EA is thankfully making big changes to the FIFA meta, and in FIFA 22 that means central defenders are going to be playable again. In FIFA 21 they were trash thanks to speed disadvantages. But no more, fast full-backs will no longer dominate in FIFA 22.
This is great news for any FIFA Ultimate Team fans. The meta in FIFA 22 is going to change. Something the players had been asking for, and for a long time.
In the latest pitch-notes, EA announced that they will be working on center-backs. But since pace will remain the most important factor for good players, it's probably left you wondering: how will EA be able to change the meta then?
FIFA 22: New Meta For Center-Backs
EA described the changes like this:
Placing any non-center-back player in a center-back position will have a negative effect on their defensive positional play.
Ok, what does that mean exactly?
Quite simply: The positional play will become more important. So, If you put a fast player in the central defensive position, then he will simply be in a bad position.
We assume that "non-CBs" then cancel the offside on counterattacks without meaningfully defending. Or failing to properly cover the opponent in the case of standards and losing every header duel.
This change is very well received by the community and also by us. After all, the current meta is simply unrealistic - Mbappé was being played as a CB...
Defense Changes in FIFA 22 - New Defense
EA went on to describe how:
With the new tactical AI, your defenders can act more as a unit, maintain the form of the formation when it moves across the field, cover free spaces, mark each defensive zone accordingly.
This probably affects next-gen players in particular. As the Hypermotion feature will only come for PS5 and Xbox Series X / S. We don't yet know what defense will look like without Hypermotion.
Another very important point is persistence. Because in FIFA 22, team stamina will be added. If you call your second defender for help, he will actively sprint to the opponent in charge of the ball for only a few seconds and then return to his position. So this R1 / RB move has to be used much more precisely.
We are curious to see how it all works after the release. It wouldn't be the first time we've heard of major changes and then it feels completely different in the final gameplay. But the new defense sounds sensible.