Friday, August 31, 2018 5:51 PM

UEFA’s ignorance towards a political issue could cost Arsenal Europa League success

Dream Team FC
UEFA’s ignorance towards a political issue could cost Arsenal Europa League success

Football and politics mixing is never a pretty sight.

Arsenal were one of four British clubs who were handed their Europa League fates in today’s draw.

The Gunners, at first glance, were handed a favourable looking group, drawn alongside Qarabag and FC Vorksla, with only Sporting CP likely to pose a test.

Getty Images - Getty Unai Emery’s experience in the competition could prove invaluable[/caption]

The task facing Arsenal in their away clash with Qarabag and also the final, should they make it that far, has however emerged as a lot tougher than first thought.

Just moments after the draw pitted Arsenal against the Azerbaijani side, a bizarre ruling came to light.

It leaves UEFA with a lot to answer for.

Arsenal are set to be without Henrikh Mkhitaryan for their trip to Qarabag because of visa-related problems.

Getty - Contributor The playmaker will have to watch on from home[/caption]

Strained diplomatic relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan, down to an ongoing conflict, has caused tensions between the two nations to rise.

The dispute has led to Azerbaijan banning Armenians from entering the country.

Mkhitaryan would only be allowed access to the country should UEFA obtain a special visa to grant the Armenian ability to travel.

Reuters Qarabag faced Chelsea in last season’s Champions League[/caption]

UEFA released a statement following the draw to try and clarify the situation:

“It is a standard procedure for Uefa to send letters of support to associations, clubs or embassies in order to obtain visa for players in order to be able to travel to another country and play in Uefa competition matches.”

Reuters Mkhitaryan has featured in all of Arsenal’s Premier League game so far[/caption]

This is not the first occasion where Mkhitaryan has found himself in such a position.

During his time with Borussia Dortmund, the playmaker was omitted from Thomas Tuchel’s squad to play Azerbaijani club Gabala in 2015.

Mkhitaryan was told he would receive a visa upon landing in the country, however Dortmund decided to leave him at home after security concerns.

EPA Dortmund still managed a 3-1 without their talisman[/caption]

The situation gets worse for Arsenal with the realisation that the 29-year-old would, if Arsenal made it all the way, also miss the final.

With the competition’s show-piece event set to be staged at the Olympic Stadium in Baku, Mkhitaryan would once again be ruled out.

The situation regarding the Armenian’s availability for the final on May 29 should become clearer after the forthcoming clash against Qarabag.

The Olympic stadium in Baku will host the final

Although an isolated political problem and something that is out of UEFA’s control, they have still played their part in this.

When deciding upon a suitable venue for the final, it seems bizarre to award it to Azerbaijan with the knowledge that this might occur.

In terms of the draw, you would have thought that political tensions and how they might impact ties would have been considered.

Procedures should have been put in place to prevent sides with Armenian players travelling to Azerbaijan.

Getty - Contributor It’s the start of another European journey for last season’s beaten semi-finalists[/caption]

European football’s governing body simply discounted the possibility of this scenario occurring, especially with such a high-profile club like Arsenal.

Arsenal felt aggrieved by UEFA’s shambolic cup-tied ruling that meant Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was ineligible for selection in the tournament last season.

Although this latest blunder isn’t their sole responsibility, UEFA would have been left red-faced by the way the draw panned out.

Why aren’t we surprised.

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Thursday, August 30, 2018 11:51 PM

Perez lashes out at Inter: They tried to take Modric without paying for him

English // marca
Perez lashes out at Inter: They tried to take Modric without paying for him
Perez lashes out at Inter: They tried to take Modric without paying for him

FIFA 19: EA Sports is finally about to change the Weekend League

Dream Team FC
FIFA 19: EA Sports is finally about to change the Weekend League

EA Sports could be about to drastically change the Weekend League.

Speaking to Eurogamer, creative director Matt Prior revealed EA was aware of gamer concerns that the 40-games required to play every weekend was too much.

When asked if there were changes coming to the mode in response to criticism, Prior said: “I think they’re tuning now that right now.”

Neymar in action on FIFA 19

He continued: “I’m not sure exactly if they’ve decided on the final amount. I know there was a lot of community feedback on that, and Rivals was directly driven by that feedback that it felt like a bit of a grind to get there.

“So I know they’re still tuning, but I’m not sure of the exact amount of games you’ll need to play in weekend league. I know they’re in flux and tuning as they do up until the launch.”

Another big announcement this year was the introduction of Survival Mode.

One of the biggest additions to this year’s FIFA is ‘Survival Mode’.

Ronaldo is the FIFA 19 cover star

The aim of the game is simple – every time your team scores a goal, you lose a player. The first to lose five players wins.

It’s certainly a neat idea – and one that, at face value, seems somewhat inspired by the booming battle royale genre.

