Ruben Amorim 343 Sporting CP Tactical Recreation

After enjoying watching Ruben Amorim’s Sporting this season and their 343 tactic I’ve decided to take what I’ve learnt and try and recreate the tactic in FM23. I’ll go through what I’ve seen and my thoughts before building the tactic and then show you what it looks like in the game. 


The Sporting lineup in a 343 playing out from the back and through the middle of the pitch. A typical passage of play from back to front in the two wide centre backs push wide and the wing backs push up. The double-pivot midfield makes themselves available for the pass, creating almost a 5-5 formation. The keeper then plays out from the back to one of the three centre backs who then look to progress the ball to the two central midfielders. During this time the two wide attackers have moved narrowly creating a narrow front 3.

The wing backs are rarely used in the transition phase only as a safety outlet if no options are narrow but their main job is to push the opponent’s Full backs back. With a slow build-up play the now back 5 (3CBs/2DMs) move the ball up the pitch trying to find passes to the front 3 in particular the two narrow wide men who operate as two tens in attack. You will often see the double pivot offset so Ugarte is behind his midfield partner offering cover. When sporting loses the ball the team retreats the back 5 and 2 DMs drop back into shape and the front 3 do single-man presses 

Notes – no counter press or high press or press more often or prevent short GK distribution.

All these pull the team forward and out of shape at times. We need to ensure the team drops back in. But we will ask the front 3 to press more often via above the Team instruction via their player instructions.

We will add the Drop off more Team instruction to ensure they drop back and we will try a mid-block. 

Now I mentioned Sporting play a 343 FM even suggests this as their best XI

But in FM we’re going to play a 523. The reason for this is that in the defensive phase, they are set as a back 5 and in FM the tactic shape is based on the defensive formation. 



As I mentioned the formation is set as the defensive phase so we want the back 5 to get as deep as possible. I’d imagine a lot of recreations would opt for a back 3 with 4 across the DM positions, for me this wouldn’t work as the wing backs wouldn’t drop back as deep as they should do in a proper recreation.

Team Instructions 

In Possession:

Play out of Defence – As I mentioned Sporting play out from the back so this instruction will ask them to do this

Narrow – we want the team to have minimal width when attacking, the wingbacks will give us natural width

In transition: 

Distribute to centre-backs – This makes sure the goalkeeper looks to play to one of the 3 centre backs

Out of possession:

Much higher defensive line – Sporting plays with a really high line, so this makes sense.

Mid Block – I mentioned earlier we didn’t want a high press as only the front three press but the team doesn’t defend in a low block so a mid-block suits here.

Drop off more – As I mentioned the defence does drop in so this makes sense.

Tactical Recreation in FM

Attacking Phases of Play

You can see here from their recent game vs Arsenal that their front 3 are very narrow supported by the two central midfielders and flanked by the wing backs.

A similar phase of play in FM and we have recreated the same shape. The defensive line is high, the midfield two have their staggered pivot. The wing backs are pushed up and the front 3 are narrow.

Again here when the defenders have the ball you can see how we’ve created the same attacking shape. A narrow front 3, Wing backs giving width and the two central midfielders supporting. We saw this time and time again throughout the recreation where the shape matched up. 

Again with the ball on the far side, we’ve created the same shape. The 325 in attack in play here and the front 3 being really narrow is nice to see.

Sporting Counter

Here in the game the front 3 have won the ball back high and countered
In the game, I’ve asked the two inverted wingers to press more often. The Pressing Forward does this naturally.

Here we have lost the ball when attacking. Their keeper has rolled it out to their defender and he’s passed to his CB partner

As you can see the back 7 have dropped back deep and quickly while the front 3 keep high and look to do single-man presses.

Again here the back 7 have dropped in and so have the wide attackers as the striker operates the single-man press. Maracas then passes it out wide to their RCB and see what happens

My Pressing forward drops in and my LW starts his single-man press. This is showing the single-man press working and the team instructions telling the others to drop in.

Defensive possession

Here you can see the shape the team has when playing out from the back through the centre backs. The 3 centre backs fill the width of the box. The DM has dropped in and the wing backs are wide the right wing-back is just out of shot where the arrow is.

We have created a similar shape here. 3 Centrebacks in the box showing options for the goalkeeper. Wing backs wide and the staggered two defensive midfielders.

And as you can see he’s made the pass to the RCB as we look to build out from the back.

Defensive block

I mentioned above about the team dropping deep and only the front 3 press here you can see how deep they are The whole back 7 are behind the ball defending with just the front 3 ahead of the ball.

A similar situation here, you can see our back 5 are back in deep, our double pivot are back too and the front 3 have dropped in. Again recreating a similar shape.

Things I noticed

Whilst we were playing nice football we were using the wing backs more than Sporting do, I mentioned above that they are mainly used as a safety outlet ball and to push the other team’s defence back so I added:

Team Instruction: Focus Play through the middle

And it worked. This next phase of play will show.

We started with the ball at the back

Coates should now pass into the two DMs

He does, he passes to Goncalves who plays a pass to Ugarte as he is pressed, who then turns and passes forward to Edwards.

Ruben Amorim 343
Edwards then again turns and runs inside
Ruben Amorim 343
Before playing a through ball to Trincao

Ruben Amorim 343
Who runs forwards and shoots narrowly wide. Just the addition of one team instruction changed the recreation and it made it better.

This goal here is another example of it working through the middle,

Coates played it into Ugarte who switches it to Edwards with a through ball to Paulinho to score


Ruben Amorim 343
The tactic ended up like this, just 7 Team instructions were used. The formation gave us the right shape. It was just a case of getting the right roles and player instructions added to get them to attack as they should attack. Player instructions were added just to the two Inverted wingers as mentioned.

I’d love for you to download the tactic and give it a go. Below is the link.

Tactic download LINK



  • Daniel Gear

    Dan Gear is a vibrant member of the Football Manager (FM) community, renowned for his engaging content and insightful tutorials. He illuminates complex FM concepts on "View From The Touchline" and shares engaging narratives through his unique European Journeyman save reveals. Dan's collaborative spirit shines in partnerships with fellow creators like FM Stag, unraveling new FM features. He's a co-host of the engaging "Grass N Gear" podcast, making the FM experience more enjoyable for many. With a blend of humor, expertise, and a knack for community engagement, Dan Gear's contributions significantly enrich the Football Manager community, making him a cherished figure among enthusiasts.

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