Choosing your best XI with fitness and condition in mindWritten by Bert and Evo
Keeping condition and match fitness in mind when picking your best XI can be crucial to preventing injuries from cropping up and making sure that your players perform to the best of their abilities. As a player’s condition drops during a game he becomes more tired and more prone to injury. Ideally you want your match day players to be as close to 100% condition as possible. As a rule try to pick your best XI with players who have at least 90% condition (maybe 85% if they are a key player and you have a “do or die” match ahead) or better. They will wear down quite quickly under that and may force before half time subs, or even injury if they work themselves too hard.
Match fitness only comes with game time and post injury training, and it relates to how capable a player is of playing a full game and it affects condition significantly. A player with low match fitness will lose his condition much quicker during a game, he'll get tired quicker and therefore risk injury. As a rule here try to use players with at least 80% match fitness before starting them in games where you intend for them to last the full 90 minutes. Use players with match fitness lower than 70% carefully as they are much more prone to injury. Reserve squad appearances and shorter first team appearances are a great way to build up a players match fitness again after an injury.
|Tactical Guide: Pairs and Combinations
A guide into the pairings and combinations that will help you come up with a logical selection of instructions when selecting the roles for your team in Football Manager.
To sum up, pick your best XI from players with a condition of 90% + and ideally 95% +. For match fitness try to pick players with 80% or higher, be careful and ready to sub off any you start with a match fitness lower than that. Picking your team wisely helps a lot during the season to ensure that this does not become too much of a problem, especially in leagues where facilities and staff may be poor and is riddled with fixture congestion such at the Conference North/South. Now let’s take a look at some situation specific tips.
Setting prioritiesWhat are your goals for the season? Can you get away with not performing in a certain cup or tournament? This is where you should be looking at resting players. Take for example, a top four English team in the Capital One Cup. 9/10 your board will look at this as a minor trophy and does not affect your job. This is where you should look to teeth in youth and fringe players, and give the first team a rest.
Other examples of games that you can use as rest fixtures:
- Champions/Europa League group games after qualification
- Games against struggling league sides
- Early major cup ties against small opposition
Use this sparingly though as a loss early in a major competition or against a struggling league side can cause the fans to get disgruntled and the players to react badly.
Using conditioning to select your teamA rule of thumb I use whilst selecting teams is to use the assistant reports and condition together. I take the star rating, and I take away half a star per every 10% condition under 100% the player is. I feel this works as a player’s ability between 100% and 50% condition is pretty drastic, and under 50% they are next to useless.
Say for example Mesut Ozil is 4*, Santi Cazorla is 3.5* and they both have 80% condition coming into a game, I would lower them down to a 2* and 1.5* player respectively and look at the rest of my squad. If Rosicky had 99% Condition at 3* maybe it would pay to have him in the team for the game, and maybe bring on Ozil or Cazorla as a last resort in the final minutes.
Match FitnessA players match fitness can make his condition during the game sink very quick, as well as an increased chance of aggravating a previous injury or picking up a new one, so it is best to teeth them into your starting XI.
It is best not to start a player in your XI fresh after an injury and is usually better to start them on the bench for probably 5 games or so until the fitness builds up. Staggered steps in time from the bench (5",10",15",20",25") mixed with a bit of reserve football can help them get back to fitness quick, maybe even a loan spell elsewhere after a long time on the sideline.
FormationAs mentioned in-game, it is best to train with more than just one formation. If you have a player out or some players low on fitness, this can be a life saver because a quick change in tactics can save you from having to play players out of position in order to give someone a rest.
You should always look to fit your formation around your best current players rather than to shoehorn players into your current formation. This will let you get the best out of who you have at your disposal.
If you are down to bare bones:
- Are there any young talent ready for a go on the bench?
- Is there anyone of a decent quality you can get on a short term loan/ free transfer?
- Can you retrain players to be more versatile? Does anyone have attributes to be good somewhere else?
Points to take away:
- pick your best XI from players with a 90%+ condition and 80%+ match fitness
- use the assistant reports and condition together when selecting your team
- do not start a player in your XI fresh after an injury
- train with more than just one formation
- always look to fit your formation around your best current players
2. Selling your injury prone players
3. Intensity of training schedules
4. Choosing your best XI with fitness and condition in mind
5. Protecting your injury prone players
6. Having adequate cover to battle through injuries
7. Making subs during a match to prevent injury
8. Handling resting days
9. How to utilize staff as injury precaution and faster recovery
10. Important attributes that may affect the chances of getting injured
11. The impact of upgrading training and youth facilities