FM13 – More on the 4411

The 4411 is easily my most successful formation to-date in FM.  These are some of the basic points people need to bear in mind when they make the formation:


a. Defending your flanks

My preferred combination on the flanks are either the Defensive Winger or just the Wide Midfielder. Reasons simple : they defend more than the Winger. The defensive winger has higher closing down instructions than a pure winger who is skewed to attack more than he is to defend.

I do prefer having great dribbers as WM, and these almost always have high acceleration, OTB. If the player can be trained, getting him to learn these preferred moves will help: Get forward, run down flank, knock ball past opponent, and place shot. If you want him to cut inside, then add that too. My WM typically destroys most defenses singlehandedly and creates chances by the dozen. Good choices for these positions are retrained forwards. Supporting him is a less adventurous fullback, who is on support.

When the WM makes his run for goal, chances are you want the FB to be able to cover the flank. And if he has the get forward ppm he will overlap, without you having to choose that shout.

b. Defending your centre

This is where it gets important. You need to have two great ball-winners in the centre of the park. I am a heatmap junkie, so I spend a fair bit of time looking at their areas of influence. You can combine a DLP with a DLP. The one one the right is a DLP on support duty with HUB removed.


The one on the left is a DLP on defend duty. Whenever I want to be a bit more defensive I use DLPs on the left, since their positional heatmap suggests they don’t venture forward as much as a central midfielder on defend duty would. I typically change that role depending on how hard the game is. A hard game = twin DLPs, if its not that hard, then its a CM(D) and a DLP(S) combination.


A central midfielder on defend duty will have a heatmap much like this:

The reason why I look at heat maps and tackling patterns is to make sure my two central midfielder don’t cross flanks. This way they lend support to the flanks they cover. Furthermore playing with an AMC instead of a TQ allows my AMC to drop back into the central midfield position to intercept balls whenever the MC goes to lend support.

And that forms and important piece of my defensive structure.


  1. Great write up! I love using the 4-4-1-1. I think its the best set up in fm. I haven’t tried the double dlp, I usually use a bwm beside my dlp.

    1. Hmm I like the two dlp or the CMd/DLP because of the heatmaps, with a BWM I am afraid his rather large area of influence could lead to doubling up of players on flanks leaving the centre open

  2. I wonder how you set up the closing down of the two MCs, as it covers almost all the pitch, how do you that ? 🙂 Do you use TC or classic ? Thanks, and very inspiring tactic creation thread.

    1. Honestly default is fine it depends on the roles, I prefer using an MC and a DLP, tho 2 DLPs do equal coverage. One on support and one on Defend. I do tweak the closing downs to max for the frontline

    1. I don’t use HUB on my anchorman, I leave them out, already players sometimes spend too much dwelling on the ball, I prefer to let the more forward AMC or the more attacking minded MC HUB

  3. Thanks for the reply, Another question, regarding the WM on support, I suppose he is not the same kind off winger like the left one, so in right what sort off player you like to have and how do you like him to behave?

    1. Since the fullback on the right overlaps, I fully expect the wm on the right to be able to tackle. Currently, the player who plays in this position for me is a fair all rounder, who is very good at long throws. I would generally default to putting more defensive minded players here. He will get some chances as well, since he will be allowed to cut inside to score. Thats not really vital, but as your players get better that is one slot that will open up chicness for you

  4. I hope I’m not beeing annoying lol but I really like this formation and the way it plays out on the field, one thing that I really enjoy is seeing my Left WM, since he is deep, coming from behind with the ball, with space, and dribbling his way trough the defenders. ( I still thing that when gets to the box he could assist more, because a lot of times he gets in the edge of the box and goes for the shoot, and he doesnt have long shot’s ppm)
    I’m on my first season so i’m not quite done on ppm’s in my players but regarding the AMC and the striker, wich ones would you advice to get the best out of them? I have a relly good dribbler and passer on the amc spot, and a strong, tall and very good finisher playing foward, with a decent 14 in passing

      1. Excellent news !!
        I know you are against this but i like to change between 4-4-1-1 to 4-1-4-1 in game.
        I like 4-4-1-1 ,is very flexible and if you have 2-3 MC players capable to play in other positions (AMC,DM) it can transform depending of the route of the game.

        The choice of the role of the AMC is that it causes me headache …

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