The best tactics and formations to make sure you’re on top of your 7-a-side games on Footy Addicts
You were better than the opposing side. Better players, better physical condition. Yet you still lost the game. Tactical inconsistencies, lost balls when there’s no one to cover and selfish players on the attack tend to be a problem when you’re trying to win a game.
Thankfully, there are some formations available at the 7-a-side level that will help you and your teammates have better organization when it comes to playing a good game of football. We’re going to outline a few options you have available to you here so you can be one step ahead of the opposition at your next game. Simply choose the one you like the most or the one that is the most suited to your team’s skills and abilities.
Or you can keep playing with 5 up front in blissful ignorance of the fact that what you’re doing could could cost you the game, we’re not the boss of you. So, Which tactics should you choose for your 7-a-side games?
The most balanced choice: the 2-3-1
Two of the biggest problems when playing 7 a side football are the lack of defensive presence on counter attacks and the transition from the defence to the offence. The 2-3-1 offers a strong defensive base and midfielders that will both take on the opponents on the wings to try to get the ball to the striker and come get the ball from the defence to launch new attacks.
It’s a pretty versatile and dynamic tactic that you can choose for your 7-a-side games but it is also really demanding on the midfielders. You need lads with pace to be able to be efficient on the wings, but you also need guys that can handle possession. In the right hands, this is probably the best formation ; if not adapted to the players on your team you’re going to have a lonely striker and balls turned over before midfield.
A formation for specialists : the 2-1-2-1
All in all it looks a lot like the 2-3-1 but with two notables exceptions: the left and right midfielders become wingers and the central midfielder becomes more of a defensive position. You don’t get as much coverage on the field as with the 2-3-1 but not as much versatility is required on your midfielders since the positions are now more specialists positions. You have your guys with pace and skill on the sides, and your strong, pressuring, good for possession defensive midfielder.
though since the players are further from each other than in the previous formation, you have the risk of your team being separated in two ; that means you’re going to be outnumbered on offence and outnumbered on defence. To make sure that doesn’t happen, you need cohesion on your team: and a tactically aware, vocally strong defensive midfielder is the best way to make that happen.
A formation when you’re a lot better than the other team : the 1-1-3-1
A good team tactically has to be able to switch it up when needed and adapt to its opponents. Sometimes, that opponent is going to suck. And if you stick to the previous formations, you’re going to have very bored defenders. The 1-1-3-1 is the most adapted formation for possession high on the field, loading up the opponent box area with players, and a lone striker to basically be a pain for the goalkeeper. You have enough width to be able to create chances from all sides and the 2 at the back will be precious if the ball comes back to kick it really hard just below the bar.
Of course, that implies that defence is a little left on its own ; and if the counter attack comes (and it most likely will), your defenders better be quick to drop back and support each other without leaving one side completely open. Bare in mind that this formation might only be one you use in very specific times of a game, when you need goals and your back is against the wall : and it’s not that complicated to change from a 2-3-1 to a 1-1-3-1.
A formation for the less adventurous: the 3-2-1
Why score more goals than your opponent when you could just concede less? The 3-2-1 probably provides the best defensive base in the 7 a side game. You can cover wingers, you can put bodies in front of the goals when shots are coming, you can defend crosses. If you happen to have a decent goalkeeper, you might just be okay.
The clear problem with that formation though is that it’s complicated to find solutions when you actually get the ball back. Any width you might add to the formation when going on attacking phases might make it harder to come back into place and tarnish the defensive efficiency of the formation. Your best chance to score goals in that situation is just to grind hard in defence and hope for a decent counter.
Of course there are simpler options that might be better to use when you don’t really know your Footy Addicts teammates (like the 2-2-2 or the 1-4-1), but they wouldn’t quite give you the edge that those 4 would bring, while still rather simple to implement. If you’re playing with the same lads week in week out, you might want to try more complicated formations that modulate into one another between attacking and defending phases.