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Lineup: The basics

As the manager for your team you decide how your team will play and which formation to use. Before each match you submit your decision – your match orders – through the order form found in the match list. Your match orders need to be submitted at least 20 minutes before the start of the game, but remember that the watch of the referee may not agree with yours, so try to avoid last-minute orders if you can. You can also make a match order a "standard setup" (which we recommend you to do for reasons of precaution). This means that Hattrick will assume this setup for future games but you can always adjust your setup according to the particular circumstances affecting matches ahead.

Starting lineup and substitutes

For each match you select your starting eleven players, your substitutes, your set pieces taker and your team captain. In the order form you choose which player goes where by drag and drop.

If one of your players gets injured, the substitute for that position will enter the pitch. If you don't have a substitute assigned to a certain position, or if the substitute is injured as well, one of the other substitutes will automatically get selected to play. If you don't have any able substitutes you'll have to continue the game with 10 players. If you're out of subs and your goalkeeper gets injured (or if you haven't named any), an outfield player will move to that spot. You can also set up conditional substitutions. See the substitutions chapter for more info.


Remember that you must start your league or cup games with at least 9 players to avoid a walkover, which also means the effect of training for the match will be lost.

If you fail to field at least 9 players in non-competitive or youth matches, then the boys from the neighbourhood will replace your team. Contrary to competitive matches, this will not have a negative impact on the training received by players who have been fielded in a competitive match that week.

Choosing team formation

You can play with any formation that can be created in the interface; your training page also includes the full formation list.

Worth knowing is that when more than one player plays in a central position (central defender, inner midfielder or forward); they will not be able to contribute to the team ratings with their full capacity. This contribution loss is also greater for three players than for two. The logic behind this is that as soon as more than one player plays in the same area, they start to rely on each other and thus aren't able to contribute with their whole capacity.

In short, a sole player in a central position contributes to 100%. Using two players in a central position means a contribution loss (affecting both), and using three means a bigger loss (affecting all three). This loss affects all skills of the player.

The size of the contribution loss is bigger for inner midfielders than for forwards, and bigger for forwards than for defenders. More exactly the loss for inner midfielders is around twice that of defenders, with forwards roughly in the middle of the two.

Tactics and team attitude

In the order form you can also set your team's tactic (if any) and the team's attitude for that particular match. The different tactic types are described in the Match: Tactics chapter and team attitude is explained in the Psychology chapter.

Man marking order

With man marking, you instruct one of your players to follow and try to neutralize a key player on the opposing team. Man marking is never without risks, so use it with care - but with the right player and the right timing, it can be an efficient way to even out the odds in a match.

The principle is that you order one of your players to shadow and obstruct a specific player on the opposing team. If the opponent player is on the field, this order triggers after 5 minutes and your player will contribute a lot less to your team than he would normally do. In specific, your player contributes 50% less if the opponent is close and 65% less if he is further away. The benefit for you is that, hopefully, the contribution of the target will also decrease. This depends on how efficient your player is as a man marker. The trick is, of course, to find the situations where man marking pays off and avoid the ones where it will not.

A player that is given man marking instructions can not be given other instructions: This means that giving a player man marking orders cancels out any order he has already received about going offensive, defensive, to the wing or to the middle.

You can only give one man marking order per match to any of your Defenders, Wingbacks and Inner Midfielders and only with a Forward, Winger or Inner Midfielder on the other team as a target. If the player targeted does not show up, or if he plays in a non-markable position, the order becomes void, but your player will still suffer 10% of his contribution. However, a man marking order that has not triggered at the start may become active later in the match, if the target is substituted into the game or if he changes into a markable position.

While a man-marking order is in effect, a player will not contribute with their skills to team tactics (such as Pressing or Counter-Attack). However, he will contribute to tactics with his skills if the man-marking order has not triggered, but only after the 10 % penalty mentioned above is considered.

The defending skill is what matters most for your Man Marker. It is compared to the highest skill of the target player. This check decides how big the penalty will be to the contribution of the target player. Powerful players get a large boost (10%) to their defending skill during man marking calculation, and players with no speciality get a smaller one (5%). For the targets, having the Technical speciality will give you a penalty on their highest skill (-8%) during the man marking calculation, whereas Unpredictable players get a boost (+8%). Form, stamina, experience, loyalty, homegrown, and health are important to both man markers and target players. Note that all these bonuses and penalties due to specialities are taken into account only to calculate the man marking effect, and are not considered for the ratings.

Any penalty for the marking player affects all skills, except Goalkeeping and Set pieces. Penalties to the target player also excludes Defending.

Individual orders

You can give all your outfield players on the pitch individual orders. You can for example order your inner midfielder to play "defensive". This means he's still an inner midfielder, but he concentrates more on the defensive side than normal, and less on attacking. There are four individual orders, see this table for full details and what they mean for each position. Also, you can ask a player to man mark a star player in the opposing team. More about it is explained on Man Marking section.
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