Football journalist and FIFA fan Darren Cross reveals how he scores goals from corners using the new Set Piece Tactics in the World Cup game.



If you’ve played online against a guy who just kept trying to win corners in the World Cup game recently, chances are it was me.



Sorry about that.In my defence there’s a very good reason; I’ve been testing the new corner Set Piece Tactics so that I could share some tips with you on how to score more goals.



For those of you yet to try them, they’re four preset corners that quickly give you more control over the movement of your players and your focus of attack. Once selected, your players will move where you’ve asked them to – leaving you with the task of finding them with the cross. All four options – which you can also use from attacking free-kicks in wide positions – are a great alternative to setting up a number of custom corners or just aiming for an area of the goal and hoping for the best.



In this week’s Backpage we’re going to look at what each of them does and how you can increase your chances of scoring.



Run Near Post



I score more goals with this one than any of the other three corner types. When timed well it seems to be difficult for the defending player to prevent you from getting to the ball first, and the angle gives you the option to either head the ball towards the near post or try to loop it over the keeper and into the net.



When you win a corner, pressing down on the D-pad twice will always set up a near post run. The players making the runs for you will vary depending on your line-up, but with my 4231 it’s often the CAM who attacks the front post. The key with this one, and all of the corner Set Piece Tactics, is to watch the movement of your players as soon as you’ve selected the corner you want, then delay the cross until they’ve had a chance to take up good positions. If you choose a corner type then instantly whip the ball in there’s a good chance your players won’t be where you think they should.



With the Run Near Post option I line the ball up with the closest corner of the six yard box, wait for the movement then cross the ball in with no more than 1.5 bars of power. That’s a really quick press of the button, not much more than a tap, and it usually drops the ball right on the edge of the six yard box just as my CAM is attacking the space. If the keeper isn’t drawn towards the ball then I’ll usually try for a power header at the near post, but if he does creep forward then a looping header over the top of him can be really effective.



After a few attempts at this in the Arena – you can set up repeat corners from any side by pressing the back or select buttons then picking Practice Set Piece – you should quickly pick up the timings and be able to consistently hit dangerous near post corners. Just make sure you’ve got 11 v 11 selected when you set up the corner you want to work on, otherwise you won’t be practicing a game situation.



Run Far Post



This is a great one to go for early game, as opponents often seem to rush the goalkeeper out when they’re defending the first corner so a cross to the far post should leave them in no man’s land. Pressing down then up on the D-Pad orders far post runs and I’ve found that, when using the 4231, it’s my right midfielder who attacks the post most often.



It’s definitely worth knowing which of your players will be making the runs, and you can figure that out pretty quickly using the Team Management screen in the Customise menu and the Practice Set Piece feature in the Arena. First off, go to Customise then Settings and choose the Select Arena Player option. Pick a player from the team you’re planning to use most, then back out and head into the Arena.



Practice a few corners and take note of which players the ball drops to when using all four of them, then go back to Customise and pick Team Management. From there, select the team you were using and have a look at the positions of the players you crossed the ball to most often. Knowing who the ball is mostly likely to go to from each type of corner can obviously help you decide whether it’s worth it or not. For example, when I’m using 4231 I probably wouldn’t try a Run Far Post move if the RM wasn’t good in the air.



With Run Far Post selected I line the ball up with the far corner of the six yard box and cross with around three bars of power. If I’ve timed it right then my RM will have a good chance of getting to the ball first, and I can either go for goal or head the ball back across the area for someone else to attack.



Edge Of Box Run



I’ve found this to be the most difficult of the four corners to score from, but it’s also the most spectacular when it does work.

Selecting down on the D-pad then pressing it in the direction away from goal will trigger an Edge Of Box Run, and again the players making the runs will depend on your line-up. I used this one a lot with England in a 4231 and Leighton Baines – who was my left-back – would often be the player lurking just outside the area, which worked pretty well when I could get the space to unleash one of his left-foot rockets.



Once you’ve chosen this type of corner, line the ball up with the edge of the D and you should be able to see a team-mate in space. You’ll need to put around 2.5 bars of power on the cross to clear the first defender – anything less and he’ll either intercept or be too close to your player as the ball drops, making it very difficult for you to shoot. You can either go for the spectacular first time volley – I try this 99% of the time, can’t resist – or you can bring the ball down if you have the space. I’ve also scored some nice goals with this corner by playing a first-time pass to set up another nearby team-mate.



Crowd The Keeper



This can also be a useful corner against opponents who rush their keeper out to claim crosses, as it puts a number of your players in the six yard box, which should make it harder for the GK to get to the ball. But I mostly use it when I have a striker with good heading skills, as it’s the ST – again in a 4231 – who seems to attack the ball effectively.



Pressing down on the D-pad then towards the keeper will always select this type of corner, and I line the ball up with the edge of the six yard box and choose no more than two bars of power so that it lands pretty much in line with the penalty spot. That seems to give my ST the best chance of getting to the ball, usually as he’s running back out away from goal – great if you want to try a flying volley by holding LT or L2 while hitting shoot.



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