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Your strikers and other central attackers are the main source of goals in your team. The structure of your central attack and the roles and duties used should be well balanced and allow your players to carry out your desired tactical style effectively.

Choosing a suitable structure was discussed earlier in the Structuring Your Team guide. The available roles and duties and balanced role and duty combinations are explained below, along with recommendations for each of the attacking styles detailed in the Tactical Styles guide.

1. Balancing Your Attack

1.1. Responsibilities of Central Attackers

Your central attack includes those players in the striker and central attacking midfield positions, while any wide attackers in the wide forward positions who cut inside when on the ball or roam into central space when off the ball should also be considered as part of your central attack. Generally, a balanced tactic will have between two and four such players. The use of only one, as a lone striker in the striker position, is discussed separately.

To achieve a balanced attack these players will need to share the responsibilities of:

  • providing a link with your deeper central players and your wide players;
  • creating chances; and
  • goal-scoring.

This is done by designating at least one attacker to act as a number ten and at least one to act as a number nine.

A number ten tends to play in deeper positions and focuses to a greater extent on providing a link and creating chances, while a number nine tends to play in more advanced positions and focuses to a greater extent on goal-scoring.

There are various different types of number tens and number nines, each defined by a particular role. These roles will be detailed shortly.

1.2. Mixing Roles

In addition to the roles of your central attackers (including any wide forwards who move into central areas), you will need to consider the roles of any wide forwards who stay on the flank, in order to ensure that your attack as a whole is well balanced. You should use some roles that are more attacking and move into more advanced positions, such as number nine roles and the Winger and Wide Target Man roles with an attack duty, and some roles that stay in deeper positions, such as number ten roles and the other available roles in the wide forward positions. The way that you mix the roles of your attackers depends on your setup.

For example, if you use two attackers in the striker positions then generally one should play as a number ten and one as a number nine, regardless of whether you also use a number ten or number nine behind them in attacking midfield. Such a partnership will work together more effectively, as will be explained when attacking partnerships are discussed.

If you use a number nine on his own in the striker position with two or three other attackers in any of the central attacking midfield and wide forward positions, then it is advisable to give one of the other attackers a more attacking role. This will ensure that there are sufficient players making attacking runs into dangerous positions and providing effective options for creative or penetrative passes. However, no more than one of these more attacking roles should be assigned to the other attackers in order to retain a good level of creative and linking play. If a single player is used in central attacking midfield then ideally the more attacking role should be assigned to one of the wide attackers so that the partnership between the two central players is well balanced.

If instead you use a number ten in the striker position, along with two or three other attackers in any of the striker, central attacking midfield and wide forward positions, then it can be useful to give two of the other attackers, but no more than two, a more attacking role. Similarly to before, it is advisable that one of these more attacking roles is given to a second centrally positioned player if such a player is used, in order to ensure that the partnership between the two central players is well balanced. However, if this is the case then it is less necessary to assign a second more attacking role to another attacker as there should still be a sufficient threat through the middle.

In addition, if you use a number ten in central attacking midfield then it is advisable to not use a second number ten in either of the wide forward positions as such a player would move into the territory of the central player, potentially causing congestion and a poor utilisation of space. Instead, any attackers in these positions can be given either wide player roles that stay on the flank or number nine roles.

Finally, if you use only two central attackers with no players in the wide forward positions, such as in the 4-4-2, then it is advisable to give your wide attackers in the wide midfield positions attacking roles.

2. Roles

All of the number ten and number nine roles available for your central attackers are shown below.

For each role, suggestions are given of the types of attacking partnership that the role is suitable for. These partnerships will be discussed in detail later. A role may also be used effectively in a different partnership to those listed for a player acting as a second number ten or number nine.

Details of the style of play instructed by each role are also provided to help you decide which roles are most suitable for your tactic. The abilities used in particular by a player in each role are shown below its style, although a player in any role would benefit from any of these abilities to varying extents. The abilities used by central attackers, along with their associated attributes, are:

