The analysis of match strategy team instructions includes all team instructions for which the main recommended use is implementing match strategies.

Standard team instructions are analysed separately.

Detailed for each match strategy team instruction, where relevant, are:

  • Use - the recommended use of the team instruction and other advice regarding its use.
  • Related team instructions - the other team instructions that are compounding or contrasting in relation to the team instruction concerned. A compounding team instruction affects a particular playing method* in a similar way to the team instruction concerned, so their effects compound. A contrasting team instruction affects a particular playing method in an opposing way to the team instruction concerned, so their effects contrast.
  • Player attributes - suggested player suitability* for the team instruction, which can help you to decide which team instructions are suitable for your players. This includes player attributes for which good ratings can enable the team instruction to be more effective and player attributes for which poor ratings can be covered by the team instruction.

1. Take A Breather

Take A Breather is only available when using the control, standard, counter, defensive or contain team mentality instructions.

1.1. Use

Recommended use:

It is not recommended to use Take A Breather to implement team-based style methods* as its use of sitting back would hinder playing style balance*.

1.2. Effects

Selecting Take A Breather:

  • Instructs the team to sit back* to a greater extent.
    • Assumed.
  • Instructs the team to use low tempo play* to a greater extent.
    • Compresses the team TEMPO slider (Normal Tempo only).

Compounding team instructions:

  • Lower risk team mentality (low tempo play)
  • Decreased team TEMPO slider (low tempo play)
  • Play Even Safer (sitting back)
  • Exploit The Middle (sitting back) - conflicting
  • Decreased team PASSING DIRECTNESS slider (low tempo play)
  • Retain Possession (low tempo play)
  • Look For Overlap (sitting back) - conflicting

Contrasting team instructions:

  • Higher risk team mentality (low tempo play)
  • Increased team TEMPO slider (low tempo play)
  • Take More Risks (sitting back)
  • Pump Ball Into Box (sitting back)
  • Exploit The Left/Right Flank (sitting back) - conflicting
  • Exploit The Middle (sitting back) - conflicting
  • Increased team PASSING DIRECTNESS slider (low tempo play)
  • Look For Overlap (sitting back) - conflicting

2. Play Even Safer

Play Even Safer is only available when using the contain team mentality.

2.1. Use

Recommended use:

It is not recommended to use Play Even Safer to implement team-based style methods as it can only be used with the contain team mentality and its use of sitting back would hinder playing style balance.

2.2. Effects

Selecting Play Even Safer:

  • Instructs the team to sit back* to a greater extent.
    • Assumed.
  • Instructs the team to make safe passes* to a greater extent.
    • Assumed.

Compounding team instructions:

  • Take A Breather (sitting back)
  • Clear Ball To Flanks (safe passes)
  • Exploit The Middle (sitting back)
  • Retain Possession (safe passes)
  • Hit Early Crosses (refraining from dribbles)
  • Look For Overlap (sitting back, refraining from dribbles)
  • Dribble Less (refraining from dribbles)

Contrasting team instructions:

  • Take More Risks (sitting back, refraining from dribbles, safe passes)
  • Pump Ball Into Box (sitting back, safe passes)
  • Exploit The Left/Right Flank (sitting back)
  • Exploit The Middle (sitting back, safe passes)
  • Pass Into Space (safe passes) - conflicting
  • Look For Overlap (sitting back)
  • Run At Defence (refraining from dribbles) - conflicting

3. Take More Risks

Take More Risks is only available when using the overload team mentality.

3.1. Use

Recommended use:

It is not recommended to use Take More Risks to implement team-based style methods as it can only be used with the overload team mentality and its use of forward runs would hinder playing style balance.

3.2. Effects

Selecting Take More Risks:

  • Instructs the team to make forward runs* to a greater extent.
    • Assumed.
  • Instructs the team to make risky passes* to a greater extent.
    • Assumed.

