5-a-side: Choosing your Formation

Myself and a few friends have been in discussion recently about starting up a 5-a-side team. As being the natural choice of captain (leadership qualities, team player, the ability to take out a super injunction to prevent my teammates finding out the truth, etc), it got me thinking about what the best formation would be in a 5-a-side game. Sure, there’s only 4 outfield players to position, but an unorganised outfit could be the downfall of your team. Below are 5 formations you should consider for your team.

The Diamond


The perfect balancing act which all 5-a-side teams require; an equal strength in both defence and attack. The defender is committed to defending and likewise the striker’s only aim is to put the ball in the back of the net. The role of the two midfielders is key, and is essential that they form a reliable partnership in the middle to help the team out at the back as well as going forward. The midfielders need to be fit, fast and agile in order to react quickly to changes in play.

The diamond is the most conventional formation and is difficult to see past it when starting up your team.

The Desmond


The Desmond, aptly named as it involves a ‘2-2’ formation loses the out and out striker and replaces it with an additional defender. The tactic is essentially 2 defenders and 2 midfielders in defence, and a pyramid style 2-1-1 when the team has possession. 2 at the back provides more defensive cover, but is more difficult to create chances.

The Wall


For teams who like to park the bus, the ‘Wall’ sees a back 3 defending against the most resilient attacks. If you’re bottom of the league and facing the league leaders you may well choose the set up this way and hope to score goals on the counter. Your forward player may get frustrated, but not as frustrated as the opposition.

The Y


The Y is named due to the shape but also because why would you set up your team this way? 2 strikers is fine in attack, but in defence your team will get a hiding. If you’re chasing a last minute goal then go for it, but starting in this system could be a big mistake if the 2 strikers don’t track back. Although, you could always just outscore them!

The Free Role


Similar to the conventional diamond, but one of the 2 midfielders is given a free role. One of the midfielders is assigned with the task of holding in the middle of the pitch whilst the other is free to roam across either wing to create chances. Slightly more unorganised, but your team has a solid spine to its formation with an additional sense of unpredictability for the opposition to defend against.

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About apleah

Sports journalist
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