19 essential tips on How to Defend in FIFA 17

FIFA 17 How to Defend

To defend properly is the cornerstone of every successful team. Although putting the ball into the net will ultimately win you the game, having a solid defense is something which you will want to achieve and quickly. The ability to stop the opponent scoring is incredibly valuable, and honestly mostly ignored, as generally speaking, scoring a goal is much more exciting than defending one. However we here at FIFA-Base hope to offer you some tips and tricks in order to improve your defending on FIFA 17.

Before we begin with our FIFA 17 Defending tips, we will be using some terms repetitively throughout this FIFA 17 guide, and therefore will define them before hand so you understand what we mean.

Tackle : B or O

Slide Tackle : X or Square

Jockey : RT and LT (Held) or R2 and L2 (Held)

Call second man : RB or R1

Call keeper out: (Y or Triangle)

General Tips

  • Don’t charge! One of the biggest issues I see amongst newer FIFA players is the need to win the ball back, and quickly. However, this will leave you desperately short at the back, and often pull players out of position. Put pressure on when necessary, but learn when to concede possession to keep a strong structure
  • Interceptions. A continuation from the point above, focus on cutting off the options for players over challenging the player directly. A lot of the time, players will see a pass and automatically play it, but if you can identify it quicker than them, and move a man in the way, the turnover will not only occur, but a counterattack will be available. Switch between pressure, and stopping the pass, to keep your opponent unsure how to procede.
  • Jockey. Using the jockey technique (buttons explained above) allows you to concede the space, but prevent someone taking you on. If you know the opponent has been using skill moves, or likes to run at your defenders, jockey to prevent this. When you notice a mistake, stop jockeying and commit to the tackle.
  • Identify your opponents style. Although this may sound abstract, understanding your opponents win condition can be crucial to preparing your defense. If they have a target man, prevent the cross at all costs. However, if they have a small striker, allow them down the wings and prevent them cutting the ball back. A long shot specialist, close him down at all costs. Knowledge is key to setting up a strong defense.
  • Fast Players. A reoccuring theme in the past FIFA’s has been the use of two very quick strikers, and to simply play through balls until they break through. It can be frustrating to play against. However, if your opponent has shown a tendancy to do this, simply drop a player deep and pressure the ball carrier with the Call a second man button (RB). This way you prevent the through ball and maintain pressure
  • Understand your own team . Knowing your teams ability is also key. Understand when you are able to win the foot race, or need to out strength the player first. If your CB’s are huge, maybe don’t worry about allowing the opponent down the wing so much, but if they are tiny, attempt to prevent this. Understanding your strengths and weaknesses is the foundation of defending.
  • Switch, Switch, Switch! I often see newer players also spamming the switch player button, taking over multiple people in a very short space of time. This can be very disruptive to your team, and also cause more problems than it actually helping. Instead, focus on learning to switch with your analog stick instead of LB (L1) as you can have much more control over your players. And also, do not be afraid to simply mark a player and switch when an opportunity arises. This can often be key when your opponent is moving the ball rapidly.
  • Clear it! Another big mistake people make is using A or X to pass the ball out instead of clearing it, especially when a ball is played into the box. Rule 1 of football is to get the ball out of your box, by any means. Clear the ball, and give yourself a chance to reset. I see far to many times the ball passed to an opponent, and goals going in because of it.

Specific Situations


FIFA 17 Crosses

Although similar to the FIFA 17 Scoring tips we provided in another article, understanding how to deal with crosses is a huge part of defending, as some teams will simply be set up to attack the wings.

  • Positioning Using RT and LT (or R2 and L2) will give you manual control of your player, and allow you to get goal side of an opponent, or challenge from deep.
  • Use Clear, not pass. Too many times i’ve seen people attempt to pass a header to a player when they are defending a cross. Use B rather than A (or O rather than X) to get the ball out. The biggest concern is that with pass, it can drop lamely into the box for a simple tap in, whereas the Clear button does exactly what is designed to do. Get rid of the ball
  • Identify which cross your opponent will use Although tricky, you can often predict which cross your opponent will do, simply by watching play unfold, and knowing their striker. If he is big, they are more likely to float it into the box, whereas a small player will more likely receive a driven cross or low cross. Knowing this allows you to set up and be prepared , and take the appropriate action
  • Bring the keeper If the ball is floated in , do not be afraid to bring the keeper (using Y or Triangle) to challenge the ball in the air. Often this can result in either your keeper catching the ball or punching clear. Particularly useful if your defenders aren’t in the correct place, or the ball is floated and your opponent is small.
  • Always challenge the second ball. Always put pressure on the ball if it is cleared, or bouncing around. Even if you do not win the ball, you make it a more difficult header down, or prevent them from chesting it.

See on the second page how to defend in a situation of Keeper vs Player.

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