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"FM17" Tactics: The 3-4-3 DM Wide, Inspired by Antonio Conte

Austin Weather is a Nigerian medical student and a writer. They love playing sports-related video games in their spare time.

Antonio Conte

Antonio Conte

Last time, I wrote about the 4-4-2 Diamond Narrow formation for FM17, which seems to be helpful to many Football Manager fans (according to the feedback I get).

In this article, I will be sharing another interesting formation and tactics inspired by the present Chelsea FC manager, Antonio Conte. This formation, when compared with the real-life version, is a bit different from the one used by Chelsea but it's the same with the one designed in FM17. However, in FM17, Conte doesn’t do well with this formation in every save I have tried. No matter the high profiled quality players he brings in, he always ends up getting sacked in the second phase of the season.

In spite of that, I decided to take on the formation with different tactics in place, in order to surpass Conte’s own in FM17. The main problems with his formation are the possession and attacking aspects.

To maintain possession is a big challenge, but I did some work to reduce that and made some adjustments to improve the attacking movements. The condition is that it’s going to take your players some time to understand these tactics if you’re using an average team like Leicester City. But once they blend collectively, you will enjoy this formation.

"FM17" tactics

"FM17" tactics

Team Instruction

Team Instruction

3-4-3 DM Wide

3-4-3 DM Wide


The 3-4-3 DM Wide Formation

This formation is better used when you have the right players, with the right age; I will share more on this later in this piece. However, as you can see on the screenshot above, this formation involves a Control mentality, a Very Fluid team shape, and a 14-team instruction.

From the team instruction displayed above, I adopted a shot passing style without retaining possession. This is because I need the team to work the ball through the opponent’s box with brilliant passes without worrying about maintaining too much possession of the ball. Too much holding of the ball in this formation causes a lot of mistakes leading to conceding goals. Selecting Mixed Passing can work a bit, but More Direct Passing or Go Route One is a bad idea

Roles and Duties

GK: Goalkeeper (Defend)

Using the goalkeeper role with defending duty is preferable.

Three DCs: Ball-Playing Defender (Stopper)

I chose stopper duty in order to close down the opposition strikers, preventing them from getting the ball in dangerous positions or placing perfect shots. Interception is also the key for these defenders.

However, the BPD role is more suitable because the assigned player helps in distributing the ball comfortably to the two active wide players to launch effective attacks. The BPDs really do help in the attacking structure.

Players assigned to these three roles should have attributes of at least 13 on marking, tackling and positioning; at least 14 on heading and jumping-reach, and at least 12 on passing.

The ages of the players for the right and left BPD in this formation should be considered well because they do most of the work in the closing down the job, and also push forward as possible when the team attacks. So, the roles require more active players with good strength; the age of 30 is not really good.

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WDL/WDR- Wing Back (Attack)

With Attack duty, the appointed player gets more freedom to move forward and take a good position for a deadly cross. The player is always alert and active because he has to go deeper to the opponent’s third, returns as quickly as possible when the team loses the ball.

These two roles are very important, so they require natural players up to standard for them. Age is also carefully viewed for each role, which is why I sold Danny Simpson in my Leicester Save. Assigned players should possess at least 12 on crossing, positioning, and tackling; 11 is good for marking. Acceleration and pace should be considered greatly.

Two DMs: Regista (Support) and Ball-Winning Midfielder (Support)

The BWM role is necessary for this formation because the assigned player helps in closing down all the loopholes in defence roles, such as the right-backs and the center-backs. He usually goes forward to disturb or challenge the opponent with the ball in order to allow both the CDs and DL/DR to return for defence. With the support duty (instructing him to get forward), the player makes an impressive forward move to fill the void in the advance midfield when the team has the ball.

The Regista is like the driver of this 3-4-3 formation. You need a sound player with good passing ability, first touch, composure, and vision. Honestly, you don’t need a wrong player as a regista. In other words, both roles need payers with better long-short power. For the BWM, work rate, strength, stamina, and age should be considered most. Age is not much of a problem for the RGA.

AML/AMR: Inside Forward (Support)

I found inside forward with the support duty preferable because the player tends to draw back a bit to pick up passes from both midfield and wing-back players, provides killer balls for the striker, and also helps in regaining the ball from the opposition. The attack duty couldn’t provide such character. Choosing an attack duty in this formation inspires the player to be more selfish with the ball, making him less creative with key passes.

In terms of helping the team defend, you should always set these inside forward players to specifically mark the opponent’s AML/AMR before kick-off. The screenshots below show examples.

ST: Defensive Forward (Support)

With the support duty (you can choose to defend duty if it works better for your team), the striker moves deep to the midfield to collect passes and distribute them to any available player or overlapping player, just to help improve the attacking dynamics. He also helps in challenging the opponent from the midfield to retrieve the ball.

Player Instructions

Below, each screenshot displays the instructions assigned to each role. This means that any player playing in that role will carry out the instructions assigned to it.

Opposition Instructions

Setting the opposition instructions for this formation depend on the type of formation the opponent is using. In general, for the ST, ML/AML, and MR/AMR roles, it’s best to set Tight Marking and Closing Down to “Always”. Then set Tackling to “Hard”, and Show Onto Foot to “Weaker Foot”. The following screenshots provide some effective settings:


In the training section, I usually hand over the general training to the Assistant Manager while I handle the Match Preparations. The best preparation for this formation is Team Work. You can set to any other focus if you feel there is need to.

Formation Weakness

Once your team adapts properly to this 3-4-3 DM Wide, your team will be really strong; especially on home soil. The only problem you will face is when playing against high rated teams on both home and away. The 3-4-3 DM Wide has a weak spot in the midfield, which means that any opposition team that operates very well in midfield will cause a lot of problems for this formation. That’s why you need to sign a sound RGA and BWM to help reduce the negative effects.

Feel free to ask any questions in the comment box below.


Austin Weather (author) on September 22, 2017:

Hi lel, you have go to my profile (ie beside Kings, click on the "more" and then click on "view profile") and click on the Facebook icon that's under "Also follow me on." It will lead you to my page. But if you couldn't find this tactic on the page timeline, just send a message. Then i will repost the tactic with the download link. I can't post any link here because of the site rules. So bear with me.

lel on September 17, 2017:

no download butoon

Austin Weather (author) on August 18, 2017:

Thanks. Hope you find it helpful

james3214 on August 01, 2017:

very nice

Austin Weather (author) on April 23, 2017:

Glad to hear that @cooper

Cooper Harrison from San Francisco, CA on April 23, 2017:

This is super helpful - I'd been using 4-4-2 as well but will probably give this a try.

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