eFootball PES 2020: Best formations for Counter Attacking

The eFootball PES 2020 action has been very interesting this season, thanks to a new event mode named Matchday. This has really hyped up the gaming experience for the players and also thanks to the rewards that are being offered. With these new events lining up, we can see more players trying to bring out the best of them, especially during the custom team matches. To form a better team, most try out different formations depending upon their preferred playstyle. So, in order to make things simpler for you, we have come up with a list of three best formations for Counter Attacking in PES.

They may not necessarily be the best formation for your team, but on adapting to certain changes, they are effective for major player squads. Also, if you are preferring possession style of play, we have also listed the best formations for the same in our previous article.

What is Counter Attack play in PES and in general?

Counter attack is one of the tactics that are implied in football by managers who would have their players attack and rush forward even though they are out of possession for a longer duration in the game. The defense plays deep and the striker plays near the last line of the opponent defense. The team will have a specific formation implied for defense or while out of possession. A quick transition to attack from defense while in formation is one of Counter-Attacking team’s main aspect. Teams try to gain advance quickly with their pace during a quick break and players off the ball. Teams wouldn’t have the ball much during the attack and would have its attackers bombing forward direct to goal.

In eFootball PES 2020

In PES, again it follows the same tactics and style. The forwards would stay near the halfway line, a gain in possession would ask them to create space and have a quick break. This is highly advisable to follow against teams which have a high defense line and teams with slower defenders. So, the best formations for counter attacking would follow quick through balls or lofted passes to the forwards in a quick attack.

The best formations for counter-attacking in PES starts with 3-4-3 (Diamond)

*Notable Managers with this formation: J. Low, R. Martinez

3-4-3 formation, best formations for counter attacking in PES
The 3-4-3 formation

Even with the risk of having gaps in your defense, the 3-4-3 formation is one of the best formations for counter attacking that can be very efficient for getting more scoring chances. Be it console or mobile, it would a well settled formation, with enough options for both attack and defense. The diamond-like formation will provide the width required for a setup which is essential for creating chances from flanks.

The squad buildup


The defense needs to be well organized. Strong defenders with good pace will be your backline, which is bit wider than usual, so covering these spaces will be important. They are essential to cover the space left behind the wing-backs as well. So, a Build Up playstyle CBs paired with a sole Extra Frontman/Destroyer would be better.


For flanks, preferably wing-backs are the best fits. During defense, there should be support from the wide area, else there would be spaces left out and would be difficult to cover up with only using CBs. If you are trailing with a goal or two, you can sub a quick winger/midfielder to increase attacking options. The two CMF/DMF options can have an Orchestrator and a Box-To-Box combo, as these playstyles are advantageous to initiate an attack. If else, a Destroyer would be great too, as he can join the attack and then track back for defense.


Forwards includes your choices. So, a Prolific Winger/Goal Poacher/Roaming Flank front three would be great. They should be having good offensive awareness, in order to get to balls and then move forward. The CF should be able to head the ball well, for the crosses which can come via the wingers.

TIPS for 3-4-3

Pressing with the CBs should be avoided, because it will create a lot of space for the opposition. With lots of attacking options, you should be able to create play quickly and accuracy of the through balls should be improved as well. Midfield with good interception and ball winning ability and often try to cover the defensive areas. Forwards should have very good speed. Switch to defensive tactics if you are feeling uncomfortable against defending long balls or leaking goals. ‘Conservative pressing and Long Ball’ tactics are recommended.

4-2-1-3 or 4-1-2-3 (a more attacking approach to the traditional 4-3-3)

*Notable Managers with this formation: L. Roman, P. Boer, H. Flick

4-1-2-3 formation, best formations for counter attacking in PES
The 4-1-2-3 is one of the best formations for counter attacking in PES
best formations for counter attacking in PES
A defensive approach to the previous formation, with two midfielders sitting back

The 4-2-1-3 is one of the most popular and used formation in the game, which makes it one of the best formations for counter attacking in PES. The 4-3-3 is regarded as one of the traditional approaches in football formations as it provides good balance for both possession and counter attacking. But here change is that the fullbacks and the creative midfielders are leaning to supply offensive strength for a counter attacking side, compared to a sitting midfield and an organized defense for the possession game of football.

