They’re the team of the moment. He is the manager of the moment. Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City side are the current Premier League champions and many would say they’re the best team in Europe as it stands.
After his first season in England, there were some doubts over whether Guardiola would be able to implement the style of play that brought him such success in Spain and Germany in England.
EXPLAINED: How to play like Pep Guardiola's Man City with any team you use on FIFA 19. ?
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But last season saw everything click for the Spaniard and his stylish Manchester City side, as they became the first ever team to reach 100 points in the Premier League and also managed to win the Carabao Cup.
This season, Pep has looked to take City to another level. A scary prospect, isn’t it?
So far, so good. It hasn’t taken long for the champions to establish themselves at the top of the Premier League table again and any team that wants to replace them there has a very, very tough task on their hands.
City’s team is full of flair. At the back there are excellent defenders who are fantastic on the ball, along with full-backs who love to get forward. In midfield there are some of the best technical players in Europe and up front there’s a bit of everything. Pace, skill and an eye for a goal.
The ideal ingredients for the perfect FIFA 19 team then, right? Correct.
We’ve been playing a lot of this years game and have found the perfect way to play just like Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City on FIFA 19 Ultimate Team.
What is Pep Guardiola’s style of play?
Some would argue that Pep has revolutionised modern day football since he got his chance in management with Barcelona.
The Catalan giants have always been associated with attractive football, but the side he built during his time in charge at the Camp Nou between 2008 and 2012 blew the minds of football followers around the world.
There is no doubt that Pep needs to have a certain type of footballer at his disposal for his teams to flourish, but once he’s got that, it’s very, very difficult for other sides to compete with them.
His style is all about quick, incisive football that ultimately becomes too difficult for the opposition to handle.
Pep encourages his teams to start attacks from the back. It’s all about short passing and movement to create options for the player in possession.
All of Pep’s sides have had decisive attacking players who are quick and lethal in front of goal, behind them are some incredibly gifted players to supply chances, behind them are some excellent defenders who are comfortable with the ball at their feet and it’s the same for the goalkeeper, too.
The 4-3-3 false 9 formation should always be your go-to Guardiola style system on FIFA 19.
The more reserved role of the centre-forward means that you’ll be able to overload the central areas of the pitch, perhaps the most important part of any Pep team.
Bodies in the centre of the park will see you dominate the midfield and make it easier for the player in possession to find a pass.
It will also see your wide forwards look to get in behind the opposition defence and make dangerous runs inside as the centre forward drops deep.
Once you’ve selected your formation, you’ll need to make a couple of changes under the tactics section.
Change your defensive style to ‘press after possession loss’. This will see your team do everything they can to win the ball back as soon as they lose it.
Guardiola once revealed that one of the most important rules he looks to implement on his teams is ‘the six second rule’, which sees him challenge his players to win the ball back from the opposition within just six seconds of losing it.
Changing to this style will also see your team automatically drop back into their defensive shape if they’re not able to win the ball back immediately.
We also strongly recommend altering the width level to around 5/10 and pushing the depth level up so that it’s around 8/10. Pep’s teams play a very high line but have the players to allow them to play that way.
The key to your attacking tactics on the game will be to make sure that your offensive style is possession based. Anything else other than this and your team won’t perform like a Pep side whatsoever.
It’s also important to push up the offensive width to around a 9/10. The wide players are crucial in Pep’s teams, whether they’re making incisive runs inside or getting chalk on their boots and staying wide.
The variation in their play will always keep the opposing defenders guessing, especially the full-backs. If you’re feeling extra bold, instruct more of your players to get into the box for attacks.
Now that the team know what they’re doing as a unit, you’ll need to instruct some of your players to make the right movements individually.
Another crucial part of any Pep side is the full-backs. He often instructs them to play in different ways based on the opposition, but more often than not he likes them to be an option for a pass in the centre of the park.
For this reason, you’ll need to instruct them to make ‘inverted’ runs forward, especially with your team’s offensive width on a high setting.
Making this change will also help your team off the ball and increase the likelihood of you being able to stop an opposition counter attack.
The role of the two No. 8’s in Pep’s system is key. For City this is usually Kevin De Bruyne and David Silva, who are exactly the types of players you’ll need to fill these roles in your Ultimate Team.
Instruct them to ‘get forward’ with their attacking runs. This is crucial, especially when you’re playing a formation with a false 9. You’ll need your wide forwards and your attacking midfield players to run beyond him whenever possible.
It’s also worth altering their position freedom settings to ‘free roam’. Seen as they’re arguably playing in the most important roles in the team, you’ll want these two players to be among your most talented and it’s worth allowing them to ‘do their thing’ every now and then.
How many times have we seen De Bruyne and Silva create that piece of magic out of nowhere for City?
We’ll use another example to talk you through these instructions; Raheem Sterling. He’s become the perfect modern day wide forward under Pep.
No matter which side he’s playing on, you’ll always see him putting the opposition’s defence under pressure by making runs inside, in-between the centre-back and the full-back. Those runs get him the majority of his goals for City and you’ll need that player in the box whenever you’re attacking.
Instruct your wide forwards to ‘cut inside’ under ‘chance creation’ and select ‘get in behind’ under ‘support runs’, too. You’ll also need to make sure these players know to get into the box for crosses.
By altering all of these, your wide forwards will make late runs into attacking areas, meaning you’re bound to get into positions to score a shed load of tap-ins with them.