  • Physical presence - Balance, Strength - enables a player with perhaps poorer technical and mental attributes to create chances close to goal for himself and his teammates. Also enables a player to link play by providing a target for aerial balls, such as direct passes or crosses, and by holding up the ball to allow deeper teammates to join the attack.
  • Aerial presence (and heading ability) - Heading, Jumping Reach - enables a player to get on the end of aerial balls such as direct passes and crosses, and to attempt an immediate pass or shot in the air.
  • Endeavour - Aggression, Bravery, Determination, Work Rate, Stamina - enables a player with perhaps poorer technical and mental attributes to create chances close to goal for himself and teammates.
  • Passing ability - Passing, Technique - enables a player to contribute more effectively to build-up play and creating chances.
  • Creativity - Anticipation, Decisions, Flair, Teamwork, Vision - enables a player to contribute even more effectively to build-up play and, in particular, creating chances for his teammates.
  • Dribbling ability - Dribbling, Technique, Anticipation, Decisions, Flair, Agility, Balance - enables a player to create chances for himself, as well as his teammates, by taking the ball past opposition defenders.
  • Attacking movement - Anticipation, Decisions, Off The Ball, Teamwork - enables a player to more easily find available space in which to receive the ball so he can either have more time to create a chance for a teammate or be in a more dangerous position to take a shot or create a chance for himself.
  • Mobility - Acceleration, Agility, Pace - enables a player to more easily get into dangerous positions in and behind the opposition defence.
  • Control - First Touch, Technique - all central attackers regularly use control when receiving the ball so this is not specifically mentioned for the individual roles below. However, number tens in particular will take a lot of touches during build-up play, while players expected to receive long balls will be more effective if they are able to bring the ball under control easily.
  • Shooting ability - Finishing, Long Shots, Technique, Anticipation, Composure - again, all central attackers regularly take shots at goal so this is not specifically mentioned. In particular, number nines should ideally have good Finishing for close range shooting, while number tens expected to shoot from distance will need good Long Shots. Technique benefits all shooting, but especially shots from long range.

Other attributes are also associated with these abilities. For more details see the Attribute Combinations guide.

2.1. Number Tens

Target Man (ST Support)

  • Partnership: Big Man - Little Man
  • Style (on the ball): Often holds up the ball. Rarely runs with the ball.
  • Abilities used: Physical presence and aerial presence. Also some passing ability, creativity and endeavour.

Defensive Forward (ST Defend/Support)

  • Partnership: Big Man - Little Man
  • Style (on the ball): Rarely attempts creative passes.
  • Style (off the ball): Often defends aggressively. Also stays between the opposition midfield and defence (with a defend duty).
  • Abilities used: Endeavour and physical presence. Also some aerial presence, passing ability and dribbling ability.

Deep-Lying Forward (ST Support)

  • Partnership: Creator - Scorer, Big Man - Little Man
  • Style (on the ball): Often holds up the ball and attempts creative passes.
  • Abilities used: Passing ability and creativity. Also some physical presence, aerial presence, dribbling ability and attacking movement.

Complete Forward (ST Support)

  • Partnership: Creator - Scorer, False Nine - False Ten
  • Style (on the ball): Often holds up the ball, runs with the ball and attempts creative passes.
  • Style (off the ball): Often roams into space.
  • Abilities used: Passing ability, creativity, dribbling ability and attacking movement. Also some physical presence and aerial presence.

Trequartista (ST Attack)

  • Partnership: Creator - Scorer, False Nine - False Ten
  • Style (on the ball): Often runs with the ball and attempts creative passes.
  • Style (off the ball): Often roams into space, moves into channels between opposition defenders and stays between the opposition midfield and defence. Rarely closes down or tackles opponents.
  • Abilities used: Passing ability, creativity, dribbling ability and attacking movement.

False Nine (ST Support)

  • Partnership: False Nine - False Ten, Creator - Scorer
  • Style (on the ball): Often runs with the ball and attempts creative passes.
  • Style (off the ball): Often drops very deep and moves into channels between opposition defenders.
  • Abilities used: Passing ability, creativity, dribbling ability and attacking movement.

Attacking Midfielder (AMC Support)

  • Partnership: Creator - Scorer, Big Man - Little Man
  • Abilities used: Some physical presence, aerial presence, passing ability, creativity, dribbling ability and attacking movement.
  • Notes: This is a generic role with no particular style that can be more freely modified to suit your tactic and the player's abilities using specific player instructions.

Advanced Playmaker (AMC Support)

  • Partnership: Creator - Scorer
  • Style (on the ball): Often attempts creative passes. Rarely shoots at goal.
  • Style (off the ball): Often Stays between the opposition midfield and defence.
  • Abilities used: Passing ability and creativity. Also some dribbling ability and attacking movement.

Advanced Playmaker (AMC Attack)

  • Partnership: Creator - Scorer
  • Style (on the ball): Often attempts creative passes and runs with the ball. Rarely shoots at goal.
  • Abilities used: Passing ability, creativity and dribbling ability. Also some attacking movement.