But according to Prior, that’s not the case.

In fact, Survival Mode was something FIFA developer EA had been working on long before the likes of Fortnite and PUBG started making waves.

Alex Hunter returns in FIFA 19

“We’ve got a laundry list of features we want to do so it’s not something that was born this year,” he said.

“FIFA Street 2012 had a similar mode. We felt it was the right time now because we wanted to open up FIFA to a more casual audience.”

He continued: “We see a lot of people play Kick Off  – particularly the casual guys – and previously it was a one-off game that kind of disappeared into the ether.

“So, we wanted to do multiple things with Kick Off – obviously there’s now stats tracking which makes every game meaningful in the sense that it always tracks your stats.

“Plus, we now give gamers the ability to change rules – we just wanted to inject a little bit more fun into things.

FIFA 19 is getting with the times as fans in the crowd now take selfies

“Obviously, authenticity is and always will be a key pillar for us but at the same time it’s important to remember that it’s a game and it’s all about having fun.

“This is especially true for those casuals who may not live and breathe football. It’s an opportunity for them to play FIFA and have a different experience.

“Likewise, for the core – if you’ve playing FIFA for 10 years, this is something fresh and new. Interestingly, it’s actually the core guys who are coming up to us saying, ‘this is awesome’.

Elsewhere, EA Sports also revealed why they decided to call time on Alex Hunter’s Journey on FIFA.

Timed finishing can be switched off in the menu

Prior said it was always their intention to have a trilogy – culminating in Hunter playing in the Champions League.

“We envisaged it three years ago now – and we always envisaged it as a trilogy because that’s a trope movies followed,” he said.

“We always envisaged it that each year would tell a different level of football. Year one was him breaking out into the professional game, year two was him spreading his wings and going to LA and Europe and year three was him competing in the ultimate goal in football – the Champions League.” You can read the full story here

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Wednesday, August 29, 2018 10:57 AM

​Karius: Liverpool wanted me to stay

Tribal Football - Football News, Soccer News, Transfers & Rumours
​Karius: Liverpool wanted me to stay
​Karius: Liverpool wanted me to stay

Loris Karius says Jurgen Klopp was keen to keep him at Liverpool this season before sanctioning his two year loan move to Besiktas, reports Sky Sports.

Speaking at his Besiktas unveiling, Karius said: "He [Klopp] told me he would like to have me in the squad because he wants to have the best quality players.

Read more on Tribal Football

Tuesday, August 28, 2018 5:48 PM

Djokovic drops a set but goes through after beating Fucsovics

English // marca
Djokovic drops a set but goes through after beating Fucsovics
Djokovic drops a set but goes through after beating Fucsovics

Son and co face Vietnam and ‘Korean Hiddink’ at Asian Games

Football – Inquirer Sports
Son and co face Vietnam and ‘Korean Hiddink’ at Asian Games
Son and co face Vietnam and 'Korean Hiddink' at Asian Games

If South Korea’s national team is to reach the final of the Asian Games and win an exemption from military service for its players, then it will have to get past Vietnam and the “Korean Hiddink.” Korean coach Park Hang-seo, a member of Guus Hiddink’s coaching staff at the 2002 World Cup when South Korea […]

The post Son and co face Vietnam and ‘Korean Hiddink’ at Asian Games appeared first on Inquirer Sports.

Monday, August 27, 2018 5:36 AM

Incredible FA Cup final footage shows exactly what referee hears and says with a big VAR decision

Dream Team FC
Incredible FA Cup final footage shows exactly what referee hears and says with a big VAR decision

We bet most of you had forgotten about VAR now the Premier League has returned?

That would be everyone except those watching Willy Boly punch the ball home against Man City on Saturday.

Well, it’s reared it’s head again with some incredible footage from last season’s FA Cup final.

Nothing to see hereGetty Images - Getty

Michael Oliver referee’d the first FA Cup final using VAR between Chelsea and Man United last May and there was plenty of controversy.

Antonio Conte had pretty much already been sacked before the game started and then just 20 minutes in Phil Jones did what Phil Jones does to bring Eden Hazard down in the area for a penalty.

The referee appeared to give the spot-kick straight away without much reference to VAR, he didn’t pull out the TV screen hand signal or go over to the monitors.

But this clip shows exactly what happens on the pitch when VAR is used in the background for a huge moment.

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This is what referees hear and say on the field during a VAR decision. Shown on NBCSN just now. pic.twitter.com/8CnGA4Iv2e

— Para (@Paracelsus) August 26, 2018

Pretty mad, isn’t it?

The first thing that struck us was the always-on chatter from Oliver as the ball was in play.

And also oddly interesting that refs call all the players by their first name.

Telling Paul Pogba to miss him with a pass as United attacked Chelsea.

