Sunday, 14 December 2014

Core tactics for Braganca in FM 2015

Dear readers,

The first season managing Braganca became a successful one. I managed to get into promotion playoff has having quite weak squad and 5000 bet coefficient of title win. In fact Braganca was the 4th team of 80 in Portuguese National Championship. That was a merit of used tactical approach, and I am ready to share it with you just right now.

Total impression

At first I had some experiments with asymmetric tactical approach trying to play without central midfielders at all. But then it became clear for me it couldn't work because many PNC teams use 4-5-1 formation overloading midfield. So after all I stopped on two tactics and played almost the whole season using them:

  • 4-4-1-1 Control - main one
  • 4-1-2-2-1 - backup one

The latter is actually modified version of my AZ tactics used in FM 2014. I can say it didn't work well against other PNC teams, so 4-4-1-1 Control was used in most cases. The following stats confirms success rates for both tactics:



4-4-1-1 Control


This FM 2015 tactic is based on the following ideas which I quite firmly believe in now:

  • Ball possession and accurate match flow.  I achieve it with team instructions:
    • Lower Tempo 
    • Shorter Passing
    • Work Ball Into Box
    • Retaining Possession
  • Framework concept - no player instructions used. I should just manually change PIs for certain players



Some roles and duties can be changed or tuned depending on squad diversity. At the moment I want you to pay special attention to AMC.

Central attacking midfielder


One of key factors in attacking phase is AMC. He is able to find holes between defense and midfield and add keenness in attacking moves. He cooperates tightly with centre forward. At the same time AMC has options of passing ball to flanks, making running and dribbling, passing back safely to central midfielders.

Overall opposition instructions

New feature in FM 2015 is setting defaults for opposition instructions. Actually I am not a big fan of OIs but hard tackling against all midfielders helps much to return ball control, at least at PNC level.

In-match changes that work out


When I was loosing and not being able to score a goal to achieve expected result, I experimented with team instructions, mentality, etc and had some success with:

  1. Set mentality to Attacking. Described in this blog post.
  2. Alternative for previous point: set Attacking duty to full backs.
  3. Remove Retaining Possession team instruction.
  4. Set more aggressive style ticking Close Down More and Get Stuck In.

Defensive changes to hold numbers on a scoreboard were pretty common:

  1. Set mentality to Contain.
  2. Decrease tempo to Much Lower level.
  3. Remove Push Higher Up instruction

Download FM 2015 tactics

Feel free to download my tactics, use and adapt it as you need:

        TFM 4-4-1-1 Control

Tactical changes planned for Braganca in the 2nd season

What I am going to do is to replace my current backup tactic with 2 new ones. Currently it seems it would be great to try formations with 3 central backs applying different mentalities and tempo levels. Though I understand LLM is not about ball control at higher tempo.

Just want add 2 somewhat different tactical approaches and have many ideas. It's still up in the air, so may be you could advise me some direction to move to...

That's all for now folks. Enjoy playing Football Manager 2015! And don't forget to write a comment to this blog.

By the way, what pros and cons do you see in my tactic? 

Excited to blog for you,
Vitaliy Mokosiy

Author: Vitaliy

Playing Football Manager since 1996. Blogging about it since 2007.