Best 7 V 7 Soccer Formation

When it comes to soccer, there are a lot of things that go into coming out of a match with a win in the bag. Great strikers, good defense, reliable players, everything needs to be taken into account.

And perhaps nothing embodies this idea better than the need for formations in a game of soccer. Having a game plan for where your squad needs to be at any given time is vital, and will make up a good portion of any game plan.

Best 7 V 7 Soccer Formation

Teamwork makes the dream work, after all, so it’s not something that can just be thrown to one side!

However, that also begs the question of what formation is best for what team size? Is there an ideal strategy that you can use in a game for guaranteed results?

That sounds like a great idea on paper, but the truth is a little more complicated.

However that won’t stop us from trying, so we have collected some of the best formations that you can use for a game of 7 v 7 soccer, as well as decide if one of them is the very best for this particular version of this world-beloved sports game.

You should also check out our guide on best 9 v 9 formations.

Right Tool For The Right Job

Now, before we get any further into this guide, there is a point that is worth mentioning what constitutes the ‘best’ 7 v 7 formations in soccer, and what makes finding it so difficult.

The fact of the matter is, soccer games can be intense matches, where the tide or flow of a team’s rhythm can change at the drop of a hat. Tactics need to change and adapt just as quickly to stop a team from completely falling apart.

So, with this benign said, having a single formation that can stand up to these challenges is… well, it’s a tall ask, certainly. Especially when you consider that many soccer formations have a key strength that they excel at, rather than being the best at everything.

So, as we’re looking through the following formations, try to keep in mind that when we are discussing the formations that could qualify as ‘the best’ will likely be either strategy that is ideal for their intended method of soccer play or are flexible enough to change on the fly.


Starting with perhaps what might be considered the classic formation in soccer, we have the 2-3-1.

For this strategy, you have two defenders staying back with the goalkeeper, you have 3 midfielders, and you have a single striker up at the top of the field making for those daring goal kicks into the opposing team’s side.


Now, there are plenty of good reasons that players love this field plan.

For one thing, it’s a great balance of almost every aspect of play in soccer. With this formation, you effectively have a midfield that can support both the attack and defense, giving your team the flexibility that can adapt as a match goes on.

Plus, it’s a very straightforward strategy to employ for both professionals and amateurs. Heck, I managed to explain the full strategy here, so it has to be pretty simple. 

With so many options for keeping possession of the ball, there’s also more opportunity for the defense to move further upfield and away from the center, so even a team’s flanks are covered.


However, it is not without its drawbacks. 

As we’ve already mentioned, this strategy is putting A LOT of work on the midfield to back up both striker and defense, which could mean the midfield loses steam very quickly.

Plus, with a defense that is covering the flanks so much, this can lead to a massive opening in the center of the pitch for a quick enough striker who has possession of the ball.


This formation functions very similarly to the 2-3-1 that we just covered. Only here, there is even more of an emphasis on midfield!

Midfield and striking players are distributed broadly the same here, but instead, one of the players in defense moves slightly ahead of the defense line, and just behind midfield.

Best 7 V 7 Soccer Formation


Just like with the 2-3-1 formation, this strategy prioritizes a strong and flexible midfield but effectively divides the team into 3 players on defense and 3 on the attack. As you can imagine, this gives you a lot of options for both roles, without placing too much stress on any one player.

Plus a defensive midfielder with good possession skills can help set up some excellent strikes.


However, if splitting your team of 7 into 2 teams of 3 plus your goalkeeper sounds like it could cause cohesion on the pitch to break down, well… you’re not wrong. This is a major issue this formation has.

Plus, if midfielders had to be conscious of playing defensively before, they’ll have to work even harder with this formation.


In this game plan, the soccer team changes things up a little by having 2 defenders, 1 midfielder further back, and 2 midfielders ahead just behind a striker.


Again, we see here a great balance of defense and attack on display. A striker isn’t going to be left alone against your opponent’s defense, while your goalie won’t be left to defend the lower field by themselves either.


However, like with other strategies that force the team on two opposite ends of the pitch, this can quickly become a way of splitting a team up into smaller, easier-to-outmaneuver parts for your opponents.

Final Thoughts – What Is The Overall Best Formation?

So, overall, which would we say is the best formation in 7 v 7 soccer?

While these strategies all have their strengths that can be employed, for us, there’s a reason that the 2-3-1 formation is used so much. There is an even spread of both defense and attack, with no discernible exploits aside from potentially tiring out your midfielders.

And while it is true that the defense could leave the center open, that is only if midfield either becomes too tired or becomes too occupied supporting attack over defense.

The fact that this strategy feels like a whole-team strategy, rather than two smaller teams working independently, is what seals the deal for soccer teams across the world.

Adrian Turner
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