Then as the ball breaks up to the other end all hell breaks loose on comms.

There are shouts of DOGSO, DOGSO from the VAR, which we soon find out means ‘denying a goalscoring opportunity’, fair enough.

And for some reason Oliver shouts, “Not now, not now.” as Jones slides in, presumably telling himself it’s a nailed on foul as soon as he leaves his feet.

Interestingly the VAR immediately confirms it was denying a goalscoring opportunity before adding that they will check the footage.

Meanwhile the Chelsea players run forward and beg for a red card for Jones, while the United players protest his innocence.

They’ve had in rugby for ages, but this is one of the first times we’ve heard a referee explain to the players the reasoning for his decision on the pitch.

Then comes the best bit.

Ashley Young comes over to Oliver to ask for VAR to review the incident before the penalty is taking, but Oliver’s having none of it.

Oliver hits back saying that VAR has checked it already which clearly stuns Young, you can just hear a high-pitch noise as he questions how.

Then Oliver enters full school teacher mode as he repeats to Jesse Lingard and Young that VAR checks it anyway in his most patronising voice.

We are all for the refs to always be mic’d up here at Dream Team HQ.

What an insight.

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Sunday, August 26, 2018 10:03 AM

Chicksen joins exclusive club at Bradford City

Sport – The Standard
Chicksen joins exclusive club at Bradford City

ADAM Chicksen is the proud member of an exclusive club at Valley Parade.

The post Chicksen joins exclusive club at Bradford City appeared first on The Standard.

Saturday, August 25, 2018 4:06 PM

Jurgen Klopp says Liverpool 'have a lot more to do' after Brighton win

The Independent - Football
Jurgen Klopp says Liverpool 'have a lot more to do' after Brighton win
Jurgen Klopp says Liverpool 'have a lot more to do' after Brighton win
Mohamed Salah's 29th goal in 29 appearances at Anfield secured a 1-0 win over Brighton in a game when the Reds failed to reach the levels which is now expected of them

Friday, August 24, 2018 9:18 PM

Chelsea boss Sarri declares his transfer hopes for Kovacic

Tribal Football - Football News, Soccer News, Transfers & Rumours
Chelsea boss Sarri declares his transfer hopes for Kovacic
Chelsea boss Sarri declares his transfer hopes for Kovacic

Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri is pleased with what he's seen from Mateo Kovacic since his arrival.

On-loan from Real Madrid, Kovacic made his debut in victory over Arsenal last week.

Read more on Tribal Football

Why schools require pupils to play sports during examinations

Sport – The Standard
Why schools require pupils to play sports during examinations

SOME pupils, and even parents, come out with the line that they are very sorry, but their child cannot take part in a school sports fixture or even practice because […]

The post Why schools require pupils to play sports during examinations appeared first on The Standard.

Thursday, August 23, 2018 9:42 AM

Ex-Brazil football boss gets 4 years in prison in FIFA probe

Football – Inquirer Sports
Ex-Brazil football boss gets 4 years in prison in FIFA probe
Ex-Brazil football boss gets 4 years in prison in FIFA probe

NEW YORK — A former South American football official convicted on corruption charges in the sprawling FIFA bribery scandal was sentenced in federal court to four years in prison on Wednesday. Jose Maria Marin, a former president of Brazil’s soccer federation, also was ordered to forfeit $3.3 million and pay a $1.2 million fine in […]

The post Ex-Brazil football boss gets 4 years in prison in FIFA probe appeared first on Inquirer Sports.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018 2:42 PM

Arsenal defender Mustafi talks up Leno foot skills

Tribal Football - Football News, Soccer News, Transfers & Rumours
Arsenal defender Mustafi talks up Leno foot skills
Arsenal defender Mustafi talks up Leno foot skills

Shkodran Mustafi has talked up Arsenal teammate Bernd Leno.

The German, signed from Bayer Leverkusen for 19m this summer, has failed to displace Petr Cech as Unai Emery's starting goalkeeper. However, Cech has struggled playing out from the back as Emery demands, and Mustafi has endorsed Leno's skill with the ball at his feet.

Read more on Tribal Football

Tuesday, August 21, 2018 8:48 PM

Fantasy football tips: Benjamin Mendy is just two games away from smashing his Premier League points total

Dream Team FC
Fantasy football tips: Benjamin Mendy is just two games away from smashing his Premier League points total

Thinking back to Manchester City’s brilliant run to the Premier League title last season, we hardly dared to believe Pep Guardiola’s side could get any better.

But lo and behold, they’ve started this campaign off in incredible fashion, making light work of Arsenal and Huddersfield in their first two games.

Of course, there’s still a long way to go, but even at this early stage it’s hard to look beyond City to defend their crown.

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Largely, their team is almost identical to the one that won last season’s title.

