Adjusting the 4 4 2 Soccer Formation

Eric Tetler is an avid soccer fan. President of the Windfield Alloy environmental services firm since 1994, Eric Teller spends his time away from work both playing and coaching the sport.

The 4-4-2 formation is arguably the most common set used in modern soccer. In this formation, a team fields four defenders, four midfielders, and two offensive strikers. The set can be adjusted to a 4-5-1 formation for teams that favor a more defensive style of play. In this set, a team fields only one striker, while five midfielders contain an opponent’s scoring opportunities and four defenders support the goalkeeper. Generally, a team assumes this formation when playing an opponent with superior offensive weapons.

On the other hand, by moving a defender to the midfield and a midfielder into scoring position, the 4-4-2 becomes an offense-oriented 3-4-3 formation. With so few players bolstering the goalkeeper on defense, a 3-4-3 set is highly susceptible to counterattacks, and should only be attempted by teams with patient, knowledgeable midfielders.


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