Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool team are known to play some of the most attractive football in Europe.
Their aggression on and off the ball, coupled with their skilful and direct players in attack makes them one of the most exciting teams to watch in the Premier League.
In recent years, they have struggled in defence, with a number of their goalkeepers and centre-backs coming in for criticism.
But that is something Klopp has gone out of his way to address in the last 12 months, with the big money additions of Virgil van Dijk and Alisson going a long way towards solving their issues at the back.
All of this makes the Reds one of the most fun teams to play with on FIFA 19. EA Sports have tweaked several components in Liverpool’s default system this year to make their behaviour on the game even more similar to how it is in real life.
Their system is a hugely effective one and one that is also very difficult to defend. Read on to find out how to set up your team just like Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool on FIFA 19.
What is Jurgen Klopp’s ‘heavy metal’ football?
During his time as manager of Borussia Dortmund, Klopp made a name for himself as one of the most attack-minded coaches in world football.
The way in which he set his team out and developed the players at his disposal was something to be admired and he has transferred his impressive methods to Anfield, recently celebrating his three-year anniversary at Liverpool.
Klopp likes runners in behind the defence. It’s crucial for his system. He uses a striker with an impressive all-round game, most importantly someone that is strong on the ball and happy to come deep. That allows the wider forwards to cut inside and make direct runs in behind the opposition’s backline.
We saw it at Dortmund with the likes of Marco Reus and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang running off Robert Lewandowski and we see it now at Liverpool with Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane running off Roberto Firmino.
The German manager likes his team to dominate possession and set the tempo of the match. He often says that the best way to defend is to not allow the opposition to have the ball.
At Liverpool, Klopp has often opted to use an energetic midfield which allows the attack to cause havoc. He uses a no.6 that can drop between the centre-backs and dictate play from deep. The full-backs provide width, allowing the wider players in the attack to cut inside when they like.
In possession, Klopp’s 4-3-3 can often change to a 3-4-3, with the no.6 dropping back and the full-backs pushing forward.
On FIFA 19, the most similar system is the 4-3-3 false nine option. Make a few more tweaks to this system and you’ll have your Ultimate Team side playing the Jurgen Klopp way in no time.
Once you’ve selected the false nine formation, it’s worth altering one or two things under ‘tactics’. One slight change we have seen from Liverpool this season is an adaptation to when they choose to press.
Their hugely improved defensive record has meant a few tweaks further forward. They’re much more careful choosing the right time to press, rather than flying into sides at every opportunity.
If their shape is solid, depending on the situation, they’re happy to keep it and press when the opposition try to play through the lines. We saw this a lot in their recent Premier League tie against Manchester City.
For that reason, we highly recommend selecting ‘press after possession loss’ for their defensive style. We would also move the width and depth measurements down to around 5/10. When defending, Klopp’s full-backs tuck in and aren’t required to provide as much width as they do when going forward.
If you want your side to attack like a Jurgen Klopp team, it’s essential to ensure you are getting width from your full-backs.
Pushing the width up to around 6/10 will really help your team in the wide areas. It will stretch the opposition and allow your midfielders and attacking players to find gaps in between the opposition’s midfield and defence.
Klopp’s teams are all about bodies in the box, too. He uses a false nine, but the three forwards are always in the box and are often joined by at least one of the more advanced midfield players. We highly recommend pushing the players in the box up to around 6/10, too.
That’s the formation and team tactics boxed off, now it’s time to drill in a few individual instructions to some of your players.
The centre-backs can be left alone, they know their job, but there are definitely a few changes you can make so that your full-backs know to play the Jurgen Klopp way.
As previously mentioned, it’s the full-backs that are tasked with the providing the width in Klopp’s teams. In his current side at Liverpool, you will always see Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson in the final third. It’s crucial.
For that reason, we strongly recommend instructing your full-backs to join the attack with their runs forward and overlap the wide forward at all times. It will make a real difference.
There are a couple of tweaks you can make to ensure that your midfield players are carrying out the Klopp game plan correctly.
Make sure your no.6 is instructed to cut passing lanes. We’d also alter the interceptions tab so that the holding midfielder knows to be aggressive when trying to win the ball back.
Aggression from the midfield players off the ball is key to the system and one of the main jobs for the that deeper midfield player is to do everything he can to win the ball back for his team.
We’d also make sure that the more advanced midfield players know to be aggressive with their attempted interceptions, too.
How many times do we see the likes of James Milner and Georginio Wijnaldum flying into opposition players in an attempt to win the ball back high up the pitch? It’s risky, but if all of your midfield players are on the same page, more often than not, this will work.
Klopp often refers to Roberto Firmino as the most important player in his team and ‘the engine’. For that reason, it’s crucial your false nine knows exactly what he’s doing.
There are a few alterations to make here. Firstly, make sure your player knows to make the attacking runs typical of a false nine. Again, you want this player to be aggressive with his interceptions and, crucially, you’ll need them to come back and help out with some defensive work.
Firmino is probably the best forward in the world at coming back and winning possession for his team.
We know that Klopp’s wide forwards certainly don’t play like the stereotypical ‘wingers’. That’s why applying these instructions for your wide players is crucial.
Select ‘cut inside’ under ‘chance creation’ so that they know to move inside at every opportunity. You also want them ‘get in behind’ with their runs forward and it is crucial that they are in the box for any crosses.
Mohamed Salah didn’t score 44 goals last year by being used as the typical winger with chalk on his boots. These changes will ensure that your wide players get into plenty of goalscoring opportunities.