Transfer-wise, Guardiola only really added Riyad Mahrez to his squad, while his summer clear-out was no where near as expansive as the year before; with only Joe Hart and Yaya Toure the notable sales.

But with the early-season form and fitness of Benjamin Mendy and his presence at full-back in City’s first two games of the season, the Frenchman almost feels like a new signing (as cliched as that sounds).

Reuters Mendy already has three assists to his name this season[/caption]

At the start of the season, Guardiola insisted his side could improve on their record-breaking campaign and boldly claimed the long-injured left-back could be key to their plans.

“Inserting Mendy into the group and playing in different ways,” was his answer, when asked how.

AFP or licensors Guardiola expects[/caption]

Some of us were sceptical.

After all, the left-back had only played in seven Premier League games in the 2017/18 season, before rupturing the anterior cruciate ligament in his knee at the end of September.

His injury gremlins haunted his World Cup too, as he only played in one of France’s World Cup games.

In fact, if it wasn’t for his presence on Twitter, we probably would’ve forgotten all about him.

Oops 😅 https://t.co/dVBYJNbKPM

— Benjamin Mendy (@benmendy23) August 12, 2018

He was certainly a frustrating player when it came to fantasy football.

Last season, he finished up with a haul of just 36 points, which is probably what you’d expect from a player who spent most of his time on the sidelines.

But after two games of the current campaign, he’s already boasting a total of 17 points; thanks to his two assists against Arsenal and the clean-sheet bonus, coupled with his assist against Huddersfield at the weekend.

3 – 🇫🇷 Benjamin Mendy has already delivered 3 assists in the Premier League 🇬🇧, a French defender has not done better in a single season in the competition since Patrice Evra in 2012/13 (5). Back. pic.twitter.com/GHuDDUjQSM

— OptaJean ⭐⭐ (@OptaJean) August 20, 2018

Averaging 8.5 points per a match at the moment (17 points, two games, we did the tough maths so you don’t have to), we estimate that the Frenchman will smash his pitiful tally of last season in just a couple of weeks.

City’s next game is their away trip to Wolves, followed by an Etihad double-header against Newcastle and then Fulham.

So feasibly, Mendy could surpass his 2017-18 total by the beginning of September.

Not many players can say that, eh?

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Usain Bolt trains for 1st time with Central Coast Mariners

Football – Inquirer Sports
Usain Bolt trains for 1st time with Central Coast Mariners
Usain Bolt trains for 1st time with Central Coast Mariners

GOSFORD, Australia — Star sprinter Usain Bolt says he passed up the chance to trial with clubs in Europe before accepting an offer to trial for a professional contract with the Central Coast Mariners in Australian football’s A-League. Bolt trained with the Mariners for the first time on his 32nd birthday Tuesday, taking part in […]

The post Usain Bolt trains for 1st time with Central Coast Mariners appeared first on Inquirer Sports.

Monday, August 20, 2018 9:24 AM

​Liverpool keeper Karius poised for Besiktas loan

Tribal Football - Football News, Soccer News, Transfers & Rumours
​Liverpool keeper Karius poised for Besiktas loan
​Liverpool keeper Karius poised for Besiktas loan

Liverpool are in advanced talks with Besiktas about a potential two-year loan move for the Reds' German goalkeeper Loris Karius.

Karius has not played a competitive match for the Premier League club since his two errors helped Real Madrid win the Champions League final on 26 May.

Read more on Tribal Football

Sunday, August 19, 2018 3:36 PM

Etheridge continues to impress

Football – Inquirer Sports
Etheridge continues to impress

Filipino international Neil Etheridge continued his impressive start in the English Premier League as his heroics helped earn Cardiff City’s first point of the season at Cardiff City Stadium over the weekend.

The post Etheridge continues to impress appeared first on Inquirer Sports.

Saturday, August 18, 2018 8:39 PM

Shabanie Mine FC on the brink of collapse

Sport – The Standard
Shabanie Mine FC on the brink of collapse

Shabanie Mine Football Club is probably the poorest club in the Premier Soccer League and mainly survives on hand-outs.

The post Shabanie Mine FC on the brink of collapse appeared first on The Standard.

Premier League Transfers – All Completed and Confirmed Signings

News – World Soccer
Premier League Transfers – All Completed and Confirmed Signings

Check out all the latest Premier League transfer news, signings, and fees here

Liverpool's new signing Alisson Becker (Getty Images) Check out all the latest Premier League transfer news, signings, and fees here

Friday, August 17, 2018 8:09 AM

Hazard & Real Madrid: Why Chelsea beating Arsenal can see Florentino snubbed

Tribal Football - Football News, Soccer News, Transfers & Rumours
Hazard & Real Madrid: Why Chelsea beating Arsenal can see Florentino snubbed
Hazard & Real Madrid: Why Chelsea beating Arsenal can see Florentino snubbed

COMMENT: So Saturday. Chelsea v Arsenal. A career defining game? A result to decide the richest move of the summer market...?