Compounding team instructions:

  • Pump Ball Into Box (forward runs, risky passes)
  • Exploit The Left/Right Flank (forward runs)
  • Exploit The Middle (forward runs, risky passes)
  • Pass Into Space (risky passes)
  • Look For Overlap (forward runs)
  • Run At Defence (direct dribbles)

Contrasting team instructions:

  • Take A Breather (forward runs)
  • Play Even Safer (forward runs, direct dribbles, risky passes)
  • Clear Ball To Flanks (risky passes)
  • Exploit The Middle (forward runs)
  • Retain Possession (risky passes) - conflicting
  • Hit Early Crosses (direct dribbles)
  • Look For Overlap (forward runs, direct dribbles)
  • Dribble Less (direct dribbles) - conflicting

3.4. Player Attributes

4. Waste Time

Waste Time is only available when using the defensive or contain team mentality instructions.

4.1. Use

Recommended use:

4.2. Effects

Selecting Waste Time:

  • Instructs the team to use time wasting* to a greater extent.
    • Increases the team TIME WASTING bar.

Compounding team instructions:

  • Lower risk team mentality

Contrasting team instructions:

  • Higher risk team mentality

5. Prevent Short GK Distribution

5.1. Use

Recommended use:

  • Implementing a match strategy that focuses on trying to restrict space* in advanced areas around the opposition goalkeeper ...
    • ... In order to exploit an opposition team weakness regarding aerial presence and strength in more advanced areas by encouraging the opposition goalkeeper to make long passes* towards these areas.
    • ... In order to counter an opposition team strength regarding passing ability and intelligence in deeper areas by encouraging the opposition goalkeeper to make long passes that bypass these areas.

It is not recommended to use Prevent Short GK Distribution to implement team-based style methods as its use of man marking would hinder playing style balance.

5.2. Effects

Selecting Prevent Short GK Distribution:

  • Instructs players who are assigned wing forward or centre forward playing positions to use man marking* against opposition defenders when the opposition goalkeeper has the ball.
    • Assumed.

6. Clear Ball To Flanks

6.1. Use

Recommended use:

  • Implementing a match strategy that focuses on trying to keep possession* away from more threatening areas* (from the perspective of the opposition team) to a very large extent when preventing the opposition team scoring a goal* is a high priority.

It is not recommended to use Clear Ball To Flanks to implement team-based style methods as it only implements long passes for particular players and its use of long passes and safe passes can hinder playing system balance* by making it difficult to achieve an appropriate responsibility distribution*.

6.2. Effects

Selecting Clear Ball To Flanks:

  • Instructs players who are assigned particular deeper playing positions to make long passes* to a greater extent.
    • Expands the player PASSING DIRECTNESS slider (Mixed Passing and Shorter Passing only) for players in sweeper, centre back, full back, wing back or defensive midfielder playing positions. Expands the team PASSING DIRECTNESS slider (Mixed Passing and Shorter Passing only).
  • Instructs players who are assigned particular deeper playing positions to make safe passes* to a greater extent.
    • Assumed.
  • Instructs players who are assigned particular deeper playing positions to focus play* to players who are in wider areas to a greater extent.
    • Assumed.

Compounding team instructions:

  • Higher risk mentality (long passes)
  • Lower risk mentality (long passes)
  • Play Even Safer (safe passes)
  • Pump Ball Into Box (long passes) - conflicting
  • Exploit The Left/Right Flank (focusing play)
  • Increased team PASSING DIRECTNESS slider (long passes)
  • Retain Possession (safe passes)

Contrasting team instructions:

  • Higher risk mentality (long passes)
  • Lower risk mentality (long passes)
  • Take More Risks (safe passes)
  • Pump Ball Into Box (safe passes) - conflicting
  • Exploit The Middle (safe passes, focusing play) - conflicting
  • Play Out Of Defence (long passes) - conflicting
  • Pass Into Space (safe passes)
  • Decreased team PASSING DIRECTNESS slider (long passes)
  • Retain Possession (long passes)

6.4. Player Attributes

Players who play in midfield and attack in particular:

  • Perhaps poor creativity (Anticipation, Decisions, Flair, Teamwork, Vision)
  • Perhaps poor movement (Anticipation, Decisions, Teamwork)
  • Perhaps poor off the ball movement (Off The Ball)
  • Perhaps poor control (First Touch, Technique)
  • Perhaps poor passing ability (Passing, Technique)

Players assigned advanced wide playing positions, if wanted to receive the ball and use hold-up play:

Players assigned advanced wide playing positions, if wanted to chase the ball.

