Introduction: How do these articles work?
Each week I examine a different team in detail and look at why they’re a good team for FIFA 18’s career mode. The teams are broken down into the following categories:
- Tier 1: Teams in tough divisions that can push on to challenge for silverware
- Tier 2: Teams that will have to fight for survival in a challenging division
- Tier 3: Teams that start in a lower division but can hope to get promoted and work their way up higher leagues
- Tier 4: Teams that start right at the bottom of the pile, with few funds or high potential players
Wolves (tier 3)
Tier 3 sides start in a low division but have a great chance of working their way up the leagues – perfect for ‘journey’ career modes or returning a team to former glory.
Starting transfer budget: £20,275,202
Starting wage budget: £85,332
Default formation: 5-2-3
• Domestic success: High
• Continental success: Very low
• Brand exposure: Medium
• Financial success: Very low
• Youth development: Medium
Key player: Diogo Jota
Best young prospect: Rubén Neves
Why choose Wolves?
Picking a team like Wolves is a recipe for a great career mode experience. They’ve got a wealth of talented players on board (including two players with 86 potential at the time of writing) and a great budget, giving them a great shot at promotion at the first time of asking. They can also play fast, attacking football, so you shouldn’t be short of excitement in the matches you play.
At the same time, a lot of those talented players are only loaned in, so you’ll have to replace them. They also play in the Championship, which is one of the most competitive divisions in FIFA 18. While you’ll have a good chance of getting promoted, it’s by no means guaranteed – you’ll have to work for it.
Wolves’ key player is Diogo Jota. He’s a pacey winger with good physical stats and a keen eye for goal, so will contribute plenty of goals. He starts at 78 OVR (high for the Championship) and has 86 potential, but unfortunately is only loaned in from Atlético Madrid. That means you may miss him when he’s gone.
The highest potential player in the squad is Rúben Neves. Like Jota, Neves also has 78 OVR and 86 potential. However, the good news is he’s yours to keep, and will quickly establish himself as a key player in the squad. He’s a highly creative playmaker with 85 long and short passing, so make sure you play through him when you start your attacks.
Tactics to use
Wolves are blessed in that they have a lot of very high potential players in the squad. Here’s the team’s highest potential lineup:
And here’s a look at how those players’ potentials stack up:
Although Wolves’ default formation is 5-2-3, I’d recommend switching to 4-3-3 in order to make best use of the players at your disposal. The team has plenty of good wingers, so using a false 9 can make use of these players good dribbling and ball control skills.
The good thing about this formation is it’s very easy to tweak if you want to adjust your game plan. If the false 9 setup isn’t working, just push your false 9 slightly further forward and play Léo Bonatini in that position. That’ll give you a strong target man with two wingers to provide service, and therefore a new approach to attacking your opponent.
Here’s how I’d line up using the false 9 formation:
With three solid midfielders in the centre you should be able to quickly shut down opposition attacks and start your own. Use N’Diaye as the ball-winning midfielder and Neves as the playmaker, with Saïss operating as the bridge between the two.
Key signings required: GK, RB, ST
Wolves may be stuffed with talented players and overflowing with cash, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t areas of improvement. Our first priority is getting a new goalkeeper, but we could strengthen the defence some more with a new right back. Once Jota, Bonatini and Benik Afobe return to their parent clubs we’ll need a new striker, so we’ll add that position to the list as well. Let’s see what we can get.
Wolves actually have a fair few goalkeepers, but none particularly stand out. The most promising is Harry Burgoyne, but he has 74 potential, and we want someone better than that really.
I recommend Simone Scuffet of Udinese. He starts at 73 OVR so will easily be your best goalkeeper, and his 82 potential means things will stay that way. He’s tall and has great reflexes, so will be a good shot-stopper at close range.
He’ll set you back £5.5m, and his wages are £15,500.
Club: Toulouse FC
While Wolves are great on the attack, in defence they struggle a little. That’s very obvious at right back, where their best player is Matt Doherty with 73 OVR and 76 potential. He’s fine in the Championship, but you want to be moving up to the Premier League (and staying there). For that, you’ll need a better full back.
Go satisfy that need, get Kelvin Amian of Toulouse FC. He’s primarily a defensive-minded right back, and his tackling and marking stats are among his best. He’s good going forward as well though, where his 77 stamina and strong passing will make him very useful. He’s also fairly close to his potential, and given his young age you might see him exceed it.
He costs £7.5m, and his wages are £14,000.
Club: Villarreal CF
Wolves have a problem with their strikers, in that all of their first team ones are only loaned in. Diogo Jota, Léo Bonatini and Benik Afobe will all be gone at the end of the season, leaving you with Rafa Mir (67 OVR, 80 potential) and Niall Ennis (58 OVR, 78 potential) as the only strikers in the squad. That’s not enough.
I mentioned earlier that you can easily switch the 4-3-3 formation between having a false 9 and a target man. Well, Roger Martínez fits both roles very well. He’s both fast and strong, plus good in the air and with his feet. He’s also got four star skill moves, perfect if you like to beat the opponent with trickery. He’s a jack-of-all-trades who should fit a number of different tactical approaches.
As for price, he’ll cost you £4.75m, with wages of £27,000.
Those transfers will total £17.75m, with £56,500 spent on wages. That leaves around £2.5m for fees and bonuses, plus scouts. If you want to raise a bit more money, you could consider selling some of the following players.
First of all, sell Carl Ikeme for about £950,000. Although Wolves desperately need a new goalkeeper, they actually have quite a few players in this positions already – it’s just that most of them aren’t particularly good.
The team also has too many centre backs, so sell Danny Batth for £1.6m.
That should bring in close to £2.6m, which can get you a decent scout to add to your staff.
That’s it for this week’s article on good teams for career mode. Wolves are blessed with a wealth of talent and a wealth of riches too, so you’ll have no trouble getting promoted. The real challenge starts when you get into the Premier League – can you keep them there and survive against the giants of English football?
I’d like to hear if you have any thoughts about the format of the article itself. Did you find it useful? Conversely, do you think it was missing something that you’d have liked me to include?