It's coming. Especially after Tallinn. This column has been told a bid will be made. Having come in strong. Then backed off. Florentino Perez, the Real Madrid president, saw enough on Wednesday night. There's no getting around it. Real need Eden Hazard.

Read more on Tribal Football

Thursday, August 16, 2018 1:00 PM

Six new signings to watch in Serie A

Football – Inquirer Sports
Six new signings to watch in Serie A
Six new signings to watch in Serie A

Cristiano Ronaldo’s move to Juventus has injected an air of expectation into the Italian championship not felt in decades while spending has smashed the one billion euro mark with more than a day still to go before the transfer window closes. Champions Juventus top the spree with 235 million euros ($265 million) invested in new […]

The post Six new signings to watch in Serie A appeared first on Inquirer Sports.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018 8:39 PM

With Ronaldo gone, only Griezmann can hope to stop Messi

Football – Inquirer Sports
With Ronaldo gone, only Griezmann can hope to stop Messi
With Ronaldo gone, only Griezmann can hope to stop Messi

BARCELONA, Spain — Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure from Real Madrid has left a gaping hole at Real Madrid and in the Spanish league. How will Madrid ever replace the forward who scored an average of 50 goals per season for nine straight years? The answer, of course, is that it won’t. The only player capable of […]

The post With Ronaldo gone, only Griezmann can hope to stop Messi appeared first on Inquirer Sports.

Teamwork builds character

Sport – The Standard
Teamwork builds character

IN 1998 Mark Taylor was the captain and opening batsman of the Australian cricket team playing against Pakistan in the Second Test match. At the end of day two, he […]

The post Teamwork builds character appeared first on The Standard.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018 8:18 AM

FIFA 19: Absolutely everything about EA Sports’ new game – demo release date, PS4 news, Career Mode, Ultimate Team and more

Dream Team FC
FIFA 19: Absolutely everything about EA Sports’ new game – demo release date, PS4 news, Career Mode, Ultimate Team and more

FIFA 19 is a little over two months away from release.

Here, we you’ll find out everything you need to know about the game – from the cover star to the trailer, not to mention an in-depth look at some new features.

FIFA 19 Standard and Champions Editions are available to pre-order from GAME and Amazon

Don’t forget, if you’re a Fortnite fan – check out everything in our complete Fortnite guide here.

Anyway, let’s kick off with that all-important question…

When’s the demo coming out?

The FIFA 19 demo will likely drop in September, two weeks or so before launch.

What will be in the demo?

If E3 code is anything to go by, there will be nine playable teams in the demo.

These are as follows:

Bayern Munich Juventus PSG Man City Man United Borussia Dortmund Real Madrid Atletico Madrid Tottenham Hotspur

Who’s the best player on the demo?

Ratings have not been revealed but Cristiano Ronaldo will likely be the highest rated star on the demo.

Will The Journey be in the demo?

This has not been confirmed.

Will FIFA 19 have the Champions League?

Yes. FIFA 19 will feature the Champions and Europa Leagues.

Will it feature the Chinese Super League?

Yes! The Chinese Super League looks set to be featured in FIFA 19.

It follows a tweet appearing to show the CSL in the game during an official presentation from Playstation.

Read all about the CSL in FIFA 19 here.

Image result for pes champions leagueCristiano Ronaldo showing off the Champions League trophy on PES 2018

It comes as Konami and UEFA ended their partnership, which ran for the past 10 years.

You can read more about Konami losing the Champions League licence here.

Have any new stadiums been added to the game?

FIFA 19 will feature the brand new White Hart Lane stadium, EA Sports has announced.

The deal means Spurs fans will be able to play at their brand-new stadium on both the FIFA 19 demo and the full FIFA 19 game.

The official statement on the club’s website reads: “Tottenham Hotspur has today announced Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: EA), creator of the EA SPORTS™ FIFA 19 computer game series, as the Club’s Official Video Game Partner.

“EA SPORTS™ previously enjoyed a successful partnership with the Club between 2012 and 2015.”

You can read more about FIFA 19’s stadiums here.

Will Ultimate Team cards look different?

Yes, FIFA fans may have just got their first look at this year’s Ultimate Team cards – after the design appears to have been leaked online.

The image shows Kylian Mbappe’s card from the upcoming game – complete with a few tweaks that give it a different feel from FIFA 18.

Niiiiiice

The big change here is the rating, which now in line with the surname, and no longer at the top left. It also features a black background to help it stand out.

Read more about the FIFA 19 Ultimate Team card design here.

Any other leagues?

