The Beat

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The Backpage | FIFA 13 Ultimate Team: Build A Title-Winning Squad

In this week’s Backpage, football journalist and FIFA fan Darren Cross looks at a bargain FIFA 13 Ultimate Team squad that could help swell your trophy cabinet…

Then keep reading this week's Backpage because we're about to look at one that's great to use, relatively cheap to build and very competitive even in the highest FUT divisions.

It's a Gold Russian League squad.

I often get the urge to spend some coins and try out new combinations of players. Putting squads together and seeing how they work is one of the things I enjoy most about FUT, but the one that I keep on coming back to is my RL squad. Not only is it fun to use because it's quite different – you don't see that many RL squads online – it's also the one I turn to when I've got a must-win game coming up, because it genuinely is brilliant.

I won my first FUT13 Division One title with this team, after previously only just managing to escape relegation using a couple of other squads I had. It immediately felt comfortable to use and seemed to really suit my style of play, which made a big difference to my results. Not bad considering it’s the cheapest Gold squad I’ve ever made.

Right now you can put the first XI together for under 60,000 coins, and that’s quoting current Buy It Now prices for players in a 4-1-2-1-2. If you’re up for shopping around or you like to use one of the less-popular formations then this squad is going to be even cheaper.

So here’s my starting line-up, why I think they’re so good and roughly how much they’ll cost. I’ve also included great alternative RL players for those on an even smaller budget…

IGOR AKINFEEV
GK * OVR 84
CSKA Moscow
BIN: 4,900
Akinfeev is easily the best keeper I’ve tried in the division. He consistently makes great saves, thanks to his 88 Diving and 89 Reflexes, and his Handling is solid.

Alternatively… Vyacheslav Malafeev is decent, cheaper option; you can pick him up for 350.

BENOIT ANGBWA
RB * OVR 72
FC Rostov/Krylya Sovetov
BIN: 14,000
Now I know I called this a Gold Russian League team, but there are actually two Silver players in my starting line-up and Angbwa is the first of them. With 89 for Pace he’s the fastest RB in the division, which suits my playing style as I like quick full-backs that can get forward.

Alternatively… Alexandr Anyukov is a great all-rounder with key ratings in the mid to high 70s. The cheapest BIN I’ve found on him so far is 2,000, so you could save around 12,000 if you go for Anyukov over Angbwa.

ANTONIO FERREIRA
CB * OVR 68
Terek Grozny
BIN: 12,000
Ferreira is the other Silver in my XI and, like Angbwa, he’s pretty expensive. The reason for that is also down to the fact that he’s the quickest in the division in his position. The rest of his stats aren’t great so I take no chances with Ferreira – he’s there purely as an insurance policy against fast strikers. I don’t try anything flash when he has the ball.

Alternatively… Tomas Hubocan is also rapid for a Russian League CB and he’ll only cost you about 1,300 coins.

SALVATORE BOCCHETTI
CB * OVR 78
Rubin Kazan/Spartak Moscow
BIN: 1,300
Bocchetti’s a very well-balanced centre-back – strong, quick, good in the air and a reliable ball winner. He’s also a lefty, which I really like as I think it’s always good to have defenders playing on the same side as their dominant foot.

Alternatively… have a look at Bruno Alves. He isn’t as quick as the other defenders here, but he makes up for that with 81 Defending and 79 Heading. Alves is also incredibly strong, so he’s very effective at nudging strikers off the ball, and you can buy him for around 800 coins.

CRISTIAN ANSALDI
LB * OVR 79
Rubin Kazan
BIN: 1,600
Ansaldi’s a great attacking full-back, thanks to his 87 Pace, 72 Passing and 72 Dribbling, but he’s also excellent defensively. Considering all that he’s an absolute bargain at just 1,600 coins.

Alternatively… you could save a couple of hundred coins and go for Domenico Criscito, who’s possibly a little better on the ball but not quite as fast.

YANN M’VILA
CDM * OVR 82
Rubin Kazan
BIN: 1,400
M’Vila, who joined Rubin in January, has the highest Overall rating of all the CDMs in the Russian League. He’s a brilliant all-rounder that’s quick, useful with the ball at his feet, a good passer, strong and an excellent tackler. He lacks a decent Long Shot, which is why I regularly rotate him with my back-up CDM.

Alternatively… go for Axel Witsel. He isn’t actually cheaper than M’Vila – the regular 4-1-2-1-2 Witsel costs around 4,500 – but I didn’t want to leave him out of this list as I genuinely think he’s almost as good. Some of my friends use Lassana Diarra at CDM as they like his Pace, but I find he gets pushed off the ball a little too easily.

HULK
RM * OVR 84
Zenit
BIN: 14,500
Hulk’s the most expensive player in my team but he’s worth it. There’s one big reason why I hardly ever leave him out and it’s not because he has 90 Pace… it’s his Long Shots. They’re absolute rockets and I seem to get one every couple of games. Sign him up.

Alternatively… go for Aiden McGeady. I got him for 3,900 coins BIN and – although you don’t get unstoppable Long Shots – McGeady comes with 91 Pace, 86 Dribbling and five star skills.

MARK GONZALEZ
LM * OVR 76
CSKA Moscow
BIN: 900
Gonzalez is another player that can hit lethal shots, and he has the speed and technical ability to create space for them. His weak foot is strong and he can do four star skill moves, so it surprises me that he’s so cheap.

Alternatively… Balazs Dzsudzsak is about 50 coins cheaper and you may find you like him better. I know some players that prefer Dzsudzsak, but Gonzalez just edges it for me as he is that bit quicker.

KEISUKE HONDA
CAM * OVR 81
CSKA Moscow
BIN: 950
Guess what I like about Honda? Yep, he’s got a cracking Long Shot. He’s left-footed too, which can still catch opponents out, and generally feels great when you have the ball at his feet. I’ve tried other CAMs here like Danny and Boussoufa, but none of them have been as effective as Honda.

Alternatively… Mbark Boussoufa costs around the same as Honda and can do five star skills. Go for him if you prefer picking your way through a defence rather than shooting from range.

SAMUEL ETO’O
ST * OVR 85
A. Makhachkala
BIN: 5,800
The first time I had a look at Eto’o I bought him quickly because I thought the owner must have made a mistake on his price – he was so cheap for a player with such incredible stats. Fortunately it wasn’t a mistake and actually he’s now available for much less than I paid at the time. Fortunately for you that is, not me. He is a fast striker with excellent Finishing ability.

Alternatively… You probably won’t be surprised to hear that Emmanuel Emenike is my back up. He’s quick, strong and available for around 1,000 coins.

LACINA TRAORE
ST * OVR 78
A. Makhachkala
BIN: 700
Traore is the best player in my squad by miles. He has a goal ratio of one per game for me and he’s probably made just as many for his team-mates. I think some players are put off because he only has 79 for Pace but trust me, he’s absolutely brilliant.

Alternatively… go for Kevin Kuranyi. You can pick him up for 350 coins and he’s almost as much of a handful as Traore.

So that’s the squad.

If you know of any great players that I’ve missed here, tweet me Darren@Darren_Cross and I’ll share them with the community.

As always, thanks for reading and I hope to see you back here next week.

Darren