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FIFA 23 Best 41212 (2) Rank 1 Meta Tactics & Instructions ft. NealGuides

Team of the Year rumbles on, and we’re back with more Tactics to give you the edge over your opponents, this time taking a look at the 41212 Narrow!

Perfect for closing out central areas, and suited to fast, tiki-taka style build up play, the 41212 (2) is a formation that when mastered, can be very difficult to break down and defend against.

Let’s dive into the Tactics & Instructions in the video down below, and how you can effectively set up your 41212 Narrow.


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On The Attack…

If you’re a fan of the quick passing, tiki-taka style of play and look to create tonnes of chances, the 41212 (2) variation is perfect for you.

With a front 4 effectively to attack with (5 if you include both CMs), including at least  1 central midfielder, a central attacking midfielder and 2 strikers, you have the ability to create a number of small triangles in the final third for fluid, quick chance creation.

It’s worth mentioning, that the 41212 Narrow does lack some width, so if you’re struggling, be sure to push on your overlapping fullbacks to create some threats out wide.


In Defence...

The key with the 41212 Narrow is to crowd out the central areas of the pitch, utilising a narrow back 4, with a bank of 3 tight-knit midfielders to create a tight wall of players for your opposition to break through.



By ensuring you maintain control of midfielders, and don’t drag your defenders out to create gaps, you can easily frustrate your opponents and win the ball back to create counter-attacking opportunities with your frontmen.


Suggested Players for the 41212 Narrow

Here are our suggestions for what to look for from your players to build the best squad possible in the 4231.


Best Strikers to Use in 4-1-2-1-2 Narrow

From your dual strike partnership, we suggest the following core attributes:

  • High acceleration & sprint speed - to burst away from defences on counterattacks 

  • 5 Star Weak Foot - to be unpredictable in and around the box and score from any position

  • High agility & balance stats to allow for quick dribbling to create chances in tight areas.

  • In addition to these core attributes, passing attributes are also recommended to link up with other players in small triangular patterns of play.

Feel free to mix and match your striker combinations here, with a taller, more physically dominant attacker such as Ginola or CR7 with a more technical, tricky player like Ben Yedder.


Best Central Attacking Midfielders to Use in 4-1-2-1-2 Narrow

At the CAM position, you’re looking for a creator, that will be able to link up between the midfield and offensive lines, but also contribute with goals in and around the box.

Given that the CAM will be getting pressured not only from the defensive line but also by the defensive midfielders on your opponent's team, it’s imperative that high dribbling attributes are at the top of your criteria list, to work passing and shooting angles.


Best Central Midfielders to Use in 4-1-2-1-2 Narrow

Your midfielders are the workhorses of this formation, contributing to both the attacking end and defensively.

In terms of attributes, H/H work rates are a must, given that these players will need to be up and down the pitch to link defence to attack.

With regards to your left and right CM, feel free to mix and match your attributes to fit your playstyle. If you’re comfortable attacking with both your CMs, prioritise having both on Balanced with well-rounded attacking stats, however, if you’re looking for a more defensively solid approach, keep one on Stay Back and prioritise a more defensive-minded attribute set.


Best Central Defensive Midfielders to Use in 4-1-2-1-2 Narrow

For your CDM, ensure that you choose a purely defensive-minded CDM here, the perfect example is Patrick Vieira. While you may feel the need to go all Andrea Pirlo with a deep-lying playmaker, it’s recommended that this position is used solely for the purpose of winning the ball back.


Best Full Backs to Use in 4-1-2-1-2 Narrow

Finally, when it comes to your full-backs, the first priority is that they have to be solid defensively.

However, given the lack of width on the attack in the 41212 Narrow, you should factor in the need for your full backs to overlap and create wide options to impact in the attacking areas of the pitch. 

Triggering the likes of TOTY Hernandez & TOTY Hakimi forward are perfect examples of high end players that can carry out this task effectively, but also the likes of Tecatito Corona can do this role well.


If you liked this article & video, check out NealGuides, and also be sure to check out his FIFA School for in-depth tutorials and 1-on-1 interactive coaching

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