FM Slack Tactics Challenge | 3-4-2-1 with Benfica

Hello everyone, another FMSlack Tactics Challenge is here. This time with Portuguese side Sport Lisboa e Benfica and 3-4-2-1 formation which was selected by Daniel Gear who is our boss in #fm17tacticschallenge Slack channel. 

If you are interested in previous two I participated in you find both there & there.

The rules of the challenge were simple same as in the previous two. No transfers, no staff changes and play a half of the season.

Portuguese Premier League has 18 teams so it means I played 17 league matches and I was successful also in the domestic cups so I played until the 5th Round of Taca de Portugal and made it to the Portuguese League Cup Semi Final. But these rounds of domestic cups were planned for a second half of the season.

Side challenge was “how many goals you can get from Kostas Mitroglou”…

Formation & Roles & Instructions

As I said at the beginning we played with 3-4-2-1 formation this time. What roles I decided to use?

In defensive line, I used two central defenders with defend duty and one central defender with cover duty.

Midfield area included defensive wingers with support duty, deep lying playmaker with defend duty and box to box midfielder with support duty.

In two AM slots, I used an advanced playmaker and attacking midfielder, both with support duty and our lone striker was advanced forward.

I decided to use control mentality and very fluid team shape. I thought about standard/control mentality and tried both of these two and in the end, I decided to stick with control mainly because of the quality of Benfica players and domination in the domestic league.

Team instructions were passed into space, play out of defence, push higher up, close down more, use tighter marking, use an offside trap, higher tempo & prevent short GK distribution.

I scored a lot of goals during this challenge and I select one for showing you some movement. This goal was scored against Astra in Champions League after a throw-in.

As you can see in the video below the movement of both defensive midfielders was very important and in the end, Grimaldo scored after Zivkovic assist.

We won this match 3-0 and the rest two goals were also very typical for this challenge as Grimaldo assisted Mitroglou and Silva goals with a cross from left side.

Despite I used defensive wingers on both sides we had a great support from these positions. Grimaldo made 17 assists in 26 appearances.

I set some instructions for both defensive wingers as you can see in the picture. I used shoot less often, get further forward, more risky passes, cross more often, stay wider and run wide with the ball. In my eyes, I made very active wingers from these players but they were capable of defending as well.

I used some individual instructions for other players as well. For example, box to box midfielder had passed it shorter and fewer risky passes. Deep lying playmaker had close down much less and some players had shot less often as well.

If we take a look at Grimaldo’s analysis of the match against Astra we can see his movement, heat map, crosses and passes.

How it went? We started the season with Supertaca against Braga and we won 5-3 but it was not so important.

The domestic league started with four wins and twelve scored goals and it included 3-0 win over Sporting in the first derby of the season.

Same as in other saves Set Pieces were very important part of my tactic as we scored 11 goals from corners and 7 goals from free kicks. 

The first point loss was in the Champions League against Napoli as we tied 0-0 with them.

Kostas Mitroglou was in very good form as he scored eight goals in the first four league matches but unfortunately, he injured himself for two weeks so we had to play with other strikers.

We progressed from the Champions League Group Stage despite we were defeated by Napoli but we beat Astra twice and Lyon once and tied with Lyon as well.

In the domestic league, we finished first in the table after 17 matches were played. We won 16 matches and tied with Porto away.

We scored 41 goals and conceded just only three goals. Kostas Mitroglou scored 16 goals in 16 appearances and he made also 3 assists.

Alex Grimaldo made 11 assists in the league and keeper Ederson kept 14 clean sheets.

Side challenge was with Kostas Mitroglou and how many goals he will be able to score. Despite his injury, he made 26 appearances, scored 22 goals and made 5 assists. One goal was scored from a penalty. His average rating was 7.5.

My favourite player from this challenge was definitely Argentinian attacking midfielder Franco Cervi who played as attacking midfielder behind Mitroglou and he scored six goals in ten league matches. Unfortunately, he had an injury for two months so he missed a lot of time of this challenge but I really liked his movement, technique and his play in overall.

Unfortunately, he had an injury for two months so he missed a lot of time of this challenge but I really liked his movement, technique and his play in overall.


  • Final league position – 1st
  • Final league points – 49
  • League goals scored – 41
  • League goals conceded – 3
  • Side Challenge with Mitroglou – 22 goals in 25(1) appearances
  • Biggest league win – 5:0 against Estoril
  • Most goals in a league game: 5-1 against Guimaraes
  • Lowest League Position: 2nd
  • Least Goals Scored: 0 (against Porto and Napoli twice)
  • Most goals conceded: 3 against Braga in Supertaca

As always…

Thanks everyone for the continuing support and thanks for reading.

You can find previous FMSlack Tactics Challenges HERE.

You can also join us in FMSlack and talk not only about Football Manager. What is Slack? Read this or ask me and others on Twitter for example.

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A Football Manager addict and lover for many years. You can follow me on Twitter or in Football Manager Slack – #fmrensie channel.

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