FIFA 12 Defensive Player Bible Part 4: 18 Positioning Tips and Strategy

By Booya Gadget

Welcome to the FIFA Defensive Player Bible Part 4 of 5! The focus of part 4 is Defensive Positioning.. Where to be, Where to Go, and When to be there.

This guide is mainly for those that play Club and Pro Ranked Match where you control just 1 CB or CDM player(basically pickup Soccer-Futbol). Defense is very challenging, and while I wrote this bible I have bad games too. The key is discipline, consistency, and having pride in stopping not scoring goals.


  1. When Urgent, Run Straight. Sometimes, you really need to get somewhere fast, so run vertically and horizontally. Literally UP DOWN LEFT RIGHT. After all, this is what the offensive players are doing and they’re VP’s are likely setup for high sprint speed.

  2. Caution in the Corner.  When chasing an opponent with the ball to the corner. This can leave the middle of the 18 wide open for an easy header or volley. Watch your teammates actions, because sometimes two and three defenders are chasing a dribbler to the corner but noone is marking in the middle.

  3. Lay Off X “GIVE ME THE BALL” button !!  ARGH.. As a defender you stop goals and get the ball to your offense. Don’t smash on X, rarely call for ball. You are in the mega-danger zone and you rarely need to call the ball. If playing Club, your midfielders will likely be smashing X anyways :)   On occasion, it is acceptable to call for the ball when in a safe passing lane. In particular, if I do call for it as a defender, I am likely setting up a One-Touch Give-and-Go to my midfielder.

  4. Harass, Run-Into and Collide with your opponents whenever possible. A well timed “intentional collision” with a 5’7” tiny striker can be invaluable. I seek out my opponents constantly (when it is safe).. This is a simple trick/secret and it works. As you should know as a Fifa lover, just a quarter second delay can ruin a scoring opportunity. Try it yourself the next game you play if it’s not in your current strategy arsenal.
    booya FIFA Bible Defensive Positioning COLLIDE with Players tips strategy
    I killed this threat by intentionally colliding with their Striker. Run into their players, disrupt their timing. A sneaky FIFA 12-13 defensive tip.
  5. Stay Out of their way. Rarely / Never should you find yourself colliding with your own offensive players. So if you notice that you’ve been colliding with your own midfielder, then you’re playing too far up, or he/she is playing too far back. But regardless, stay out of the offense’s way, let them do their thing. You stop goals and get them the ball. In FIFA 12/13 there is no shortage of dedicated offensive players, take pride in stopping threats.

  6. Discipline.  Stay in position, Directly Mark a player, or anticipate passing lanes. This is so important, so very very important. Resist the Urge to screw off. Some games, you won’t get much action, but your Club will crush. You can create Clean-Sheet shutouts and your team will love you and miss your Defense when you’re not online. Stay disciplined, learn to love playing Defense. Stopping a goal with great Defense feels just as good as a goal to me..

  7. Use The MiniMap for location help. The camera default is to follow the ball. ( hit select switches to focus on you but that’s tough ). Sometimes you may lose track of where you are. I use the minimap a lot just to get a feel for where I am on the pitch. You should too.

  8. Control Midfield with Headers, and feed your offense all day long. In part 1 of the Fifa Defensive Players Bible,  I recommend that you to select a taller player when on defense. Crafting Headers back to your offense on clearances and Goal Kicks can demoralize your opponent’s offense. Some games as a CB or CDM, you will single handedly control midfield with your head especially if you elect to use a slightly taller player. Your offense will appreciate the effort, and your opponents will become frustrated.

