eFootball 2024 has been a different and fresh approach to the tactical side of the game over the past few years of KONAMI’s popular football franchise. The biggest positive is the introduction of Manager tactics and the new training system for the players, which has come as a breath of fresh air to long-time fans of the game. As a result, team building this year becomes more enjoyable and can assist players in selecting a team with a preferred playstyle, such as Long Ball. In this article, I will help you to look at the Long Ball playstyle and team-building system in eFootball 2024.
Introducing the Long Ball tactic
With a similar playstyle to the Long Ball Counter, players might find out why Long Ball exists in the game. Well, there is a reason it exists. Long Ball Counter leans towards a more defensive setup and suddenly transitions to counter-attack. On the other hand, Long Ball is a possession-based tactic. Here, you will hold the ball until there are forward runs from the attacker so that you can loft the ball or provide a through pass into the attacking third.
Long Ball doesn’t mean you need to keep lofting them forward. Play possession and manage it with those long balls forward. Speaking of the defense, the tactic employed is All-Out Defense with Conservative Pressing. This makes the defensive line sit back and defend while maintaining the defensive line. When possession is gained back, the defenders fall behind, while the attacking midfielders and the attacking trio will move forward to be in a position to receive a long ball.
Selecting players for a Long Ball playstyle
Long Ball playstyle is somewhat distinct compared to the ‘counter’ version of it, although the players for both can be similar.
- Main Attributes: Ball Control, Offensive Awareness, Finishing, Physical Contact
Selection of Forwards shall be similar to that of the Long Ball Counter playstyle. Once again, your forwards should have good offensive awareness and should be good at positioning themselves to receive a long ball. I emphasize that Physical Contact is important to beat their man and finish, well you do know why it is needed.
Use Physical Strikers upfront for Long Ball Team Playstyle in eFootball 2024 because they work well with this tactic. The best option for runs forward is players with Goal Poacher playstyle. Pace does not need to be prioritized, but you can use them as a stand-in when you think some quick feet are required.
- Best Strikers for Long Ball: Lukaku, Luuk De Jong, Haaland
Choose creative wingers who make wide runs and offer width. It will help provide crosses from out wide.
- Best Wingers for Long Ball: Dembele, Salah, Mahrez, Rashford
- Main Attributes: Low Pass, Ball Control, Balance, Stamina
The midfielder attributes need not be very dependent on the ball-playing abilities, but instead on the work rate. The style needs a free role from them, and the players will have to keep them engaged throughout the game.
Attacking Midfielders, get the ones who make good runs ahead. A physically sound player to win the loose balls would be a great choice to start with. This is critical for gaining that extra space to exploit as well as an extra man for support. For this position, I recommend a Hole Player playstyle.
- Best Attacking Midfielders for Long Ball: Bruno Fernandes, Marcos Llorente
Get a player with good stamina and a good pass for this role. Keeping possession in the midfield area when you are getting pressed will be important.
- Best Central Midfielders for Long Ball: Goretzka, De Paul, Bellingham
A defensive midfielder must provide excellent cover and also needs to track back and sit behind to provide defensive cover to the backline. His constant pressing aids in ball recovery, so he’ll be best suited as a physical defender. Ball skills aren’t usually a plus, but it wouldn’t hurt if he could ping one or two.
- Best Defensive Midfielders for Long Ball: Casemiro, João Palhinha, Bruno Guimarães
- Main Attributes: Defensive Awareness, Tackling, Low Pass, Lofted Pass
Choosing defenders will mainly focus on the structure of your defense, which is the formation you are playing. So, based on that, you can pick them.
Choose your preferred fullbacks, and try to keep it balanced on both sides if possible. However, for a good defensive backline, I recommend using defensively sound fullbacks on both sides and delegating creative duties to the rest of the team.
- Best Fullbacks for Long Ball: Pavard, Lucas Hernandez, Carvajal
Since the tactic employs conservative pressing, you can select ball-playing centrebacks with good aerial ability as they would be needed for clearing crosses out of danger.
- Best Centrebacks for Long Ball: David Alaba, Marquinhos, Stones, Gvardiol
- Main Attributes: Low Pass, Lofted Pass, GK Parrying, GK Reflexes
Just like Long Ball Counter, choosing the GK for your squad can be between any two playstyles. However, for this playstyle, in addition to good goalkeeping, he should have good parrying and passing stats, so that he can initiate a quick counter once he gets the ball.
- Best Goalkeepers for Long Ball: Ederson, Neuer, Oblak
A formation that works for both Long Ball and the counter version of the same, 4-3-2-1 gives players a perfect balance between offense and defense. Even with a narrow formation, the front three provide excellent runs into the box while also causing a midfield overload. With a Goal Poacher, a Hole Player + Creative Playmaker/Classic No. 10 combination works best.
Keep workhorses in the midfield, who can also keep control of the ball easily. Even if you don’t have to press hard or high, the midfield will help you recover loose balls on the field, and retain possession. As there will be space on the flanks, the backline requires good fullbacks who can make runs forward, along with the defenders and goalkeeper of your choice.
A very attacking formation in 3-1-4-2, which is very similar to a traditional 3-5-2 is an absolutely wonderful alternate and pick for the Long Ball system. The two CFs work well when both are Poachers or paired as a Goal Poacher + Deep Lying Playmaker with one Hole Player behind making runs. The wide flanks would be great as a Roaming Flank or Cross Specialist for whipping crosses inside the box plus staying wide to stretch and receive the long balls from the back.
A pivot sitting behind helps in controlling the midfield while providing defensive cover. The defenders need to be flexible going out wide because there are no traditional fullbacks to cover, but the conservative pressing helps you play two Build Up players with one aggressive Destroyer to press and try to get the ball.
In building a squad, we aim for a strong team capable of competing with any opponent. There’s no “perfect” team since challenges can arise, like difficulty breaking down opponents or losing focus. It’s crucial to consider player preferences and styles as they greatly impact game outcomes. The goal is to create a well-coordinated team that consistently delivers results.
Long Ball in eFootball 2024 might be something many players hate if the opponent tries it on them, but to be very fair this system is employed by many real-life squads too. With a mix of possession and quick lofted football, I feel this tactic is a wonderful system for the players who don’t want much passing around but at the same time want to try lobbing balls over. If you find any issues with these tactics and team building, feel free to refer to this guide.
Check out our other squad-building articles below.
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