Italian publication Gazzetta della Sport reported that FIFA 19 will also include the full rights to the Serie A and Coppa Italia.

You can read all about it here

Will it have cross-play?

In an interview with Eurogamer, FIFA’s creative director Matt Prior revealed cross-platform play – much like we’ve seen in Fortnite – was something EA Sports is looking into for their FIFA series.

“It’s something we often talk about,” he said.

FIFA 19 Standard and Champions Editions are available to pre-order from GAME and Amazon

“There are a lot of issues to work through with various first parties. But Fortnite does that now with PC to consoles.”

Read the full FIFA 19 news here.

What are the biggest changes this year?

There are a host of new gameplay features and tweaks set to arrive to this year’s game.

Here are the most important.

Neymar was a big part of the FIFA 19 trailer Sweet spot

If you tap Circle or B just as your foot hits the ball, you massively increase the chance of striking it into the top corner.

It’s all about timing, so get it wrong and you’ll be punished with a scuffed shot.

Tactics

Game plans have been introduced this year – which are set up before a match.

Here, you can set what tactics your team has depending on certain situations – such as if they’re 1-0 up or losing a match.

Once you have made the plans, simply assign to a D-pad press and you’re good to go.

FIFA 19 Standard and Champions Editions are available to pre-order from GAME and Amazon

Unlike last year, when it was hard to see if a tactical option had been executed, there’s now a clear toggle for on-the-fly instructions.

We’ve seen this before

You’re also now able to adjust your team’s width and depth, as well as instruct your full backs what kind of runs to make in attack or your centre back to cover certain areas of the pitch.

There’s greater control over your team’s defensive style, too – with new settings: “pressure after possession loss,” “constant pressure,” “drop back,” “balanced,” and “pressure on heavy touch.”

Sounds great!

Revised mini-map

A simple but welcome change.

One team will now have triangle icons, the other will have circles – so it’s easier to see who’s who.

Graphics look to have been tweaked and improved Champions League

EA has got everything from the Champions League logo including the commentary team, Derek Rae and Lee Dixon.

It’ll also have its own mode and the ability to create custom tournaments. Amazing.

Europa League

This was slightly overshadowed by the Champions League announcement, but yes the Europa League will also be in FIFA 19.

Expect the full broadcast package, too.

General gameplay 

Passing has been re-worked to feel more natural, while a active touch system allows better first touches from different parts of the body.

It also opens up the possibility of a feint attack – where, as the ball approaches, you can shift your weight one way, before going the other.

Cristiano Ronaldo will be on the cover of FIFA 19

Stepovers, too, are reportedly easier to pull off and look more convincing – making it harder for your opponent to defend against.

Finally, 50/50 battles over a loose ball will now take into account more variables than last year – such as reaction time.

Who’s going to be the cover star?

The main man

Cristiano Ronaldo has been named as the FIFA 19 cover star – alongside Neymar.

The 33-year-old was revealed as the front man on Twitter – rounding off an incredible season for the Real Madrid ace.

FIFA fans will be treated to a first look at this year’s game at EA Play on June 9, which takes place a day or two before E3 (You can read our full E3 guide here).

However, with Ronaldo rumoured to be moving to Juventus this could change. Read more here.

What players will be getting new faces this year?

You can read about what players will get new faces in this FIFA 19 piece here.

We know that EA has been bust head-scanning a number of teams, so many players should get far improved looks this year.

FIFA 19 Standard and Champions Editions are available to pre-order from GAME and Amazon

What players won’t be in this year’s game?

Due to retirement, injury or leagues, a number of top players won’t be in this year’s game.

Here are 8 brilliant players who won’t be in FIFA 19

Who’s going to be the highest-rated player?

This is a tough one. The cover star is usually one of the best players and Ronaldo was the highest-rated player last year.

This year, though, we may see a number of top players with the same rating.

Who’s going to be the strongest player?

Adebayo Akinfenwa isn’t actually the strongest player in FIFA 18. Yes, you read that correctly.
The ‘Beast’ who currently plays for Wycombe Wanderers has a massive 98 score for strength in last year’s game.

Roman Torres has an impressive 85 rating for Physical

However, there’s another player who trumps that feat – Seattle Sounders’ defender Roman Torres.

EA sneakily made the centre-back the strongest player on the game with a Hero Card after Panama qualified for this year’s World Cup.

You can read about more about the strongest players in FIFA 19 here.

What about gameplay – will this change?

FIFA 19 Standard and Champions Editions are available to pre-order from GAME and Amazon

We’re going to say no to this one. As EA Sports looks to build the game into an esport proper, it risks annoying fans / pro gamers if changes are too drastic.

After all, the reason why CSGo is so popular is because it’s kept the same core mechanics for a long, long time.