Enganche (AMC Attack)

  • Partnership: Creator - Scorer
  • Style (on the ball): Often attempts creative passes. Rarely runs with the ball.
  • Style (off the ball): Rarely closes down opponents.
  • Abilities used: Passing ability and creativity. Also some attacking movement.

Trequartista (AMC Attack)

  • Partnership: Creator - Scorer
  • Style (on the ball): Often runs with the ball and attempts creative passes.
  • Style (off the ball): Often roams into space, moves into channels between opposition defenders and stays between the opposition midfield and defence. Rarely closes down or tackles opponents.
  • Abilities used: Passing ability, creativity, dribbling ability and attacking movement.

Inside Forward (AM(L/R) Support)

  • Partnership: Creator - Scorer
  • Style (on the ball): Often takes the ball inside, runs with the ball and attempts creative passes.
  • Abilities used: Passing ability, creativity and dribbling ability. Also some attacking movement.

Advanced Playmaker (AM(L/R) Support)

  • Partnership: Creator - Scorer
  • Style (on the ball): Often takes the ball inside and attempts creative passes. Rarely shoots at goal.
  • Abilities used: Passing ability and creativity. Also some dribbling ability and attacking movement.

Advanced Playmaker (AM(L/R) Attack)

  • Partnership: Creator - Scorer
  • Style (on the ball): Often takes the ball inside, runs with the ball and attempts creative passes. Rarely shoots at goal.
  • Abilities used: Passing ability, creativity and dribbling ability. Also some attacking movement.

2.2. Number Nines

Poacher (ST Attack)

  • Partnership: Big Man - Little Man, Creator - Scorer
  • Style (on the ball): Rarely attempts creative passes.
  • Abilities used: Attacking movement or mobility (or both). Also some dribbling ability and passing ability.

Advanced Forward (ST Attack)

  • Partnership: Creator - Scorer, Big Man - Little Man
  • Style (on the ball): Often runs with the ball.
  • Style (off the ball): Often moves into channels between opposition defenders.
  • Abilities used: Dribbling ability, and attacking movement or mobility (or both). Also some passing ability and creativity.

Target Man (ST Attack)

  • Partnership: Big Man - Little Man (reverse setup)
  • Style (on the ball): Often holds up the ball. Rarely runs with the ball.
  • Abilities used: Physical presence, aerial presence and endeavour. Also some passing ability.

Deep-Lying Forward (ST Attack)

  • Partnership: Creator - Scorer, Big Man - Little Man (reverse setup)
  • Style (on the ball): Often holds up the ball.
  • Style (off the ball): Often moves into channels between opposition defenders.
  • Abilities used: Passing ability, and attacking movement or mobility (or both). Also some physical presence, aerial presence, creativity and dribbling ability.

Complete Forward (ST Attack)

  • Partnership: Creator - Scorer
  • Style (on the ball): Often holds up the ball, runs with the ball and attempts creative passes.
  • Style (off the ball): Often roams into space and moves into channels between opposition defenders.
  • Abilities used: Passing ability, creativity, dribbling ability and attacking movement. Also some physical presence and aerial presence.

Attacking Midfielder (AMC Attack)

  • Partnership: False Nine - False Ten, Big Man - Little Man
  • Abilities used: Uses some physical presence, aerial presence, passing ability, creativity, dribbling ability, attacking movement and mobility.
  • Notes: This is a generic role that has no particular style and can be more freely modified to suit your tactic and the player's abilities using specific player instructions.

Shadow Striker (AMC Attack)

  • Partnership: False Nine - False Ten
  • Style (on the ball): Often runs with the ball and attempts creative passes.
  • Style (off the ball): Often moves into channels between opposition defenders.
  • Abilities used: Passing ability, creativity, dribbling ability and attacking movement. Also some mobility.

Inside Forward (AM(L/R) Attack)

  • Partnership: False Nine - False Ten
  • Style (on the ball): Often takes the ball inside and runs with the ball.
  • Abilities used: Dribbling ability. Also some passing ability, creativity, attacking movement and mobility.

Raumdeuter (AM(L/R) Attack)

  • Partnership: False Nine - False Ten, Big Man - Little Man
  • Style (on the ball): Often makes shorter passes.
  • Style (off the ball): Often roams into space, moves into channels between opposition defenders and stays close to the central areas.
  • Abilities used: Attacking movement. Also some creativity, dribbling ability and mobility.

3. Attacking Partnerships

Although you may use more than two central attackers and therefore have more than one number ten or more than one number nine in your attack, the mechanics of the different attacking combinations can be thought of in terms of attacking partnerships.

