FM20 | How To Properly Defend A Corner

Set pieces have always been an important part of football. Especially corners can make or break a team. Corner routines are an important factor nowadays for most football clubs and they no longer can be ignored. I can proudly say that I’ve been able to make a routine that has given me the ability to shutdown my opponents from scoring against me. So make sure you take a closer look at this article!

Since Football Manager 2020 came out, I have played with a few clubs. In every savegame i have been tweaking and tweaking my corner routines up until the point that i was satisfied. This setup has ensured that i dont’t concede much goals from my opponents their corners. Want to know how? Then make sure to read this article.


Let me be very clear from the start about this setup because it is all about taking away any goalscoring opportunities for my opponent. I want to make sure that the most common ways to score from a corner are simply not possible. In order to be successful the first thing i have done is asses my players their strengths and weaknesses. The right player needs to carry out the right task in order for this routine to succeed. Please keep in mind when reading all of this that i’ve used a 442 formation while creating this corner routine.

Taking away any goalscoring opportunity is my intention

First option – shutting down the short corner

One of the first goal scoring opportunities i want to shut down is the short corner. By simply giving my right midfielder the close down corner task the opponent will be pressurized immediately. The amount of time on the ball they will have is very limited. Another great aspect of having a player closing down corners is that he will be there every single time. This means that our opponent needs to cross the ball high into the box because every low cross has a chance of being intercepted.

Second option – scoring from the far or near post

We all know these types of corners which are very hard to defend. Normally i would remove a defender from the far post so i had an extra defender on the six yard line. But i have noticed that the AI in FM20 likes to cross the ball to the far post. So this time both my backs are in charge of covering the near and far post.  Together with the goalkeeper they have to make sure that every ball that comes near these posts gets cleared away.

Third option – the six yard line corner

Another type of corner which is very hard to defend. I believe this really depends on the quality of your own players. In this area you have to deal with everything and thus you have to make sure you can counter most of it. I have placed three players on the six yard line to ensure i have plenty of bodies there. These three are also my tallest players and also the players that have the best attributes when it comes to heading the ball. A fourth player is near the penalty spot and he will function as a handyman.  Together these four will defend from our six yard line to the penalty spot with a ruthless mentality.

Fourth option – scoring from the edge of the area

As you can see on the screenshot above i have also given a player the task of defending the Edge of the Area. By doing this i achieve three simple things. Every ball that gets hoofed out of the box will be chased down by this player, every opponent that wants to take a long shot will get pressurized which will result in either a shitty shot or no shot at all and last but not least if my player receives the ball he can launch a quick counter attack.


Next to the fact that you don’t want your opponents to score from any corner routine i also want to take advantage of them. By making sure that we end up with the ball we always have the possibility to launch a quick counter attack. That is why i always use two players who keep my opponents defenders occupied. As soon as we end up with possession of the ball evyerthing will go very quick. Just look at how this works on the GIF’s below.

My goalkeeper Butland catches the ball and almost immediately plays it to the right wing

My right winger (Barker) receives the ball uncontested. He is allowed to dribble all the way into my opponents six yard area

He misses his own shot but in the rebound one of my players is there to score

As you can see it can work very well. But it all depends on the quality your players have and also against what kind of team you are playing. But i have seen these type of goals quite often in my Rangers savegame so i am sure this setup actually works. You can defend a corner properly and even turn it into a goalscoring chance or an actual goal for your own team. With this setup you can get two birds with one stone and i believe that is what it’s all about.

Thank you for reading and if you like my setup then make sure to share it with other Football Mannager addicts out there!

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