When choosing a player on FIFA 21 Ultimate Team for any position, it’s not always down to the player rating.
The most important things to look at are their attributes and skills. The preferred traits differ for a striker, midfielder or defender in order for them to excel in their position.
This is why, when selecting your best and most effective team, you should not pick players based on their overall rating but instead look more in-depth at the player’s in-game stats and abilities.
So who are the high-rated players that you’ll be wanting to avoid? And who are the better alternatives in the respective positions? We asked Josh Buchanan for his expert insight.
Josh Buchanan – who you can find on Twitch here – is an FIFA Ultimate Team Verified Player on Xbox who has twice achieved a top 200 finish on FIFA 21 Weekend League, regularly hitting Elite by recording 23 wins or more.
When choosing a striker, there are a couple of in-game stats you need to focus on:
- Pace: 86+ as the majority of defenders will have at least 75 Pace, and you need your striker to be able to get in behind.
- Shooting: 82+ (Look at shot power).
- Dribbling: 85+ with in-play stats, such as composure and agility being 80+ so that you can twist and turn away from the defender.
- Weak Foot: At least 4* so you can increase your chance of scoring with either foot.
- Skills: 4*, but you can have 5* if you do enjoy a skill or two.
- Work Rate: High (Attacking) & Low (Defending)
An example of a player you do not want to go for would be Harry Kane. With an 88 rating and incredible shooting stats, he looks good at first glance. However, in-game he is far too slow off the mark with poor dribbling skills, which is not the most effective tactic available in FIFA 21.
A great alternative striker who is lower-rated, but a great fit, would be 86 FUT Freeze Allan Saint-Maximin for Newcastle, who has all the attributes such as pace, dribbling, finishing and skills.
Central midfield players are the core of the team in real football and it is no different when it comes to FIFA. A well-rounded, balanced player is what you need and it is important to focus on the following:
- Pace: 75 +, to be able to close players down and win the ball back quickly.
- Dribbling, Balance, and Ball Control: 80+ so that they can turn quickly in the middle of the park and control the play in midfield.
- Weak Foot: 4* to be able to pass on either foot in any direction.
- Passing: 80+.
- Work Rate: High (Attacking) & High (Defending). Basically, a box-to-box midfielder.
There are two high-rated central midfielders that I avoid: Barcelona’s Sergio Busquets (87) and Real Madrid’s Toni Kross (88). Even though both players have good passing stats, they are too slow in the midfield with Pace attributes below 55. Not being able to get up and down the pitch quickly enough means they are less effective in closing down the ball and getting into the box to score goals or create chances. Pace is everything.
Lille’s Renato Sanches is, and has been, one of the best all-rounded and low-rated central midfielders on the game this year. All of his attributes are 79+ with dribbling, physicality, passing, and shooting all standing out on both his 82 Team Of the Week and 84 Europa League Road To The Final card. He is a must-have player.
For an even cheaper alternative, look no further than Tottenham’s Moussa Sissoko. A strong, powerful all-rounder who possesses above-average pace for a central-midfielder, decent strength, defence, dribbling and passing stats even though he is only rated at 79. This has made him a go-to player at the start of every recent FIFA.
The main two attributes you need for a centre back are simple: someone who can tackle, and pace, pace and more pace. All players upfront are fast, so in order to counteract their runs in behind, you need your defenders to be able to keep up with them while also being strong. Currently, a lot of players are now using full-backs as central defenders because they are so much quicker than centre-backs.
- Pace: 75+ at the VERY least.
- Interceptions, Strength and Standing Tackle all need to be 80+.
A highly-rated centre-back I would avoid is Juventus’ Giorgio Chiellini (87), the reason being that even though his defence and positioning is very good, if Kylian Mbappe is running in behind, you know he is never going to catch him. You could have him, or other slower centre backs in your team, but you would need to adapt your play style and play on Drop Back, where your team would sit in. But this would invite pressure from your opponent which could lead to conceding more goals.
Joe Gomez (83) is a go-to CB for most FIFA players with 82 Pace and all-round solid defending. He has all the attributes you need to deal with fast, strong strikers. I would say TOTW 85 Joe Gomez is up there as one of the best centre-backs to use and he is relatively affordable or someone you should save up for.