The squad buildup


This would give you a good buildup style to make this one of the best formations for counter attacking in PES following the use of good passing. A Long Pass buildup would be better, as you can have some defense splitting passes through the opponent defense and get behind them as quickly as possible.


This formation is good if you want to hold the ball with your midfield, with your AMF and two CMF/DMF (or with two AMF/CMF and one DMF) making a triangle which would initiate good passing between your midfield would have your opponents creating spaces for you. So, a Classic No.10/Creative Playmaker is a good choice along with a Hole Player as two AMFs, with an Anchorman/Orchestrator CMF/DMF.


In the attacking area, you can use Roaming Flank/Prolific Winger as your Left and Right wingers. This is one of the formations where players like Messi, Salah, Mane and Dembele thrive in. Pace+ Creativity offers so much to this formation. But do not use both the players of the same playstyle. For CF, you can opt for a Goal Poacher/Target Man, because both are helpful even if you are interested to pass a through ball or even cross the ball in. Sometimes, you can have a Dummy Runner to act as a ‘False 9’, which would drag defenses towards and create space for passes.

TIPS for 4-1-2-3

Try to have midfielders with good ball control and passing. They are important in holding the ball and start and attack. Speeding up the attack is very important, so try to keep someone with good pace and dribbling. Don’t try to press hard with your defenders, because midfielders dropping back will provide you more defensive options and will have difficulties for the opponent to get through. If you are leaking too many goals, set up ‘Defensive Tactics’ and work with CMF/DMF in the midfield.

4-3-1-2 (Narrow version of the 4-1-3-2)

*Notable Managers with this formation: F. Santos, M. Sarri, Gallardo, J. Fossati

4-3-1-2 formation, best formations for counter attacking in PES
The 4-3-1-2 formation
best formations for counter attacking in PES
Similar to the previous formation, but this has wide midfielders, for more width

Most prefer wide attacking formations for counter attacks, but this formation is a little bit unique in terms of the formation. Identified as one of the best formations for Counter attacking football in PES 2019 because of its flexibility and also its balance, it is also one of the favorite tactics for online, thanks to its very quick buildup play. The same formation had two wide midfielders last season, which was more common. This season both formations are widely used, depending upon interests. While looking outside the game, teams like Juventus (under Sarri) have been seen using this tactic.

The squad buildup


Defenders, once again, are left to you. A Build-Up playstyle defender with Extra Frontman also works. So, even if you have worries about defense being slow, you can have defensive fullbacks who can cover spaces behind if needed. Some use a four-CB back-line, which makes the formation even narrower and crowded.


The midfield setup is great, while the 4-3-1-2 has three CMF/DMF and one AMF positions whereas the 4-1-3-2 has two wide midfielders with AMF and CMF positions which are convertible. Here the midfield follows a diamond structure, which is great for quick counters through short passing and also defensively good to trap the opposition by crowding the midfield. Have a Hole Player at AMF, because he can act as a forward who is helpful to create as well as finish chances.


Try to have one quick forward with good finishing, with decent heading (need not worry about aerial ability if you are fixed to 4-3-1-2) and another with good physical contact and should be able to win the ball in the air because if you are in the last minutes in the game and in desperate need of a goal, crossing is the option for it. Better if both strikers have the ‘First Time Shot’ skill.

TIPS for 4-3-1-2

You don’t have width offered in this formation (for the narrow one) so make sure you don’t more too forward with your fullbacks. Cover the wide areas using the midfielders. Also, split the midfielders into two each with good offensive and defensive awareness. They are essential because to get to the balls quickly and then start the counter. Players with good short passing are important. Long balls wide should be avoided and all play should be directed in the center.

* Formations are subject to change with future updates. And as they happen, we will make sure to update the article.

Is there any formation that is missed out? Feel free to mention your best formations for counter-attacking in PES in the comment section below! And if you find this helpful, don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for instant updates!

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