Since there are various different types of number tens and number nines, as shown above, there are also various different possible combinations for attacking partnerships. However, these combinations can be categorised into just three main types of attacking partership in which each player complements the other effectively. These are the big man - little man, creator - scorer and false nine - false ten partnerships.

Each partnership is explained below, with suitable roles and tactical styles suggested for each. The abilities required by players in each partnership are also discussed, in order to help you choose the best roles for your attackers by referring to the abilities given for each role above.

3.1. Big Man - Little Man

The big man - little man partnership utilises the individual physical abilities of the two attackers. It can therefore be especially useful in lower reputation league divisions where players have poorer technical ability and intelligence. It can also work well in higher reputation divisions, particularly for lower ability teams.

However, good passing ability, creativity or dribbling ability for either player can give them an additional advantage. This would allow you to incorporate elements of the creator-scorer partnership, discussed below, to provide an alternative attacking threat.

Number Ten

Your number ten will need to have good physical presence and aerial presence, and preferably good control, so he can provide an effective target for aerial balls. Endeavour would also be beneficial.

When receiving direct passes he will try to either bring the ball under his control or provide a knock-down, flick-on or lay-off for his partner or another teammate. When he has control of the ball he will use his strength to hold it up while waiting for teammates to get forward to support the attack, before making a simple pass, perhaps to his partner or to a more technically able or creative player. If he is close enough to goal he may also try to set up a chance for himself or attempt a header directly at goal. He will provide a similar threat from crosses.

He may also contribute with creative passes, particularly if he has decent passing ability and creativity.

His deeper positioning means that any opposition defender who chooses to mark him when he is off the ball or close him down when he is on the ball will leave space behind that his partner can exploit. In particular, he may be able to use his physical ability to take his marker out of the game by winning aerial challenges and other physical tussles.

If he is instead left in space by the opposition defence then he will have more freedom to choose an appropriate pass or shoot at goal.

He will be most effective in the striker position if he relies mainly on his physical ability as opposed to his technical ability and creativity. This will make it easier for him to set up chances with simple passes and to get into goal-scoring positions himself, while his physical ability means he will still be able to provide an effective link with your deeper players.

  • Typical Role: Target Man (ST Support).
  • Suggested Alternative Roles: Defensive Forward (ST Defend/Support), Deep-Lying Forward (ST Support) or Attacking Midfielder (AMC Support).

Number Nine

Your number nine will need either good mobility or good attacking movement to effectively feed off the supply of his partner and other teammates and to exploit the space created by his partner.

He may also attempt to create chances for himself, and perhaps his partner and other teammates, by running at the opposition defence when he has the ball, particularly if he has decent dribbling ability. In addition, he may attempt some creative passes, especially if he has decent passing ability and creativity.

Like his partner, he will be most effective in the striker position, especially if he relies mainly on his physical ability as opposed to his technical ability and creativity. This will allow him to play off the shoulder of the opposition defenders where he can more easily exploit any space, run onto passes from his partner or other teammates or work his way into a dangerous position when with an opposition defender. In the striker position he will also make his partner more effective by providing him with a closer passing option.

  • Typical Role: Poacher (ST Attack).
  • Suggested Alternative Roles: Advanced Forward (ST Attack), Attacking Midfielder (AMC Attack) or Raumdeuter (AM(L/R) Attack).

The Reverse Setup

It is also possible to play a strong attacker further forward as your number nine. This will make him more of a goal-scoring threat but he will also be less well positioned to provide a link with the rest of your team and will be less likely to set up chances for his teammates. However, he will still provide a link by acting as a target for direct passes and crosses.

Most notably, this setup can open up space in front of the opposition defence for a number ten in central attacking midfield or the striker position. He should ideally be capable of creating chances for himself by running with the ball at the opposition defence to some extent, so that your attack is not relying too heavily on your number nine's physical strength to score goals. In his deeper position he will provide a more effective link in general play, while he may also have some responsibility for creating chances for others. However, it is advisable that he does not attempt creative passes too often unless his partner or other more advanced teammates have good enough attacking movement or mobility to get on the end of such passes.

A second, more typical number nine may also be used to exploit the space created.

  • Suggested Roles: For the number nine; Target Man (ST Attack), Deep-Lying Forward (ST Attack) or Attacking Midfielder (AMC Attack). For the number ten; Defensive Forward (ST Support) or Attacking Midfielder (AMC Support).

