The 1-2 pass is one of the most potent weapons in your attacking arsenal which all good players will use to their advantage. You need to be selective with when you play the 1-2’s. While using these passes creates a lot moves harder to track (inevitably), it also means that for you, when you defend against this, it also drags players out of position, especially dangerous for your defenders and CDM’s. It also tires out your players quicker as they will look to make recovery runs if you do lose the ball.
Use the 1-2 wisely
The critical thing to remember here is, use the 1-2’s yes, especially with your forward players and attacking midfielders but you don’t always have to look to pass to the man making the run off the ball. Players will look to track the runners off the ball as they expect nine times out of 10 that is where the ball is going to be played. Your job is to make it more 4/5 times out of 10 and use the space created by the runner to do your offensive damage.
Wait to get on the shoulder
Lastly, if you’re looking to play the through ball for the runner watch his run and wait until he’s on the shoulder of the defender before playing the pass. Giving the runner off the ball 5/10 yards to make up isn’t going to happen, and your next move will be to win back possession of the ball, mainly as the use of L2/LT shielding mechanic is being used to significant effect by defenders more and more. The best way to use the 1-2 pass is when you have defenders tight to your players, around 10-15 yards of space between the two players you are going to be using and preferably quick players to get in behind for the return pass.
See diagram below.
The white areas on the diagram show the best cities to work those quick 1-2’s, between your ST’s. Around the edge of the box can be great but have a watchful eye of what the GK is doing.
TIP – This diagram is particularly useful if you play Pro Clubs and you play with a strike partner. Please feel free to share this with them to make you a lethal front pairing for your club.
Miss a man then play
This is another extremely effective way of using the 1-1 pass. Looking at the diagram below to explain: often, when you play 1-2 passes, the opposition will be expecting this and will track the man who they initially played the pass with (in the picture, the blue player with the gold around him) OR they will pressure the player with the ball (blue number 1 player) whilst you try and wait for the player to get on the shoulder of the defender and tackle you. What you can do, to make these runs and passes more useful is this.
After you’ve played the initial 1-2 pass (to the blue #1 player), you then want to pass the ball BACKWARDS OR SIDEWAYS to an available player while this player makes his run towards the goal or the defensive line. In this example, we pass back to the blue #2 player and then when the running player gets towards where the starred blue player is, this is when you play them through ball. This is hands down the best way to create space and good chances to score vs. high-quality opposition defenders.
TIP – To make this method even more useful, when you’re playing the final pass of the sequence, use the new driven (threaded) through ball to add even more zip to the pass, mainly if the area you’re playing into is crowded.
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