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

Updated on June 30, 2017
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 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 end 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 aspect. 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 this tactics if you’re using an average team like Leicester City. But once they blend collectively, you will enjoy this formation.


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 defend 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 work in the closing down job, and also push forward as possible when the team attacks. So, the roles require more active players with good strength; age of 30 is not really good.

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 quick 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 Wining Midfielder (support): the BWM role is necessary in this formation because the assigned player helps in closing down all the loop holes in defence roles, such as the right backs and the centre 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 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.

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ST- Defensive Forward (support): With the support duty (you can choose 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.

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Set Pieces

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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:

Click thumbnail to view full-size


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 question in the comment box below.

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    • Kingsley Iyoke profile image

      Kings 2 months ago

      Glad to hear that @cooper

    • profile image

      Cooper Harrison 2 months ago from San Francisco, CA

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

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