28 Responses to “What Is the Best Formation in 8 V 8 Soccer?”

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  1. moamed sidig omer says:

    my pint of view about formation, you must select the suitable formation depend on your players mentality .and the players of the other team playing against yuo.but your team backborne should be fixed.

  2. JOE MTEBULE says:

    thank you for this big advise iam currently coaching the group of under 19 and you help me alot by this information should you have more techniques and skills for my boys please do not hesitate to send me one
    thanx

  3. 2dgoal says:

    This is great information! I have been looking for an article like this for quite some time now and have finally found it.

  4. J-soul says:

    i think a 2-3-2 is good especially if u have very good defenders

    although you will have to decide how to shape the mid-field

    u either spread them or compact them in the middle

  5. Frank Rosner says:

    I coached my daughters U6 team this past fall, and had great success with a 1,2,1,3 formation. I had an excellent defender and good speed up front. Also I moved players around alot to teach them every position. We ended up with a record
    of 4-2-1.

  6. eoriudf says:

    nice article

  7. Fener says:

    Our system is 7v7 for U9′s. What would be better 2,3,1 or 3,2,1 formation. Please advise.

  8. Matthew Rutherford says:

    When I coached last spring U9 boys, we started the season 1,2,1,3. I would bring my defenders up to just shy of midfield. We didnt have too many points scored against us, but we were 0-5, losing 3 games 2-1, one game 4-3, and one game 1-0. . The last 3 games I simplified it, switched the 1 from a defender to another offensive player, (almost like a 1,2,4). I Had my defenders stay back around the goal box until the ball came within striking distance, where the closest defender would attack the ball and the other would move in the center, prepared to back up the attacking defender, yet also close enough to move back into his position if the ball was passed to the other side of the field. Yeah, the ball would get closer to the goal, but the defenders usually kept the oposite team struggling just long enough for my offense to transition to the other end of the field. The extra body on offense worked out pretty good as well, for we played the majority of the last 3 games on the opposing side of the field. We finished the last 3 games 2-0-1, winning 4-0, 2-0, and tied 1-1 with the team who not only took first in the league, but ended the season at 7-0-1, ruining their perfect season. I’m coaching again this spring season, this time U10, and fully plan on using my 1,2,4 system again.

  9. jacob varghese says:

    the best formation for 8 are 1st-if u got good strikers and midfeilders use 3 wide 2 wide midfeilders one between mid and striker and one for striker.

  10. rleuth says:

    Fender, I would recommend a 2-3-1 for 7×7. It will allow for additional support for defense if needed.

  11. Dan says:

    I’ve coached youth soccer for upwards of ten years and I think I’m in the minority regarding defensive formations. We consistently win with a vertically stacked defense. On an 8v8 format, we play a 1-1-1-3-1. The three vertically stacked defenders learn to support each other. All teams seem to play right down the middle anyway. Stopper takes first attacker thru with sweeper support while center defender guards the weak side and crosses, then starts play up the weak flank. It turns into a traditional 1-2 defense if a team attacks down the sides, but that rarely happens. Without the stack, the wing defenders are confused as to responsibilities of an attacker that splits them down the middle resulting in a 1v1 with the Sweeper.
    My most aggressive player is center mid while my two most skilled are at R and L midfield to work the ball up the sides to cross to center forward and weak side midfielder.
    Works really well. Center defender is eliminated in 7v7 format.

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  14. Grimm says:

    I think I agree that it really depends on your personnel. It’s very common in youth soccer to have better athletes than soccer players. When we have better athletes, we tend to run a 2-3-2 because we don’t finish our opportunities as often and need more of them to score goals. When we have a soccer player or two, guys that can beat a defender or two and tend to put away balls in the box, we run 3-3-1 and focus more on possession.
    I fully agree that teaching kids to play outside early is a winning strategy. Teams that play up the middle have to carry the ball up and chase it down often. By playing wide, you force them to run zig zag up and down the field all game while they chase the ball. If you can stay disciplined and keep the ball wide, you should be punishing people in the 4th quarter.

  15. Rob says:

    Our U11s 8 a side team have recently switched from 331 to 241 (almost 2131) with a defensive central midfielder sitting in front of the back two and with two out and out wingers when we are in,possession who tuck back in when we haven’t got the ball.

    As coach I am really surprised how little other teams play down the wings. We are starting to develop a definite style of play which is all about quick passing on the floor and to get the ball wide as quickly as possible. A really good way to play if you are playing against physically strong players who put everything down the middle.

    Results really don’t matter very much at this level. However using 331 we were LLDL; since moving to 241 we are WLLWLD.

  16. Khushnood says:

    Hi. I’m Khush from England. I’m gonna apologise in advance as we use football for soccer.
    I’m in my 30s now and have been playing 8-a-side for a good 15 years now.
    As a group of players who have been brought up playing football since school we have a squad of 25 players and rotate each week. I have a wealth of experience and we have experimented with various formations before hitting what I believe are the best – the second best and the third best formations.

    The players have a mix of ability. Some are fast. Some great on the ball. Some skillful dribblers. Some defend aggressively. Some are slow but positionally are strong. We have rotating goalkeepers.

    The best:
    Gk-2-1-3-1.
    2 central defenders and a defensive midfielder who rarely moves into the opposition box. Crucial to this is the fact that the midfielder fills in when he loses a defender into the wide fullback position or when a defender forages forward down a wing into an attacking play. They form a ‘diamond’ with the goalkeeper being an aggressive player who can call his defenders into position to cover opposition attacks. These defenders must play safe and pass carefully to the midfielders. No panic. No pace necessary.

    1 defensive midfielder. Crucial that this guy is positionally aware. Detecting danger. Closing down and breaking up attacks. Prepared to go wide to break attacks coming down the wings. Filling in when one of the 2 defenders gets drawn out. Playing it wide and creating attacking plays. Must not be slow but doesn’t need to be the quickest.

    3 midfields.
    2 are wide. Fast attacking players. Shoot whenever chance arises. Pass or cross into box appropriately. They must mark the opposition fullbacks when the play is with opposition. This is to prevent their GK passing it to them and starting off easy attacks.
    1 is central and the fulcrum of the team. He must link with the striker and the 2 wide players. He must close down space to relieve pressure on the diamond behind him. Must score goals from outside box. Must be strong.

    1 striker. Comfortably holding up. Not afraid to use strength. Closing down the opposition defenders.

    This works best when you set it up well. It has brought me great success. 5-0-0 record.

    Second best.
    The brilliant description of gk-3-3-1 above. Superb all round formation. Relies on pushing up defense. If the team doesn’t move up and back together this fails miserably. Leaving large gap between mid and defense is the root cause for failure here.

    Third best.
    Gk-3-4
    No striker. Sit back and absorb pressure. Hit on counter attack. Works as a change for pressure relief situation maybe at start of a game to tire out opposition. Then switch to above formations to finish them off.

    Key to all of these is using right personnel in right position.
    The goal scoring players must be played in attacking positions.
    The defenders must be taught to step up and not sit back absorbing. Be aggressive from the striker back and don’t let them pass down the flanks.

    Nice comments from everyone.
    Over and out.
    Khush.

  17. Riwendi Karlus says:

    In defending strategy you should use 4 -1 -2. Counter attack is more effective.

  18. Drking says:

    I mostly played a 3-1-3 this season with the occasional 3-2-2 and ended up 12-0 this season. I’m intrigued buy the 3-3-1 but don’t want to change things up too much just before our tournament (especially going in #1 seed).

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