3.2. Use in Tactical Styles

The big man - little man partnership is the natural choice for styles that play the ball direct to a strong central attacker, such as the Playing To A Target Man style.

It is also a good option for styles that focus on crossing the ball into the opposition penalty area, such as the Attacking The Flanks style, since your number ten will provide an effective target.

In addition, it is a good option for styles that use quick attackers to break into space in and behind the opposition defence, such as the Counter Attacking style. When your team is counter attacking your number ten will help to get the ball to these players quickly by receiving direct passes and holding up the ball if necessary, while when your team is not counter attacking he will contribute to slower build-up play.

With the Playing To A Target Man and Attacking The Flanks styles in particular, it is advisable to use your number ten in the striker position. Your number nine will also tend to provide more of a threat in this position, but with the Attacking The Flanks style he could still be effective in central attacking midfield since many aerial balls will come from crosses higher up the pitch, giving him more of a chance to get into the penalty area.

With the Counter Attacking style either of your number ten or number nine is more likely to be of use in central attacking midfield than in other styles, but you should ensure that their abilities are appropriate for this position, as discussed above.

Using your number nine in one of the wide forward positions is an alternative option in any of these styles, but this is less appropriate for the Attacking The Flanks style where it will reduce the attacking threat down his flank.

The physical aspects of this partnership can also be combined effectively with the creator-scorer or false-nine - false-ten partnerships in any tactical style, due to the additional threats provided by an attack with good all-round ability.

For example, a central attacker with good aerial presence can provide a main or alternative threat from crosses in all styles.

As a more specific example; in styles that play high up the pitch and use skilful attackers to run at the opposition, such as the Running At The Defence and Attacking The Flanks styles, a number ten with good physical presence and aerial presence can link play by receiving direct passes. This can allow your team to get the ball forward more quickly to your skilful attackers. Furthermore, he can also contribute to creating chances for himself and his teammates if he has good technical and creative ability as well, as would typically be the case in the other two partnerships.

3.3. Creator – Scorer

The creator – scorer partnership utilises the creativity and technical abilities of the two attackers. It can therefore be especially useful in higher reputation league divisions and can also work well for higher ability teams in lower divisions.

However, good physical ability for either player can give them an additional advantage. This would allow you to incorporate elements of the big man - little man partnership to provide an alternative attacking threat.

Number Ten

Your number ten will need good passing ability and creativity to supply his partner and other teammates with creative passes through the opposition defence. He will also need some dribbling ability and attacking movement to be able to get into sufficient space to make these passes.

His deeper positioning means that any opposition defender who chooses to mark him when he is off the ball or close him down when he is on the ball will leave space behind that his partner can exploit. In particular, he will be able to use his attacking movement to drag his marker away from his defensive position, and his dribbling ability to get past opposition defenders who move out of position to close him down and to encourage further defenders to move out of position.

If he is instead left in space by the opposition defence then he will have more freedom to choose a creative pass, run at the opposition or shoot at goal.

He can be used in any of the striker, central attacking midfield or wide forward positions. In particular, in central attacking midfield he can provide a more effective link with your deeper players and help your team to control possession, while still being high enough to create chances. On the other hand, this can potentially lead to him being marked out of the game by the opposition's defensive midfielder unless he has particularly good attacking movement. He may instead be able to find more space in one of the wide forward positions or perhaps by dropping deep from the striker position.

  • Typical Roles: Deep-Lying Forward (ST Support) or Advanced Playmaker (AMC/AM(L/R) Support/Attack).
  • Suggested Alternative Roles: Complete Forward (ST Support), Trequartista (ST/AMC Attack), False Nine (ST Support), Attacking Midfielder (AMC Support), Enganche (AMC Attack) or Inside Forward (AM(L/R) Support).

Number Nine

Your number nine will need either good attacking movement or good mobility to effectively feed off the supply of his partner and other teammates and to exploit the space created by his partner. He will also need some dribbling ability so that he can create chances for himself.

In this partnership he is used in the striker position, where he will play off the shoulder of the opposition defenders. Alternatively, you could use him in central attacking midfield as part of a false nine - false ten partnership.

  • Typical Role: Advanced Forward (ST Attack).
  • Suggested Alternative Roles: Deep-Lying Forward (ST Attack), Complete Forward (ST Attack) or Poacher (ST Attack).

Sharing Responsibilities

This partnership can benefit from a number nine who has good passing ability and creativity so he can contribute to build-up play and chance creation, along with a number ten who has good attacking movement so he can get into dangerous positions and good dribbling ability so he can create chances for himself. This will allow your attackers to more evenly share their responsibilities and play more dynamically.