  • Good endeavour (Aggression, Bravery, Work Rate)
  • Good mobility (Acceleration, Agility, Balance, Pace)

7. Pump Ball Into Box

7.1. Use

Recommended use:

It is not recommended to use Pump Ball Into Box to implement team-based style methods as its use of forward runs can hinder playing system balance by making it difficult to achieve effective vertical movement partnerships*.

7.2. Effects

Selecting Pump Ball Into Box:

  • Instructs players who are assigned central attacker playing positions to make forward runs* to a greater extent.
    • Assumed.
  • Instructs most players who are not assigned central attacker playing positions to make long passes* to a greater extent.
    • Expands the player PASSING DIRECTNESS slider (Mixed Passing and Shorter Passing only) for players not in attacking midfielder or centre forward playing positions, with the exception of players with a few particular roles. Expands the team PASSING DIRECTNESS slider (does not show on team PASSING DIRECTNESS slider)
  • Instructs the team to make risky passes* to a greater extent.
    • Assumed.
  • Instructs the team to make crosses* to a greater extent.
    • Assumed.

Compounding team instructions:

  • Higher risk mentality (long passes)
  • Lower risk mentality (long passes)
  • Take More Risks (forward runs, risky passes)
  • Clear Ball To Flanks (long passes) - conflicting
  • Exploit The Left/Right Flank (forward runs, crosses)
  • Exploit The Middle (forward runs, risky passes)
  • Pass Into Space (risky passes)
  • Increased team PASSING DIRECTNESS slider (long passes)
  • Hit Early Crosses (crosses)
  • Look For Overlap (forward runs)

Contrasting team instructions:

  • Higher risk mentality (long passes)
  • Lower risk mentality (long passes)
  • Take A Breather (forward runs)
  • Play Even Safer (forward runs, risky passes)
  • Clear Ball To Flanks (risky passes) - conflicting
  • Exploit The Middle (forward runs, focusing play)
  • Play Out Of Defence (long passes) - conflicting
  • Decreased team PASSING DIRECTNESS slider (long passes)
  • Retain Possession (long passes, risky passes) - conflicting
  • Look For Overlap (forward runs)
  • Work Ball Into Box (crosses) - conflicting

7.4. Player Attributes

Players who play in midfield and attack in particular:

  • Perhaps poor creativity (Anticipation, Decisions, Flair, Teamwork, Vision)
  • Perhaps poor movement (Anticipation, Decisions, Teamwork)
  • Perhaps poor off the ball movement (Off The Ball)
  • Perhaps poor control (First Touch, Technique)
  • Perhaps poor passing ability (Passing, Technique)

Players who play in attack in particular:

  • Good endeavour (Aggression, Bravery, Work Rate)
  • Good physical presence (Balance, Strength)
  • Good aerial presence (Jumping Reach)
  • Good mobility (Acceleration, Agility, Balance, Pace)

At least one player assigned a central attacker playing position:

  • Good physical presence (Strength)
  • Good aerial presence (Jumping Reach)
  • Decent control (First Touch)
  • Good hold-up play.

8. Exploit The Left/Right Flank

8.1. Use

Recommended use:

It can also be used to implement crosses* and focusing play* as team-based style methods*.

8.2. Effects

Selecting Exploit The Left/Right Flank:

  • Instructs players who are assigned left-sided/right-sided deep wide playing positions to make forward runs* to a greater extent.
    • Assumed.
  • Instructs the team to make crosses to a greater extent.
    • Assumed.
  • Instructs the team to focus play to players who are in left-sided/right-sided wider areas to a greater extent.
    • Assumed.
  • Instructs players who are assigned left-sided/right-sided deep wide playing positions to use a high risk mentality* to a greater extent.
    • Increases the player mentality bar for players in left-sided/right-sided full back or wing back playing positions.

Compounding team instructions:

  • Higher risk team mentality (high risk mentality)
  • More structured team shape (high risk mentality)
  • More fluid team shape (high risk mentality)
  • Take More Risks (forward runs)
  • Clear Ball To Flanks (focusing play)
  • Pump Ball Into Box (forward runs, crosses)
  • Exploit The Middle (forward runs, high risk mentality) - conflicting
  • Hit Early Crosses (crosses)
  • Look For Overlap (forward runs, high risk mentality)

Contrasting team instructions:

