5 Tips to Prepare Your Team For a Cup Final in Football Manager

The UEFA Champions League Trophy
The UEFA Champions League Trophy

Nothing can be more displeasing than seeing your team lose a Cup Final after an amazing and sophisticated campaign. Think of how devastating it was for Atletico Madrid when they lost the 2015/2016 Champions League final to Real Madrid for the second time in 3 years. Or, can you imagine the bizarre feeling Argentines felt when they got defeated by Chile in the 2016 Copa America finale after having a mesmerising campaign?

In FM16, as a manager, finding your team in the same situation triggers the same disappointing feeling. However, in live football, there are a lot of factors associated which can make a team lose the silverware; the human factor being the most effective. But in Football Manager, the important thing to focus on is the level of confidence. This level of confidence can be upgraded or degraded depending on how you prepare the team before the match, and the quality of communication you display with your squad during the match.

Preparing your team for a Cup Final in Football Manager, FM16 for example, can be tricky; anything can happen along the line. But in this article, out of experience, am going to provide the more effective tips that will help you get your team all set to win a Cup finale.

Beginning of Arsenal vs Sevilla
Beginning of Arsenal vs Sevilla | Source

Tip 1: Stick with the Formations or Tactics the Team Blended with

You might somehow, out of curiosity, want to introduce a new tactics before the match. This can be a bad idea. The sudden introduction of a new tactics before the match will affect the team shape negatively in most cases. The team will struggle to adapt the new pattern, influencing the players to make lots of mistakes during the match. Though, such change might not affect the “Bigger Teams” because managing such teams is not much of a headache.

In order to avoid this situation, it's best to set at least 3 different suitable tactics during preseasons. The long duration between the preseason and the finale will help the team train and blend properly to those tactics.

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Tip 2: Select the Players in Perfect Physical Condition

It’s very important to put the best players in perfect condition on your starting eleven. Consider a player’s Match Fitness of at least 90%, with a “Shapeness” of 100%.

However, in order to achieve this (in case the period given before the final isn’t sufficient), rest your key players in the match before the Cup Final. This is to reduce fatigue or injury possibilities. But, if you must play them in the match, introduce or remove some of them in second half.

Players (No matter how important the players may be) that just returned from injury or in partial injury should be avoided.

Tip 3: Consider Players with High Morale

As been generally observed, soldiers with good morale will charge into a hail of bullets without hesitation. The same is applicable to players. The player’s morale is a very important quality to consider in Football Manager. It determines the team's confidence. When the team's morale is low, the team's spirit shuts down, the players lose focus, inviting unnecessary mistakes during the game.

Select players with at least a “very good” status tagged on their morale prior playing the Cup Final.

An example of a starting eleven squad with high morale
An example of a starting eleven squad with high morale

Tip 4: Never Overestimate nor Underestimate the Opponent

Sometimes you may have a mind-set that your team is big enough to trample the opponent in the final, or have that low confidence that your team is so small to win. Which ever way you feel can be a problem. This will lead you to make unthoughtful decisions and selections in formation, squad, and tactics.

It's true that meeting a big team in final is like an impossible battle to triumph in FM16 and FM15, but you have to prepare and fire up your squad to put up a huge fight. With the thought of overestimating the opponent, decisions like changing the tactics to a "defense mentality" is a bad idea. The match is been played on a Neutral Ground, not on the opponent’s Ground.

Moreover, underestimating your opponent can influence you to select an all round attacking formation and tactics without considering your defence line, or select the squad carelessly. So, it's better to access and analyse the opponent first and just take them as another team that will put up a fight to take the glory.

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Tip 5: Keep the Team Spirit High on the Pitch

Giovanni Tedesco instructing from the touchline during West Ham Vs Birkrikara match
Giovanni Tedesco instructing from the touchline during West Ham Vs Birkrikara match | Source

Although it’s okay to sit back and watch them play. But, as a manager who really wants that trophy, continuously instructing the squad from the side-line proves effective.

Whether the team is losing the game or not, always talk to them assertively or aggressively from the touchline all through the match. This will boost the team's confidence and spirit to fight until the last whistle.

In conclusion, the tips displayed above can help you win any Cup Final, including big matches you find yourself in. Although, realistically, anything can happen. But these tips will give you 40 to 75% (depending on the opponent) chance of wining the silverware. ENJOY THE GAME!

Feel free to drop your questions in the comment box below, I will answer as soon as possible.

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