We’ll see improvements in animation and fewer instances of ‘randomness’. The game will feel tighter, but don’t expect drastic changes.

Will there be more stadiums added this year?

FIFA 18 featured more than 70 stadiums – including new additions such as LA Galaxy’s StubHub Center, Huddersfield Town’s John Smith’s Stadium and Brighton & Hove Albion’s Amex arena.

Recently, they even added 12 more, which arrive with the World Cup mode on May 29.

FIFA 19 Standard and Champions Editions are available to pre-order from GAME and Amazon

Sadly, though, there are still some notable omissions. No, we’re not just talking about the Camp Nou (PES has the license).

Here are 15 stadiums EA Sports needs to include in FIFA 19.

What about PES?

This year’s game will be vastly different to PES 2018, according to the series’ European Community Leader Adam Bhatti.

Since Bhatti was appointed to the role in 2013, Konami’s flagship football game has seen somewhat of a critical revival – with scores often trumping EA Sports’ FIFA.

Konami has been continuing improving player faces throughout PES 2018’s lifespan

Sadly, though, PES is still lagging some way behind EA’s in the sales department.

FIFA 19 Standard and Champions Editions are available to pre-order from GAME and Amazon

As a result, the Japanese publisher will be ringing in the changes to ensure PES 2019 is a real contender against FIFA 19.

Click here to read about some key changes needed to give PES 2019 a fighting chance against FIFA 19.

What players are going to get downgrades / upgrades in their ratings?

Check out these 19 players who are going to get different ratings in FIFA 19 for a more in depth look.

How are ratings calculated?

Guesswork? Data collection? Statistical analysis?

Turns out it’s a mix of all three – plus one vital ingredient – Michael Mueller-Moehring.

He leads a team of 9,000 data reviewers – a network of scouts, coaches and season ticket-holders whose job it is to watch as many matches as possible.

Rather than relying on statistics, the data reviewers upload subjective feedback on every player they’ve watched – all 18,000 of them – on a secure EA Sports website.

“We have many leagues in the game; no stats provider could offer us data for all these leagues, teams and players,” Mueller-Moehring told ESPN.

FIFA 19 Standard and Champions Editions are available to pre-order from GAME and Amazon You can your hands on the new Fifa for free, honestly!Cristiano Ronaldo was outpaced by veteran Atletico Madrid defender Juanfran last year – which wouldn’t have gone unnoticed by the data collectors

“This is also the reason why we use this online database, because it’s not possible to buy this data some way — it just doesn’t exist.”

If stats alone were used to determine players’ FIFA ratings, it would lead to inaccurate and misleading ratings.

“The stats are, in most cases, not taking into account very specific circumstances,” Mueller-Moehring explains.

“When you look at passing completion, if you play for Bayern Munich or if you play for Manchester City or if you play for Pep Guardiola, if your system is based on possession, you will have more successful passes than other players, but this doesn’t necessarily make you a better passer.

FIFA 19 Standard and Champions Editions are available to pre-order from GAME and Amazon fifa 18 newFIFA 19 will once again use the Frostbite Engine – despite it coming under fire from fans who claim its error prone

“And when you look at attributes like trapping and ball control, there is data, but the data never gives you the specific situations. Same for tackling.”

Every now and then a relatively unknown player is signed for a team in the game. But with such little amounts of data around for them, how is a score worked out?

“All you know about this player is his name, date of birth and his position — and his position may be as precise as, ‘Oh, he’s a midfielder.’,”Mueller-Moehring says.

“We guess a little bit … until our people have seen the player in action.”

Capturing a player’s mental make-up is also massively important – but with no stats to show this, the league a player is in is used make an educated guess.

“If Messi were playing in the Irish league, his attributes would drop simply because he’s not on the highest level anymore,” Mueller-Moehring explains.

We may see Ronaldo’s pace drop this year as the 33-year-old starts to slow down

“We want to base our ratings on actual performance data.”When it comes to physical attributes, it’s much more subjective.

“There are fast and strong players in every professional league in the world,” Mueller-Moehring says.

All of the feedback is then collated into 300 different data fields and 35 specific attribute categories, which determines the overall rating.

How much is FIFA 19 going to cost?

FIFA 19 Standard and Champions Editions are available to pre-order from GAME and Amazon

The same as last year’s version, most likely – starting from around £49.00 for the basic version, all the way up to £79.99, which will include some packs and bonuses.

What about lootboxes – is Ultimate Team going to change this year?

Lootboxes are gambling and are therefore illegal, the Belgian Gaming Commission has ruled.

The governing body looked at Star Wars Battlefront 2, FIFA 18, Overwatch and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and found three of the titles were in violation of the country’s gambling legislation.

Star Wars was the only title that did not break the rules because EA stripped out the game’s loot boxes after its launch debacle.