  • Lower risk team mentality (high risk mentality)
  • More structured team shape (high risk mentality)
  • More fluid team shape (high risk mentality)
  • Take A Breather (forward runs) - conflicting
  • Play Even Safer (forward runs)
  • Exploit The Middle (forward runs, focusing play) - conflicting
  • Look For Overlap (forward runs, high risk mentality)
  • Work Ball Into Box (crosses)

8.4. Player Attributes

Players assigned central playing positions:

Players assigned left-sided/right-sided wide playing positions:

  • Good movement (Anticipation, Decisions, Teamwork)
  • Good mobility (Acceleration, Agility, Balance, Pace)
  • Good off the ball movement (Off The Ball)
  • Good crossing ability (Crossing, Technique)
  • Good dribbling ability (Dribbbling, Technique)
  • Perhaps poor defensive positioning (Positioning)
  • Perhaps poor marking ability (Marking)

9. Exploit The Middle

9.1. Use

Recommended use:

  • Implementing a match strategy that focuses on trying to create space* and penetrate space* by using overloads in central areas in order to exploit an opposition team weakness regarding defensive or physical abilities in central areas.

It is not recommended to use Exploit The Middle to implement team-based style methods as its use of forward runs, sitting back and risky passes can hinder playing system balance by making it difficult to achieve effective vertical movement partnerships and an appropriate responsibility distribution.

9.2. Effects

Selecting Exploit The Middle:

  • Instructs players who are assigned more advanced central playing positions to make forward runs* to a greater extent.
    • Assumed.
  • Instructs players who are assigned advanced wide playing positions to sit back* to a greater extent.
    • Assumed.
  • Instructs players who are instructed to play in deeper central playing positions to make risky passes* to a greater extent.
    • Assumed.
  • Instructs the team to focus play* to players who are in central areas to a greater extent.
    • Assumed.
  • Instructs players who are instructed to play in deeper central playing positions to use a high risk mentality* to a greater extent.
    • Increases the player mentality bar for players in sweeper, centre back or defensive midfielder playing positions, and players in a centre midfielder playing position with a defend duty.

Compounding team instructions:

  • Higher risk team mentality (high risk mentality)
  • More structured team shape (high risk mentality)
  • More fluid team shape (high risk mentality)
  • Take A Breather (sitting back) - conflicting
  • Play Even Safer (sitting back)
  • Take More Risks (forward runs, risky passes)
  • Pump Ball Into Box (forward runs, risky passes)
  • Exploit The Left/Right Flank (forward runs, high risk mentality) - conflicting
  • Pass Into Space (risky passes)
  • Look For Overlap (forward runs, sitting back, high risk mentality)

Contrasting team instructions:

  • Lower risk team mentality (high risk mentality)
  • More structured team shape (high risk mentality)
  • More fluid team shape (high risk mentality)
  • Take A Breather (forward runs) - conflicting
  • Play Even Safer (forward runs, risky passes)
  • Take More Risks (sitting back)
  • Clear Ball To Flanks (risky passes, focusing play) - conflicting
  • Pump Ball Into Box (sitting back)
  • Exploit The Left/Right Flank (sitting back, focusing play) - conflicting
  • Retain Possession (risky passes)
  • Look For Overlap (forward runs, sitting back, high risk mentality)

9.4. Player Attributes

Players instructed to play in deeper central playing positions:

  • Good creativity (Anticipation, Decisions, Flair, Teamwork, Vision)
  • Good passing ability (Passing, Technique)

Players assigned more advanced central playing positions:

  • Good movement (Anticipation, Decisions, Teamwork)
  • Good mobility (Acceleration, Agility, Balance, Pace)
  • Good off the ball movement (Off The Ball)

Players assigned wide playing positions:

  • Perhaps poor intelligence and attacking abilities

Players assigned advanced wide playing positions:

  • Good movement (Anticipation, Decisions, Teamwork)
  • Good defensive positioning (Positioning)
  • Good marking ability (Marking)
  • Perhaps poor mobility (Acceleration, Agility, Balance, Pace)
  • Perhaps poor off the ball movement (Off The Ball)

10. Play Out Of Defence

10.1. Use

Recommended use:

  • Implementing a match strategy that focuses on trying to keep possession* until the ball is moved to players in more advanced playing positions in order to counter opposition team tactics that involve the use of a low defensive block* by facilitating more direct penetration* from players in more advanced playing positions.

