7v7 formation 2-3-1

Here we look at the 7v7 2-3-1 formation and how it fits in with the players you have in your team.


This is the ideal formation for moving from 7v7 through 9v9 to 11v11, simply by adding players to the existing structure. The strong diamond shapes through the middle make it a good passing structure. The midfield is very strong and can run the game linking defence with attack. It is strong against the counterattack thanks to the midfield/defence diamond.


The midfield has to work hard or the formation breaks down – overlaps with the front player plus support on the wings and from behind are vital. The central defence is strong but relies on the midfield getting back to slot into any holes in fullback areas.


It works best with one fast defender who can cover like a sweeper and one defender who can go higher up the pitch to support the midfield. It is strong centrally but it relies on the midfield getting back to help out.


The two wide midfielders must work as wingbacks supporting the defence and being active in attack, supporting the lone attacker. The central midfielder protects the area in front of the penalty box and must be the creative force behind attacking moves.


The weakest link in the formation, the attacker has to hold the ball and wait for support, and must go it alone for fast counterattacks. The attacker needs to be fit and mobile, requiring good service to create scoring chances.

Player development

This is a great formation for learning the positions and responsibilities – all areas are covered and players must work for each other, understanding the problems each area of the pitch faces when in and out of possession.
You should ensure your players have the opportunity to experience every position in this formation to help with their development and understanding.


    1. The wide midfielders provide the attacking width to support the attacker
    2. The defensive pair must look for opportunities to pass inside to the attacking midfielder or outside to the wide players
    3. Lots of passing opportunities for the midfielders to support each other and the attacker
    4. The lone attacker needs support from behind and out wide, with lots of passes needed for the attacker to run onto and shoot from


    1. The back two must move to cover all areas – one fast defender can play as a sweeper to cover the backline
    2. Wide midfielders must drop back and cover wide areas, dropping into the position of fullback
    3. The central midfielder must police the area in front of the penalty box letting no opponents past
    4. The attacker must press the opposition high up the pitch, forcing errors to help win the ball
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