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Eintracht Frankfurt Asymmetrical 3-4-2-1

If Tuchel figured out how to win with a 3-4-2-1 formation. Tactics inspired by Oliver Glasner's 3-4-2-1/3-4-1-2 at Eintracht Frankfurt. Strong defense and even stronger offense.

By Updated on Mar 27, 2023   21539 views   2 comments
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Downloads: 2595 / Size: 44.0 kB / Added: 2023-03-26
Football Manager 2023 Tactics - Eintracht Frankfurt Asymmetrical 3-4-2-1
Important note about the download
The file you can find here is just the current version of the tactics. Updates for the tactics can be found in the always updated Mega.nz folder
Mega.nz Tactics Folder

Today we are taking a look at Eintracht Frankfurt, last season's Europe League winner that is turning heads all across Europe.

Eintracht Frankfurt already used the 3-4-2-1 formation with success under former coach Adi Hütter but Oliver Glasner transformed the pretty one sided tactics into a fluid system that switches between 3-4-2-1, 3-4-1-2 and 3-4-3, making Frankfurt less predictable but more adaptable to the opponents formation.

In defense, instead of pressing the opposing players on their own goalline, we want to keep a tight defensive shape without sitting to deep and letting the opponent pushing us in. We want to let our opponent to come into our own half and then win the ball back so we can counter in open spaces against our pushed up opponent.

The way to archive that is with a mid block, higher defensive line that steps up more and much more pressing triggers.

In offense we are going for a similar approach. We don't want to get the ball forward as fast as possible, pushing the opponents in and ending up with 30 shots and a total xG of 1.5. We are going to pass the ball around in our own half, forcing the opponent to press and then play vertical into open spaces to end the game with an xG per shot of 0.15 or higher.

Balanced or positive mentality with slightly lower to slightly higher tempo and Play out of Defense to keep possession of the ball in our half in combination with early crosses and supporting players that like to play through balls to get the ball forward quickly as soon as spaces are open.


On players and roles:
The optimal player for the centre position in the back 3 should have a good pace and LOW aggression. He has to hold his covering position to clear through balls and don't go forward to press central attacking players.

The outside players in the back 3 are important for the ball circulation and therefore need decent technical attributes. Retrained central defensive midfielders are a great fit if you can't find the perfect ballplaying defender. Central defensive midfielders usually have decent defensive skills, combined with technical abilities and good to great balance, which is important to deal with technical gifted attackers.

You can also retrain central midfielders or even attacking players for the wingback positions and i'm doing that for years. Just highlight the important attributes for the wingback and central midfield positions and you will see that they are identical, except for crosses. And Eintracht Frankfurt has a great history of using players like that as wingbacks. Filip Kostic and Marius Wolf in past years, Ansgar Knauff, Eric Junior Dina Ebimbe and Faride Alidou in the current season.

One might think that a different role that Shadow Striker would replicate better what Mario Götze is doing at Frankfurt. And this is true for real football but not what the roles are doing in Football Manager. Shadow Striker and Trequartista are the only two offensive midfield roles that can move into channels AND stay wider. And it's important for the tactics that the outside attackers have this combination of movements. They have to drift outside almost to the sideline to support the wingbacks in offense and draw attention of the defenders to create space in the oppositions half but then move into channels between defenders.

The Trequartista can do that to but drops to deep during buildup and, as a playmaker role, attracts the ball too much and leads to too much focus on the left side.


Unlike in other X-X-3 formations, the outside attackers should have their strong foot on the outside, not the inside. Their main job is to create space for and play crosses and passes to the central striker, which obviously works better when they have theit strong foot outside.

There are just 3 attributes important for the central striker. Good acceleration plus off the ball to get away from defenders and good pace to not let the defenders catch up. He dosn't need to be strong or tall or be Haaland's long missed cousin. Acceleration and pace of 15 or higher and he will score 1+ goal per game on average. Rafael Santos Borre scored for me like crazy in FM 22 and Ali Akman was great too, even he is a little but under the recommended numbers.

Any fast striker can be turned into Haaland if you just fed him with passes.








Feel free to ask questions if you have any.

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Downloads: 2595 / Size: 44.0 kB / Added: 2023-03-26
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Discussion: Eintracht Frankfurt Asymmetrical 3-4-2-1

2 comments have been posted so far.

  • Maddux's avatar
    @chengying:

    I'm switching between balanced, positive and attacking depending on how strong my team is compared to the opponent.
    Home or away dosn't matter that much except if you and your opponent are on a similar level. Opponents that are on a similar level will play more attacking at home and more defensive away. So you should start with balanced when playing an away game but could consider playing attacking at home. But most of the time i start the game with positive mentality and watch the game for the first 10 - 15 minutes to see if i need to change mentality.

    It may sound weird but you should change the Full Backs to attack when you are the underdog or the opponent is playing very offensive. FBs on attack start a couple meters further forward than FBs on support and make it a bit easier to catch your pushed up opponent of guard when you counter.
  • chengying's avatar
    When playing away games, do you change mentality? If you do, which ones?
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