It is not recommended to use Play Out Of Defence to implement team-based style methods as its use of short passes would hinder playing system balance by hindering the performance of moving the ball safely* in central defence.

10.2. Effects

Selecting Play Out Of Defence:

  • Instructs players who are assigned particular deeper playing positions to make short passes* to a greater extent.
    • Compresses the player PASSING DIRECTNESS slider for players in sweeper, centre back, full back, wing back or defensive midfielder playing positions. Compresses the team PASSING DIRECTNESS slider slightly.

Compounding team instructions:

  • Higher risk team mentality (short passes)
  • Lower risk team mentality (short passes)
  • Decreased team PASSING DIRECTNESS slider (short passes)
  • Retain Possession (short passes)

Contrasting team instructions:

  • Higher risk team mentality (short passes)
  • Lower risk team mentality (short passes)
  • Clear Ball To Flanks (short passes) - conflicting
  • Pump Ball Into Box (short passes) - conflicting
  • Increased team PASSING DIRECTNESS slider (short passes)

10.4. Player Attributes

Players assigned defender, defensive midfielder and wing back playing positions:

  • Good focus (Composure, Concentration)
  • Decent awareness (Anticipation, Teamwork)
  • Decent decision making (Decisions, Teamwork)
  • Perhaps poor creativity (Flair, Vision)

Players assigned more advanced playing positions:

  • Good creativity (Anticipation, Decisions, Flair, Teamwork, Vision)
  • Good passing ability (Passing, Technique)

11. Retain Possession

11.1. Use

Recommended use:

It can also be used to implement short passes*, safe passes* and low tempo play* as team-based style methods*. If it is used for this purpose then it is not necessary to also set the team PASSING DIRECTNESS slider to Shorter Passing and doing so may implement short passes to too great an extent.

11.2. Effects

  • Instructs the team to make short passes to a greater extent.
    • Compresses the player PASSING DIRECTNESS slider for all players. Restricts the team PASSING DIRECTNESS slider to Mixed Passing or Shorter Passing. Compresses the team PASSING DIRECTNESS slider (Mixed Passing and Shorter Passing only).
  • Instructs the team to make safe passes to a greater extent.
    • Assumed.
  • Instructs the team to use low tempo play to a greater extent.
    • Compresses the team TEMPO slider.

Compounding team instructions:

  • Higher risk team mentality (short passes)
  • Lower risk team mentality (short passes, low tempo play)
  • Decreased team TEMPO slider (low tempo play)
  • Take A Breather (low tempo play)
  • Play Even Safer (safe passes)
  • Clear Ball To Flanks (safe passes)
  • Play Out Of Defence (short passes)
  • Decreased team PASSING DIRECTNESS slider (short passes, low tempo play)

Contrasting team instructions:

  • Higher risk team mentality (short passes, low tempo play)
  • Lower risk team mentality (short passes)
  • Increased team TEMPO slider (low tempo play)
  • Take More Risks (safe passes)
  • Clear Ball To Flanks (short passes)
  • Pump Ball Into Box (short passes, safe passes) - conflicting
  • Exploit The Middle (safe passes)
  • Pass Into Space (safe passes)
  • Increased team PASSING DIRECTNESS slider (short passes, low tempo play)

11.4. Player Attributes

Players who play in midfield and attack in particular:

  • Perhaps poor creativity (Anticipation, Decisions, Flair, Teamwork, Vision)
  • Perhaps poor movement (Anticipation, Decisions, Teamwork)
  • Perhaps poor physical presence (Balance, Strength)
  • Perhaps poor aerial ability (Jumping Reach)
  • Perhaps poor mobility (Acceleration, Agility, Balance, Pace)
  • Perhaps poor off the ball movement (Off The Ball)
  • Perhaps poor control (First Touch, Technique)
  • Perhaps poor passing ability (Passing, Technique)

12. Hit Early Crosses

12.1. Use

Recommended use:

  • Implementing a match strategy that focuses on penetrating space* to a very large extent ...
    • ... When scoring a goal* is a high priority.
    • ... By exploiting an opposition team weakness regarding aerial presence or heading ability in central defence.
    • ... In order to counter an opposition team strength regarding defensive or physical abilities on the deep wing halves*.

It is not recommended to use Hit Early Crosses to implement team-based style methods as its use of refraining from dribbles would hinder playing system balance by hindering the performance of stretching play* and creating chances* on the flanks.

