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442 Boron // FM20 Tactic

This is a high-scoring tactic for FM2020, lots of goals, shots, crosses, dribbles and chances created all while remaining tight at the back.

By on Oct 16, 2020   32605 views   16 comments
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Downloads: 4987 / Size: 47.4 kB / Added: 2020-10-16
Football Manager 2020 Tactics - 442 Boron // FM20 Tactic


I usually go for symmetrical tactics in FM, but when creating my first 442 for FM21 I decided to try and add some asymmetry. Not just in the formation itself but also in the player roles and instructions in order to create multiple ways in order to break down the opposition. This was inspired by an article I'd read about overlap vs. underlap as well as Cadoni's OEDIPUS tactic.

The tactic is shown below.

We look for the overlap down the left through the complete wingback on attack. The inverted winger sits narrower and cuts inside in order to take defenders inside with him, leaving space for the wingback to exploit. The advanced forward is also told to stay wider (on the left) to open up space for the inverted winger to run into.

On the right, we look for the underlap so the winger should hold more onto to ball and look for the Mezzala getting forward. Since they are both on attack duty, the right wingback remains on support to offer solidity on that side.

The deep-lying playmaker is key, he holds position and plays more direct passes into the attacking players. Although he may not get many direct assists, he makes lots of key passes which end up creating chances and turning into goals.

The poacher is there as a presence in the box and shoots whenever he gets the opportunity.

The planned movement is summarised in the image below.


I played this tactic in the 2020/21 season as Man Utd (using the pr0 data update). I'd strengthened considerably and we were favourites heading into the season. For testing I used instant result. General training was left to the Assistant Manager and no opposition instructions were used. Players were trained in their positions and roles with an additional focus on any attributes that were obviously lacking. Cadoni's set piece routines were used.

The final league table is below.

As you can see, it performed extremely well. Only 1 loss, 129 goals while only conceding 16 giving a final points tally of 101. Rotation throughout the season kept the squad fresh and fit. Player happiness was monitored closely and changes to individual training and new contracts were offered to keep morale high throughout. Telles was sold when he became unhappy and replaced with Davies.

The tactic dominated the league in terms of attacking stats, performing the best in almost all categories.

It was also solid defensively with no goals conceded from corners or direct free-kicks. All credit must go to Cadoni for the set piece defence.

Below you can see the squad stats.

Both Haaland and Greenwood scored lots of goals up front with Rashford also contributing many cutting in from the wing. Plenty other players made good contributions to goals and assists with lots of big wins throughout the season.

Testing Leagues

The tactic was also tested on a couple of community test leagues. This is a particularly good result for CA165 test team.

(thanks to Knap for running this test).

Despite the test team winning the league on this test, the points total is not fantastic with the defence not being as solid.

(thanks to CBP87 for running this test)

I also did a holiday test with Norwich (predicted 20th) on FMT, results were extremely good.


The tactic has performed well in these tests and I'll be interested to hear how it does for others. You can play an inside forward on the left wing and will benefit from a good attacking left back. With a couple of decent strikers then hopefully you will score just as many.

Good luck,


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Discussion: 442 Boron // FM20 Tactic

16 comments have been posted so far.

  • CAE's avatar
    @alanpardew I was finding the same with a Spurs test - winning home games very comfortably with some huge wins, but caught out away versus Liverpool/City.

    I made a couple of small tweaks and seemed to improve things:

    CWB(A) -> WB(A) and remove the 'Take More Risks' instruction
    WB(S) -> IWB(S)

    For L2 you could also remove the BPD and replace with another CB(D). Maybe change the left CB to Cover to offer some protection for WB getting forward.

    But, there is rarely a 'one size fits all' tactic so maybe using this for home games (and away vs weaker teams) and finding a more solid formation (e.g. 4141) for away games versus tougher opposition.

    Good luck!
  • YAMS's avatar
    All you are doing to go 'defensive' is change the Mentality...??

    Mentality is just the level of risk, this will never make this tactic more 'defensive'.

    You'll need to make some serious roles changes to make this more defensive. It's a tactic designed for better players that the level you are playing at.
  • alanpardew's avatar
    I *almost* love this. I'm trying it at lower league, when it works it's brilliant and I win 4-1. When it doesn't work we lose HARD, even when setting it to defensive. Any tips on how to make this work a bit better in League Two for a novice?
  • Aleyx007's avatar
    good tactic i think the best 4-4-2 for fm20
  • CAE's avatar
    @fikky.bam Thanks! It is essentially about trying to create space and break down the AI in different ways. Especially when you are a strong team, the opposition AI will sit deep and can be tough to break down. If you are just using one method (e.g. overlapping wingbacks) your team can often run out of ideas.

    Here, on the left we attack via an overlap. The AF runs wide and hopefully takes a defender with him, leaving space for the IW to run into to. The DLP just sits and can play in the overlapping CWB or switch play to the Mezz/Winger.

    On the right, we look for the underlap. This causes the winger to hold on to the ball in the hope that he will find the Mezz making a forward run. Since they both play wide they can also overload the opposition full-back. The WB tucks in narrower to try and be a bit more solid and cover for the Mezz/Winger.

    I'm thinking to create a mirrored version so during a game, it will be possible to switch between the two, alternating the lines of attack and offering even more possibilities to break down the AI.

    But overall, I am also not 100% sure why it worked so well...although I'd obviously hoped it would be good, it performed much better than expected! :)
  • CAE's avatar
    @HurkaDurk69 Rashidi posted a video on his BusttheNet Gaming YouTube "What is the secret to Underlapping Runs in Football Manager" in September.
  • HurkaDurk69's avatar
    Can you link the article about overlap vs underlap
  • fikky.bam's avatar
    This tactic is ultra crazy. Kudos to the maker. I've tried so hard to understand how its so strong but can't. I would love an explanation cos i dont really understand what's written up there
  • YAMS's avatar
    The issues I've seen with a 4-2-3-1 are all three players in the Att Mid strata attract attention & have no space to play. 4-4-1-1 works as does 4-1-2-3 / 4-3-3 due to these limiting the attention the relevant Att Mid strata players receive.

    I've found 4-4-2 the best myself also but am currently playing a 3-4-3 with the forwards F9-DLFA-F9. It's proving very interesting.
  • CAE's avatar
    @Si49 Yes, definitely OTT. But it seems the best way on this ME. I’ve spent the last couple of months trying to make a ‘realistic’ 4231 with nowhere near the kind of results obtained with this. Here’s hoping FM21 is different.
  • YAMS's avatar
    GG Press is the best form of defence in this ME, yes. Role wise it seems OTT to me. But each to their own.
  • CAE's avatar
    @Si49 - please see Norwich holiday test results which I've just added. For underdogs, attack is the best form of defence on FM20. A big flaw of the match engine. Sit deep like in real-life and you get punished.
  • YAMS's avatar
    With an underdog this is a suicidal tactic. Six attacking roles, attacking mentality, GG Press system.... Asking for trouble, especially down the flanks.
  • CAE's avatar
    Sorry, wrong settings! Please try now!
  • trick88's avatar
    Same, link takes you to register
  • juby24's avatar
    can't download
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