  9. An important part of your strategy on defense should be to Always Anticipate Failure. You don’t want to get caught “thinking he would make the play” only to end up watching a goal in front of your eyes. Constantly be looking for your team to make errors. Bad passes, ill-timed jukes, the often dangerous goal kick header that skips over your teammates head for a breakaway. When you constantly anticipate failure as a Defender, you will soon be able to tell when your teammate is about to turn the ball over !  This is a critical strategy to your success. Stop Goals and get the Ball to your Offense.
    FIFA Bible Defensive tips strategy Positioning Anticipate Failure booya gadget
    Such a very dangerous play. This resulted in NO GOAL! I was anticipating failure and I was right. A common play. As a defender, always anticipate failure.
  10. Join the attack?  Very rarely should a CB join an attack. CDM can join much more often, but CDM should still be primarily a defensive player. The more you join the attack, the higher the risk of a strong counter against your club. It’s OK for you to join the attack as a Defender when your Team Captain calls for it,  and sometimes at the 45 minute mark(depending on the score). YES at the 90 Minute mark when you’re down at least 1 goal then join the biggest push. If you do join the attack be available and look for volleys and put-backs, but try to stay out of your Offense’s way still ( See #4 )  You should be tall, so sneak forward for a last minute F.U. header threat.

  11. Watch for hand raisers.. Some clubs/players you face love to smash X on call for the ball all day long. Remember they’re telling you they want the ball and are aggressively trying to get a pass. Stay close to the “Hand Raisers” calling for it, get some interceptions, and create a quick counter attack for your club.

  12. Know the Impact of Weather.   Mainly, pay attention to how the ball skips and bounces when playing in sunshine, rain, and snow.

  13. When your team is winning, you should look to play even more Defense. Increase your discipline, and RESIST THE URGE to join the attack unless it’s a mega blowout by 4+ goals then have fun. But in general, I recommend you be cutthroat. If you’re up 3-0 at halftime, then get the clean sheet and destroy your opponent.

  14. Get Dirty: Grab, Pull and Cheat with the Circle button.. When you’re chasing a player, press circle to grab the jerk and slow him down. I use it all the time, however, you will be called for a Penalty if you over do it. A nice benefit, is when used “appropriately”, you can actually steal the ball from the Jive-Turkey!   I love circle, and I use it more than slide tackling. However, sometimes the foul is worth it because you can stop a goal. It reminds me of basketball, when NBA guys will grab a player so he can’t go on a breakaway solo dunk. Make Sense ?  You must learn to use Circle on Defense.

  15. Momentum Matters. Momentum can save your butt and also cost you a goal.. Momentum can make you a great or weak player. What you want to avoid is the “sudden stop and change direction” situation. This can lead to you giving up a goal. Try to keep your motion alive smoothly. Avoid sudden stops, because when you have to STOP, and CHANGE DIRECTION you may be well out of the play and some 95 speed striker is long gone. One method to keep your momentum is to run in a tiny circle when you need to change pace, direction, or delay your player for a moment without giving up your momentum. Momentum matters.

  16. Energy Conservation. Life as a Defender is not always sprinting. I do a ton of shuffling ( hold L2 ) and Jogging. You’ll be surprised at how much ground you can cover simply jogging in a low-threat situation. If you sprint and sprint and sprint and only sprint, you will get injured and it will hurt your team or cost you a goal.

  17. Back Up Your Boys.. If someone gambles, Read it, and Fill their spot for a while.

  18. Use Dekes and Fakes vs Human Opponents(Club). Against Human Players you can utilize fakes on Defense. When you suspect he is going to Pass the ball for an assist, Fake like you’re going commit to the dribbler, but drop back from the ball and steal the pass. This doesn’t really work vs the CPU, but against Human players, try it a few times. You will often get the last laugh.


  1. FIFA 12 Defensive Player Bible Part 1/5: Traits, Height, and Weight
  2. FIFA 12 Defensive Player Bible Part 2: Scoring, Accomplishments,  General Defensive Tips
  3. FIFA 12 Defensive Player Bible Part 3: Passing Tips and Strategy
  4. FIFA 12 Defensive Player Bible Part 4: Positioning ( The largest and most important bible chapter )

This FIFA Defensive Bible is the sister of one of our most popular all-time articles, the 3 chapter NCAA Football Recruiting Bible!