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It's so important to know how you should manage your players’ fitness on practice.Although it is possible to play with low fitness, we recommend that you avoid using players with fitness less than 90 if you don’t want to lose performance.
Option 1 – Using fitness cards
Almost every player that has been starting to play Ultimate Team follows one very basic strategy: every time a player finds itself with low fitness you apply him a fitness card. For every two or three matches played you restore his fitness. Although, quickly you’ll realize this isn’t very economically adequate. Even being a fitness bronze card worth around 300 to 400 FIFA coins for the whole squad, you’ll have to get one for every two matches since all players don’t lose the same amount of fitness through time, and this will make applying squad fitness cards a more expensive alternative than buying individual cards for those players that get tired first. If you add up this to the contracts you spend, you’ll realize your profit is nullified.
Using fitness cards is easy, quick and extremely simple because it doesn’t require you having a big squad. There will always be the same players. Although this strategy might not be recommended because of its costs, truth is that it’s a good option for certain situations. Like when you’re in the finals of a tournament or are about to play other decisive matches, when there are rewards involved, in these cases they should be seen as a good investment. You might want to get your best players fresh and ready.
Option 2 – Alternating match types
This is what many people do. They use their “starting eleven”, the main players, to play in the most important competitions such as on line seasons and tournaments, and as soon as they need some rest, usually after two consecutive matches, they use alternate teams on low difficulty tournaments, like single player ones. In order for this to work, the players that need fitness restoration must be amongst the squad’s substitutes or reserves.
This is a very popular method, especially for people that like to be always using their favourite players. It allows changes that don’t affect the squad’s chemistry, it doesn’t require coins and it’s an easy process overall. The biggest problem is having to interrupt the competition you’re playing in. Most of the time playing these other types of matches isn’t very interesting because you might want to keep playing the competition in sequence.
Option 3 – Using substitutes
In real life, the coach uses substitutes and reserves so they can give some of the starting eleven a rest. It’s the same principle for you to manage your squad. For each position you should have a substitute. When the main player gets injured or has low fitness, his substitute is there to cover for him. Once you have eleven on the pitch and 23 on total, there is one left for you to change tactics. According to the tactic you’re using, you may not even need a substitute for each and every player. For example, in a 3-x-x one, having 5 center backs is enough.
One of the difficulties of using substitutes to run a team is about the fact that not all players get tired at the same speed. It means that from match to match there will be players that are supposedly part of the starting eleven going for a rest and eventually going back.
Option 4 – Using an independent team of the same league/nationality
In alternative for using substitutes to run your squad, you can go on and use an independent group of players. You play normally using your main players and then, as soon as they start to lack fitness, switch them to a whole new group of players of the same league/nationality; use them in a match or two so your main players can restore their fitness. Different than what happens in the previous method, you end up using your favourites less often since you have to give all of them a rest even if only a few need it.
By choosing to build that second team based on the same league or nationality as the starting eleven’s, you’ll be avoiding the risk of having to change the whole team for the next match in case any player gets injured or suspended. Besides, for exceptional cases you’ll be able to choose to restore a player’s fitness in particular by resorting to that second team.
Option 5 – Using an independent team of another league/nationality
You play using your main team and, when you need to restore a single player’s fitness, switch the whole team to a second team that’s totally independent, but has nothing to do with the main one. Normally this means you’ll be using your main team for about two matches before you have to switch them, but in this case it’s not so bad because you won’t be limited by the chemistry and you’ll be able to build a second team that’s as good as the main one.Out of the 23, there’s even one space left able to help a potential injured or suspended player, or an extra one that needs fitness restoration. If you need to change more than one position, there’s no problem on using a substitution during the match for a player that’s resting on the bench, because he’ll get the individual chemistry from the one that started playing.
One of the bad things about this method will be the conditions you might have to follow when you build your teams. Although they’re based on different leagues and nationalities, there can be elements that are common for both teams and you’ll have to choose one, because the same player can’t be in the starting eleven and the bench simultaneously. Building two teams based on two different leagues instead of one league and one nationality won’t be enough to avoid this problem because of transfer seasons, that can happen early on January. They can make one player have two different cards on the same league.