PS) – Extremely effective in the right situations, a driven ground cross is when your player drills the ball across the floor in front of goal. So if your player is lurking in front of goal and you don’t think they’ll win the head or they’ve got a little bit of space, simply smash in a ground cross and anything could happen! If it reaches your player, 9 times out of 10 it’s a tap in, or if the keeper saves it there’s a great chance of a goal from a rebound.
Early Cross (LB + X on Xbox/L1 + Square on PS) – Something that I see very rarely online, it’s almost as if not many people know about it! Something that often happens is when I’m bombing it down the wing, my quick striker will be sprinting in to the box in to some space. Now, if I want to whip the ball in to the box but I’m not in the “normal crossing position” then I would simply use the early cross to swing in a ball from a deeper position. These are awesome if they’re done correctly, I’ve found that they work best when my player is a good few yards further than the defender, then I can put a decent amount of power in to the cross and my striker will have some good space and I’ll have that tiny bit of extra time I need to decide what I’m going to do next.
Choosing your Formation
Your formation plays a huge part in your wing play success, so choosing the right one to suit you is important. If you’re happy playing with a lone striker and you want wingers too, then formations such as the 4-4-1-1 or 4-3-3 would be ideal. Just be sure that your formation will suit your style of play.
Personally, I really don’t like playing with one striker, I like being able to switch up my play so that I can play down the wings and also through the middle by knocking passes between my forwards and looking for runs through on goal. Because I tend to go for pace in my strikers as opposed to strength and power, wing play isn’t something I tend to use a great deal but because I use the 4-1-2-1-2 formation with wingers and not the CM’s, I’ve got the option to play down the wings if I need to.
Another thing I tend to do, is have my RM using their strong foot to cross, and my LM on their weak foot, simply because when I play down the wings, most of the time it’s down the right, I don’t know why, it just feels better to me. So I’ve got one guy who can cross well, and one who has a decent shot and can cut inside so I feel like I have a bit of both worlds which I love!
How to Get in to Crossing Positions
It’s all well and good me telling you how to actually cross, but what good is this information if you can’t actually seem to get in to good positions to cross? Not very! Let me run you through a few things I do to get in to a good crossing position.
One Two’s with my central players – Something I love doing is picking up the ball with my winger, getting right up to my opponents fullback and then using the “One Two” feature to pass the ball inside and send my winger on a darting run down the line. This then gives me a great chance to play a powerful through ball (either on the ground or over the top) to the winger who is now in a load of space.
Using the “Knock-On” – The Knock-On pretty much says it all. Your player simply knocks the ball in front of them in to space and then chases it down at full sprint. I tend to only use this if I’m using a really fast winger like Walcott or Navas otherwise there’s a pretty good chance you’ll get caught. This is normally a good little trick to use AFTER you have done the One-Two with you other player, because you’ll already be in good space when your player receives the pass so knocking the ball forward can only help in getting in on goal!
Fake Shot/Scoop Turn – A lot more difficult to pull off in FIFA 14, simply because of EA making the game more realistic. Players turn much slower so it tends to be easier to defend but if you do it right and send your opponent the wrong way it can give you that yard of space you need to swing in a cross. The scoop turn can only be performed with players with a high skill level.
Using Skill – To beat the defender coming at you, something that can be really effective is the roulette skill (performed by moving the right analog stick down, then anti-clockwise to the top). If you time this right, you will twirl around your opponent and often be in a really dangerous area where can potentially get closer to goal and unleash a shot, or drill a cross in and cause of kinds of danger!
Another great skill to use is the McGeady Turn, something I love to use! This skill can only be done by players with a skill level of 5 so just be aware. This skill allows you to change directions really quickly while also shielding the ball as you turn. To do the McGeady Turn, simply flick the right analog stick up, then either right or left depending on which direction you’re going. Be sure to practice before having a go in a game in case you mess up. Maybe try it in a practice match so you can get the hang of it.
Playing Long Balls – One thing I absolutely LOVE doing, is using my CDM to ping long balls out to my wingers, it’s just such a great feeling when you measure the pass perfectly right to your winger from deep and they take a touch in to space and then it’s just open space in front of them. If you aren’t too good at using the lob button (X on Xbox, Square on PS) to play a long pass, then something that’s also very effective is the chipped through ball (LB + Y on Xbox, L1 + Square on PS). These tend to be much more accurate if you aren’t any good at playing manual balls. Also, because they are through balls, the player automatically plays the ball in front of your target so it’s a great way to have your winger sprinting in to some space to receive a ball. One thing that’s really important though, is having a quality CDM with high passing stats. Personally I love to use Steven Gerrard, very well known for his ability to play a long pass. Being able to ping a long ball with Gerrard just feels amazing because it’s as if you’re playing with the real one! 🙂
Overlap with your Full-Backs – Another handy little trick I use is sending my fullback on the overlapping run for my winger to send them on a run down the line. This is done by using the One-Two pass, passing the ball from your fullback using this will send them running down the line, you then do your best to hold the ball up with your winger until your winger passes you at full speed, then simply play a through ball either on the ground or over the top to the player and they will no doubt be in a load of space! This is extremely effective if you have quick fullbacks, simply because by the time you play the pass, your fullback is running at full speed while your opponents defender is closing down the winger and most of the time they will have no chance of catching up the fullback darting down the line.
I hope you’ve found all this information helpful and that you are able to improve your game through using it! Thanks for reading and be sure to check out other tutorials 🙂