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FIFA 21: How to Defend Effectively

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FIFA 21: How to Defend Effectively

FIFA 21 is an absolute goal-fest when you begin playing online matches or against higher difficulty AI opponents. The offensive mechanics feel very powerful and as such it’s easy to rack up massive score lines. Of course, this is a double-edged sword. Yes, it means you’ll score lots of goals, but if you’re up against a tough opponent, they’ll likely score just as many. In this guide, we’re going to run you through how to defend in FIFA 21.

Defending in FIFA 21

First off, let’s get some of the obvious bits out of the way. In order to be effective at defending, you should know the various options available to you.

Defensive Controls (PS4 & Xbox One)

You can find all of the defensive controls for FIFA 21 on PS4 and Xbox One below:

Defensive MovePS4 ControlsXbox Controls
Change PlayerL1LB
Switch Player (Manual)R + DirectionR + Direction
Tackle/Push or Pull (when chasing)B
Hard Tackle◯ Press and HoldB Press and Hold
Instant Hard TackleR1 + ◯RB + B
Sliding TackleX
Hard Tackle (VOLTA FOOTBALL only)X
ClearanceB
Shoulder Challenge/SealoutL2 TapLT Tap
Jockey/Grab & holdL2 Hold DownLT Hold Down
ContainX Press and HoldA Press and Hold
Teammate ContainR1 Press and HoldRB Press and Hold
Running JockeyL2 + R2 Hold DownLT + RT Hold Down
Pull and Hold (when chasing)◯ Press and HoldB Press and Hold
Quick Get Up (after slide tackle)X
Engage Shielding OpponentL2 + L Towards Shielding DribblerLT + L Towards Shielding Dribbler
Rush Goalkeeper Out△ Press and HoldY Press and Hold
Goalkeeper Cross Intercept△ + △ Press and HoldY + Y Press and Hold

Tips for Defending in FIFA 21

Now that you’ve got to grips with the controls, defending really is just a case of sitting back and waiting for the perfect moment to strike. In doing so, there are three key tips we’d give any player looking to strengthen their defensive game.

Don’t Pull Defenders Out of Position

This might sound obvious, but it’s very easy to do in the heat of the moment when your opponent’s on the attack.

Simply put, you don’t want to start controlling your defenders until you absolutely have to. Keep all of your defenders sitting between the attackers and your goal as your last line of defense.

Instead, use your midfielders to track back and challenge the opposition for the ball. If you choose to charge one of your center backs forward to get the ball, it’ll leave a huge gap behind them in your defensive line which can easily be exploited by a fast striker. Only move your defenders when you absolutely have to.

Jockey for the Ball When You’re Close Enough

When you’ve managed to get one of your defending players close enough to your opponent with the ball, you want to make use of jockey. This will not only give your player a chance of nabbing the ball of the opponent, but it makes it more difficult for your opponent to do just about anything.

Jockeying is done by pressing and holding L2 / LT. You’ll know you’re effectively doing it when your defender appears to be crab walking and always facing the ball.

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