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FIFA 19 tips - How to score, defend, and keep the ball

FIFA 19 is nearly upon us, and now you can get your first real taste of the action. Adjusting to a new game can take a while, so we’ve put together a few FIFA 19 tips to get you started.

We’ve tried to tailor the tips to the teams you actually get to play with, so some of them are quite specific, but we think they’ll help you get the most out of your playtime.

FIFA 19 tips:

  • Early crosses are delicious:

In FIFA 19, the new Active Touch system gives the ball a greater sense of weight and zip than it’s ever had in FIFA before. This means that launching the ball into the box is a whole lot of fun.

A lot of the teams in the demo play 4-3-3 with quality wingers and big men in the middle - Dzeko, Lukaku, Kane, just to name a few.

Don’t wait until you’re all the way to the byline and everyone’s static in their position though. Throw an early cross in towards the middle while your opponent’s back line is still running towards their own goal trying to keep up with your striker. If you time it right your player can connect with a clattering finish that’s super satisfying. You could do this in FIFA 18 too, but the meatier ball physics give it a real thump.

  • Change your formation:

Speaking teams playing 4-3-3, I found the formation a bit disjointed on higher difficulties. There didn’t seem to be anyone to transition from defence to attack, and my midfield felt like it’d gone missing. Narrower formations like 4-3-1-2 and 4-1-2-1-2 Narrow seem powerful in FIFA 19 because all of the teams have great wingbacks who provide width to your play.

  • Go attacking to counter teams sitting deep:

Also, remember to edit your game plans in Team Management before the game. This is a new feature that lets you switch formation by changing the ultra-defensive/ultra-attacking slider. You can really tell the difference when you use it in FIFA 19, so give it a whirl.

On Legendary difficulty the AI packs tons of bodies behind the ball, so pushing up to compensate can help you to open up their defence much more easily.

  • You can score screamers with Timed Finishing:

A massive change to the core gameplay of FIFA 19 is Timed Finishing. This is where you double tap shoot within a certain window to give your shot a big boost in power and accuracy.

When you get space, try it out. You can score awesome long-range efforts if you time it right.

  • Don’t always Timed Finish:

With that said, don’t feel like you always have to double tap. Use the skill sparingly, or you’ll end up missing a whole heap of sitters. If you’re like me you might’ve gotten into the habit of hammering the shoot button as a cross comes in - this always results in an effort on goal that is high, wide, and not very handsome.

  • Chip it up for yourself:

Another shooting technique that you can use is the chip up volley. If you press the right stick in, your player will scoop the ball up for himself.

You can use this to try and ride challenges if you want, but you can also use it with players like Ronaldo who can smash a volley like nobody’s business. This helps to get a bit more elevation on your shots if you’re struggling to get it past keepers like De Gea and Neuer.

  • Near post OP:

Like in FIFA 18, keepers are very strong in FIFA 19. Unless you pull off a Timed Finish, they’ll stop most shots that’re across their body.

If you’re struggling one-on-one, give the tried-and-tested near post finish a shot. They go in more than you’d expect.

  • Possession-based teams:

In FIFA 19, it can be frustrating when your quick attacks keep breaking down. But remember, a lot of the teams on offer - like Man City and Bayern - like to keep possession and work their way up the pitch.

If your passes keep going astray thanks to the new Active Touch system, try slowing down your tempo, recycle possession and keep the ball until you see an opening.

You’ll need to make some risky passes if you’re going to score, but being more deliberate in your build up can keep you from getting trapped in your own half and giving up the ball too easily.

  • Be careful with 2nd man press:

One final note on defending. Like a lot of people, I totally abused the 2nd man press in FIFA 18, but it looks like it's got a bit of a nerf this time around. The Legendary AI is capable of some silky passing moves, so if you find that your defence keeps getting opened up time and again, try easing off the 2nd man press (R1 on PS4).

Because your teammate AI has been improved, you can trust them to take up better positions than in previous games. By all means keep using the press, but in tight areas around the edge of your own area it can lead to massive gaps opening.

For more on FIFA 19, we’ve also done a run-down of what to expect in FIFA 19.

If you’re more of a FUT fan, we’ve a list of every new FIFA 19 Icon that’s joining the game this year.

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