Use in Tactical Styles

This partnership is a good option for styles that attempt to control play in the higher areas of the pitch, such as the Passing Through The Defence and Running At The Defence styles which attack mainly through central players, and the Attacking With Creative Wingers style which attacks mainly through wide players. Your number ten will play a key part in creative build-up play.

It can also be a useful option for styles that play more cautiously and attack on the break, such as the Counter Attacking style. When your team is counter attacking your number ten will contribute to you team's attempts to get the ball to your quick number nine and other quick attackers in a more controlled manner with quick passes along the ground, while when your team is not counter attacking he will play an important part in slower build-up play.

With the Passing Through The Defence style the number ten is typically used in central attacking midfield. However, he may be used in the striker position, in which case he would benefit from creative support coming from a deeper teammate in the central midfield or central attacking midfield positions.

With the Attacking With Creative Wingers style you can either use your wide attackers as number tens if they are in the wide forward positions, or your number ten can be used in the striker position if your wide attackers are in the wide midfield positions. You may want to only use one wide number ten in order to help you balance your attack with an extra attacking player on the opposite flank. This can also make your team's attacking play more varied.

The Running At The Defence style can be set up similarly to either of the above two styles but using roles that instruct more runs with the ball would be appropriate.

Again, the Counter Attacking style can be set up similarly, but it is particularly advisable to use one wide attacker with a more attacking role to exploit space available on the flank after possession is won. Also, when used in central attacking midfield your number ten can contribute more easily to both defensive and attacking play.

3.4. False Nine – False Ten

The false nine – false ten partnership is similar to the creator – scorer partnership. However, your number nine will move forward from a deeper position in central attacking midfield, or possibly from one of the wide forward positions, while your number ten will drop deep from the striker position.

As such, attacking movement is more important for both players for this partnership to be performed effectively, especially for your number ten. In addition, mobility is more important for your number nine.

Number Ten

Again, by dropping deep your number ten will either create space for his partner or for himself. Typically though, he will drop even deeper so his partner can more easily overlap into the space created.

  • Typical Role: False Nine (ST Support).
  • Suggested Alternative Roles: Complete Forward (ST Support) or Trequartista (ST Attack).

Number Nine

Your number nine will make runs from deeper areas into the space ahead of his partner. He will therefore be far more difficult for the opposition defenders to mark and so more likely to be able to exploit the space. Furthermore, if he is followed by his marker then this can in turn create space in front of the opposition defence for his partner or another teammate to exploit.

  • Typical Role: Shadow Striker (AMC Attack).
  • Suggested Alternative Roles: Attacking Midfielder (AMC Attack), Inside Forward (AM(L/R) Attack) or Raumdeuter (AM(L/R) Attack).

Use in Tactical Styles

If performed well this partnership can be far more effective at creating space for your attackers than the creator - scorer partnership. Therefore, with capable players it can be a very good alternative option for styles that attempt to control play in the higher areas of the pitch, such as the Passing Through The Defence and Running At The Defence styles, which attack mainly through central players, and the Attacking With Creative Wingers style, which attacks mainly through wide players.

It can also be a useful option for styles that play more cautiously and attack on the break, such as the Counter Attacking style, but again your players will need to be of sufficient quality to carry out the partnership well.

Any balanced combination of number tens and number nines suitable for this partnership can be compatible across these styles.

Notably, this partnership is a natural choice if you want to use two number tens in the wide forward positions when using the Attacking With Creative Wingers style. The central number nine and number ten will provide passing options ahead of them when they bring the ball inside, and will themselves form a well balanced partnership. To achieve a similar setup with the creator - scorer partnership the two central attackers would have to both be given number nine roles which would cause them to be less effective at linking up with each other.

Again, roles that instruct more runs with the ball would be appropriate for the Running At The Defence style.

4. Lone Strikers

If you are using a single player in the striker position, with no support from central attacking midfield or from players moving into central areas from the wide forward positions, then he will tend to become isolated from his teammates and attacking play is likely to be less effective.

However, occasionally you may wish to use such a lone striker as part of a more defensive setup, for example when holding on to a lead against stronger opposition.

The lone striker should always be given a number ten role so that he will play deeper and be able to link up with his teammates to some extent. He should also ideally be given some support from the flanks by wide attackers, preferably in the wide forward positions with at least one having an attack duty, who can both supply him with passes and crosses. At the very least he should be given some support by a player in central midfield with an attack duty.



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