12.2. Effects

Selecting Hit Early Crosses:

  • Instructs the team to make crosses* to a greater extent.
  • Instructs players who are assigned wide playing positions to refrain from dribbles* to a greater extent.
    • Assumed.

Compounding team instructions:

  • Play Even Safer (refraining from dribbles)
  • Pump Ball Into Box (crosses)
  • Exploit The Left/Right Flank (crosses)
  • Look For Overlap (refraining from dribbles) - conflicting
  • Dribble Less (refraining from dribbles)

Contrasting team instructions:

  • Take More Risks (direct dribbles)
  • Work Ball Into Box (crosses) - conflicting
  • Run At Defence (direct dribbles)

12.4. Player Attributes

Players assigned wide playing positions:

  • Good crossing ability (Crossing, Technique)
  • Perhaps poor creativity (Anticipation, Decisions, Flair, Teamwork, Vision)
  • Perhaps poor mobility (Acceleration, Agility, Balance, Pace)
  • Perhaps poor dribbling ability (Dribbling, Technique)

13. Look For Overlap

13.1. Use

Recommended use:

Overlapping partnerships on the flanks can also be implemented using appropriate player instructions, as in any other positional area*. However, Look For Overlap can provide a convenient 'toggle switch' for overlapping partnerships and it also enable changes to player mentality that cannot otherwise be achieved.

Look For Overlap cannot be used to implement team-based style methods as it does not implement any particular playing method to a sufficient extent.

13.2. Effects

Selecting Look For Overlap:

  • Instructs players who are assigned deep wide playing positions to make forward runs* to a greater extent.
    • Assumed.
  • Instructs players who are assigned advanced wide playing positions to sit back* to a greater extent.
    • Assumed.
  • Instructs players who are assigned advanced wide playing positions to refrain from dribbles* to a greater extent.
    • Assumed.
  • Instructs players who are assigned deep wide playing positions to use a high risk mentality* to a greater extent.
    • Increases the player mentality bar for players in full back or wing back playing positions.
  • Instructs players who are assigned advanced wide playing positions to use a low risk mentality* to a greater extent.
    • Decreases the player mentality bar for players in wing midfielder or wing forward playing positions.

Compounding team instructions:

  • Higher risk team mentality (high risk mentality, low risk mentality)
  • Lower risk team mentality (high risk mentality, low risk mentality)
  • More structured team shape (high risk mentality, low risk mentality)
  • More fluid team shape (high risk mentality, low risk mentality)
  • Take A Breather (sitting back) - conflicting
  • Play Even Safer (sitting back, refraining from dribbles)
  • Take More Risks (forward runs)
  • Pump Ball Into Box (forward runs)
  • Exploit The Left/Right Flank (forward runs, high risk mentality)
  • Exploit The Middle (forward runs, sitting back, high risk mentality, low risk mentality)
  • Hit Early Crosses (refraining from dribbles) - conflicting
  • Dribble Less (refraining from dribbles)

Contrasting team instructions:

  • Higher risk team mentality (high risk mentality, low risk mentality)
  • Lower risk team mentality (high risk mentality, low risk mentality)
  • More structured team shape (high risk mentality, low risk mentality)
  • More fluid team shape (high risk mentality, low risk mentality)
  • Take A Breather (forward runs) - conflicting
  • Play Even Safer (forward runs)
  • Take More Risks (sitting back, refraining from dribbles)
  • Pump Ball Into Box (sitting back)
  • Exploit The Left/Right Flank (sitting back, low risk mentality)
  • Exploit The Middle (forward runs, sitting back, high risk mentality, low risk mentality)
  • Run At Defence (refraining from dribbles)

13.4. Player Attributes

Players assigned deep wide playing positions:

  • Good movement (Anticipation, Decisions, Teamwork)
  • Good mobility (Acceleration, Agility, Balance, Pace)
  • Good off the ball movement (Off The Ball)

Players assigned advanced wide playing positions:

  • Perhaps poor creativity (Anticipation, Decisions, Flair)
  • Perhaps poor mobility (Acceleration, Agility, Balance, Pace)
  • Perhaps poor off the ball movement (Off The Ball)
  • Perhaps poor dribbling ability (Dribbling, Technique)

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