FIFA Encyclopedia

FIFA 12 - Defending Guide

FIFA 12FIFA 12 - Defending Guide

Defending has seen some huge changes in FIFA 12, mainly due to the fact that it was just too easy to hold down a single button have your players automatically chase your opponent. In FIFA 12, defending is more down to strategy and timing than anything. You need to learn what to do and when. When you start up the game for the first time, you're greeted with a basic tutorial to the new defending system, but this guide will go much more in depth and give you the upper hand in those defensive battles. A lot of the information you will find in this guide is from a video I found very helpful that you will see embedded below, so give them a few views!


Contain your Opponent

The most important thing to remember is that tackling isn't your main focus until your opponent reaches your penalty box. It is very hard to correctly time tackles, so you need to be patient and just contain your opponent. Make sure you're jockeying so that you're actually closing down players. Quickly switch players and close down passing lanes, forcing them to make a mistake. More often than not, you'll eventually intercept a pass without your opponent even nearing your penalty box. The alternative, quickly trying to just tackle your opponent off the dribble, doesn't provide quite the same success rate.



When your opponent does reach the penalty box, you need to be able to tackle correctly. Tackling is all about timing. You need to anticipate when the ball will be within your reach and be sure not to tackle too early, as this will result in your player mindlessly flinging his foot forward, allowing the opponent to dribble past. Timing will come in time, but if you contain your opponent well (previous paragraph), you shouldn't actually have to tackle all that much.


Anticipate Passes

Like stated before in the guide, anticipating passes is paramount. I wanted to emphasize this because in previous versions of FIFA 12, it's all been about tackling and winning the ball quickly. This is replaced with anticipating tackles in FIFA 12: you now need to be patient and think "Where would I pass in his posiion?" and close down that passing lane accordingly. It seems like a lot to think about, but you'll get the hang of it as long as you practice and are patient.


Other Tips

  • Use the right stick to change players quicker.
  • Be patient!
  • Stay goal-side of your opponent.
  • Time your tackles well.
  • Anticipate through balls and bring a player back for cover.
  • Be wary of skill moves, just focus on jockeying a player like this.
  • Use the slide tackle sparingly, and in only dire situations.
  • If you are to win the ball, make good use of your counter attack!


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