Following the recent squads update, footy writer and FIFA fan Darren Cross looks at the new strongest line-ups and tactics for the teams in Groups A and B…
Euro 2012 is well underway and I’m already hooked. With the exception of FIFA 13 it’s pretty much all I’m thinking about at the moment, and I’ve been playing plenty of UEFA Euro 2012 between games to keep me in tournament mode.
I’m sure lots of you have been doing the same thing, so will know that the squads recently updated to reflect the final 23s heading to Poland and Ukraine. Some of the squads – like Portugal – have hardly changed since we looked at my recommended line-ups and tactics in the Team Guides here on the Backpage a few weeks ago. But others – like Czech Republic – have lost players that have forced me to switch formation in order to get what I think is the best from the team.
So this week we’re going to look at the changes to the squads in Groups A and B, and how I use those teams now when playing online or offline tournament mode.
In case you missed the original Team Guides for A & B, you can find them here:
There’s only one change I make to my original starting line-up here, and it’s an enforced one, as Peszko didn’t make Poland’s final 23-man squad. Although he’s a winger I played him in the centre where I found his pace came in handy, but replacement RCM Murawski is also pretty quick so it’s not a huge loss. If you find you don’t really like Murawski in there, consider Grosicki. He’s much faster and also a decent dribbler.
I still drop the default formation in favour of 4-4-2(1).
Here’s my new line-up with the co-hosts…
Not much has changed with Poland’s Group A rivals, Greece. My LB, Vyntra, didn’t make it so there’s some work to do at the back. I lose the new default LB, Tzavellas, and replace him with Holebas, who is a lot quicker.
Papastathopoulos – formerly Sokratis – still defaults as the LCB but I now bring Kyriakos Papadopoulos back from midfield to play there instead. He’s been slightly better in the air for me recently, but there’s hardly anything between them so go with whoever you prefer here.
I keep the rest of my original team selection exactly the same, although it’s worth noting that it looks like Samaras may have had a stat boost so you might want to consider him next to Salpingidis, although I still prefer Mitroglou.
Going with 4-1-2-1-2(1) my line-up is…
RCB: A. Papadopoulos
LCB: K. Papadopoulos
The good news here is that 84-rated goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev made the final squad, so he obviously comes into my team. Unfortunately they’ve lost CB Vasili Berezutskiy and RM Kasaev, which made me toy with the idea of changing from my recommended 3-5-2. For now I’m sticking with it, as I really like having Zhirkov in a more attacking position because of his crossing ability and 3-5-2 allows me to play him at LM.
With no Vasili I go with Ignashevich at CB and bring Dzagoev in at RM to replace Kasaev, which makes my Russia XI look like this…
LCB: A. Berezutskiy
The holding midfielder Polak, who was in my original line-up, isn’t in Czech Republic’s final 23, which forces me to change my line-up from 4-1-2-1-2(2) to a flat 4-4-2(1), as the Czech’s don’t have great options at CDM.
I then move Petrzela to RM, pull Rosicky back to play alongside Plasil in the middle, and bring Pilar in to play LM. He’s very quick and handy with the ball at his feet although he does lack crossing ability, so my game plan is still to bring my wingers inside rather than head wide.
My new team selection using 4-4-2(1) is…
RB: Gebre Selassie
LB: M. Kadlec
Sticking with my adventurous 3-4-1-2 that I like to use with Holland, I only make two changes to my line-up following the update. There’s no Pieters so I bring in Bouma, who’s also left-footed.
Elia didn’t make it but it’s not a big blow as Afellay is a ready-made RM. If he tires or isn’t working out for you then try Narsingh, who’s very rapid.
Here’s my amended Dutch line-up…
RCB: van der Wiel
RCM: van Bommel
LCM: van der Vaart
LS: van Persie
Striker Mads Junker isn’t in Denmark’s 23, but he’s the only player from my preferred team selection who I’m forced to change. It’s a good change too, as I bring Mikkelsen in to give the Danes some much-needed pace up front.
He really isn’t a forward – which is evidenced by his Finishing stat of 53 – but that speed comes in very handy.
Here’s my Denmark XI, which is still 4-1-2-1-2(2)…
Germany are one of the teams I use the most in the game so – fortunately for me – hardly anything has changed with them since the update and I’m able to stick with my preferred 4-1-2-1-2(1).
The one change I make is to bring Schmelzer in to play LB, as Aogo isn’t in the 23. Everything else remains the same from my original line-up.
Here’s my Germany team…
Everyone from my original Portugal line-up made the cut, so there are still only two changes to make from the game’s default 4-3-3(2) team: Ron to ST and Quaresma in at LW.
Here’s the XI…
Okay, that’s all for this week. As always, thanks for reading and please come back next week when we’ll take a look at the changes I make to the teams in Groups C and D.