FM19 and my defensive set piece routines

I don’t know how long it will work. I don’t know if it will work in your saves if you will decide to try it. But I decided to put together this short post about how I set up my defensive set piece routines at the beginning of the Football Manager 2019 in my save with CD Magallanes in Chile.

I think many of you know set pieces are not the best in the FM19. They were not the best even previous editions but I think not too many people cared about it in the past.

The summer [HYPE] about set pieces thanks to the World Cup and goals scored by England from set pieces ‘helped’ to it a little bit. But that’s not important. The important is that many people around the world moan about a lot of goals conceded from set pieces, especially from free kicks and corners.

Maybe some of you noticed James FMPressure started a thread at SI Forum to show set pieces are overpowered in his save. Please, if you want to help all of us, just report every mistake/issue you see or you saw and let know what’s wrong. Thank you.

Now, let’s talk about my defensive set piece routines. I decided to set up routines only for free kicks and corner kicks so far. What other I should set up? Defensive throw-in routines are available in Football Manager since this new edition if you didn’t know it.

But to be fair, no opponent team was dangerous from throw-ins so far and I decided I will take a look into it later. Maybe to use them for counter attacks, not sure right now.

The biggest moan about goals from set pieces within FM19 so far is because of Far Post Routine.

This routine was exploited also in the FM18 and I scored a lot of goals thanks to it in my BFC Siófok save. It doesn’t matter if it’s corner or free kick. Just cross the ball to far post behind the defenders, place there the best header and stronger player and he will score. Or he will at least pass the ball to player who is attacking ball from the edge of are.

Some of you, maybe, decided to use ‘Mark Far Post’ role. And it’s a logical decision because you concede a lot of goals from the far post. But I don’t use it. Not so far, maybe I will start to use it when I will be in higher than in the second division.

I decided to combine zonal marking with man marking and mark tall player roles.

This is how my corner kick routine looks right now.

Football Manager Defensive Set Pieces

The reason why I use this set-up is simple. I want to eliminate goals by big opponent players from the far post area.

You need a player with those attributes for all zonal marking roles – Jumping Reach, Strength, Heading, Positioning, Bravery and Concentration.

But you can also need the same attributes for Mark Tall Player and Man Mark roles with one change – Marking over Positioning.

Football Manager Defensive Set Pieces

It doesn’t matter if they will cross it to the near post, six-yard box or far post but we have always very well covered all the possible areas.

Football Manager Defensive Set Pieces

I exported something from the previous matches within my save as examples of corners.

I don’t know if it’s a good enough sample but I played 27 matches so far and concede 0 goals from corner kicks.

Free kicks. Another way how to destroy your good feeling from playing Football Manager. Not sure how I did it but I conceded 1 goal from free kicks so far during those 27 matches.

And it was a direct free kick in the 26th match (friendly match against top tier club during summer break).

As you probably know we have four types of free kick places from where you can take free kick. Direct, Direct with small chance of shot, Indirect wide and Indirect deep.

In the pictures below, you can see my four variations of routines for free kicks. Direct is simple, just a combination of man mark and go back roles. Two players are available to stay forward.

Direct with a small chance of shot is almost the same but I already placed one player to ‘Zonally Mark Six Yard Box Far Centre and one player is set to Edge of Area.

Indirect wide free kick is almost the same as a corner kick. That means I placed three players to Zonally Mark Six Yard Box Centre/Far Centre/Far Post. The rest three players in the penalty area are set to Man mark.

Indirect deep free kick is something I rarely pay attention during the match as I’m almost every time 100% sure my team will defend it without any issue.

That’s why I decided to defend zonally far post and near post centre positions specifically and the rest is more random.

As I said earlier, I don’t know how long this will work because I’m sure people from Sports Interactive work hard to fix all the issues we found in previous days/weeks within set pieces.

On the other hand I’m sure my routines will be very similar to these even if not every other far post corner will be a goal or stupid fould and penalty kick after it.

Those are goal assists from the 27 matches I played so far in my main save with Magallanes.

Football Manager Defensive Set Pieces

Don’t forget you can join the Football Manager Slack to get in touch with many other FM players. You can talk about everything, mostly not even about FM but you have to see it…

You can join FMSlack via THIS link. My channel is #fmrensie.

If you would like to find and check all the Football Manager related content I would recommend you to join Tea&Busquets where you can follow almost all FM players/creators.

Until next time…take care 👋🏻👋🏻👋🏻



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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