FIFA 18, Overwatch and CS:GO’s loot boxes rely on chance so are subject to Belgian gambling law.

Some gamers spend hundreds a year on Ultimate Team

A statement from Minister of Justice Koen Geens said the games were therefore illegal and demanded loot boxes to be removed.

Failure to do could result in EA risking “a prison sentence of up to five years and a fine of up to 800,000 euros”.

The Netherlands deemed some lootboxes illegal, however the UK’s Gambling Commission still doesn’t think loot boxes are gambling or illegal in any way.

Read the full story here.

So, Ultimate Team is going to get scrapped, right?

Nope. Despite Belgium and the Netherlands ruling that loot boxes in games such as FIFA Ultimate Team are equivalent to gambling and in violation of their laws, EA vowed to ‘continue pushing forward’ with the controversial service.

“We’re going to continue pushing forward [with FIFA Ultimate Team],” EA CEO Andrew Wilson said during a conference call with industry analysts.

“We’re always thinking about our players. We’re always thinking about how to deliver these types of experiences in a transparent, fun, fair, and balanced way for our players — and we’ll continue to work with regulators on that.”

You can read the full story here

Didn’t EA say they may not be releasing a physical version of the game this year?

Yes and no.

FIFA 19 Standard and Champions Editions are available to pre-order from GAME and Amazon

In an interview with Bloomberg last year, Wilson hinted the publisher could move away from an annual release cycle and towards an update and subscriptions model.

“The greatest disruptor to the consumption of entertainment media in the last five years has been the combination of streaming plus subscription,” he said.

“It’s changed the way we watch television. It’s changed the way we listen to music. It’s changed the way I read books.

Cristiano Ronaldo was the cover star for FIFA 18 – so where do you go from there?FIFA

“There’s a world where it gets easier and easier to move that code around — where we may not have to do an annual release. We can really think about those games as a 365-day, live service.” Interestingly, EA looks to have already dipped its toes in the water.

Although the Madden NFL Mobile game is now three years old, it’s been continually updated at the start of every season – essentially creating a new game.

You can your hands on the new Fifa for free, honestly!The Frostbite engine was improved this year but we can’t expect massive changes in FIFA 19

The Frostbite engine was tweaked for FIFA 18, but arguably there were only very minor adjustments in animation and visual presentation.

EA Vancouver would have to re-write the entire code altogether to see a dramatic difference – something we can’t see happening for a good few years yet.

This, coupled with a greater number of gamers favouring digital game downloads over physical copies, could sway EA into ditching boxed copies and releasing a ‘FIFA 19’ patch instead.

This would work by updating rosters, faces and form – much like the patches we’re seeing in FIFA 18’s cycle, only bigger. It could even add a third season on to The Journey.

The latest PES 2018 trailer was received very well by audiences and could be better than FIFA 18PES 2018 failed to sell nearly as many copies as FIFA 18 – prompting Konami to move PES 2019’s release date from September to August this year

Streaming games is fast becoming more popular.

GeForce Now – a subscription-based service on the Nvidia Shield – offers a ‘Netflix for Games’, where the unit taps into cloud processing to ‘play’ hundreds of titles.

EA Access, which also uses a subscription model, offers members a chance to trial some of the latest games – as well as play a number of older titles in EA’s portfolio.

It could only be a matter of time before we see a FIFA game using a subscription-based model, rather than a traditional release.

For now, though, we’re certain things won’t change.

Will FIFA 19 be powered by Frostbite?

Yes, without a shadow of doubt. EA actually uses Frostbite across a load of their titles – including Battlefront and Need for Speed.

FIFA 19 Standard and Champions Editions are available to pre-order from GAME and Amazon

It’s far easier to standardise the in-house engine, rather than having different development teams battle with multiple software.

Plus, as it’s in-house (developed by DICE), EA will save money in the long run – as they won’t have to buy the right to use engines from other developers.

Image result for need for speed paybackNeed for Speed Payback is another game powered by Frostbite technology

The downside is that those expecting a huge leap in graphics will be slightly disappointed.

By staying with the engine, we can’t expect to see too much of a boost over FIFA 18 – especially as EA will want it running smoothly on standard PS4s and Xbox Ones.

PS4 Pro and Xbox One X, though, should both start pulling away from their less-powerful siblings and boast the best-looking versions of the game (Along with PC, obviously).

This brings us nicely on to the next point.

What will be the biggest change in gameplay this year?

A lot of gamers were gutted that dynamic weather didn’t make the cut in last year’s game – especially as it’s something the Frostbite Engine specialises in.

You’d only need look at Battlefield 1 and Mass Effect: Andromeda to see it in action.

FIFA 19 Standard and Champions Editions are available to pre-order from GAME and Amazon

While nothing has been confirmed, the introduction of realistic weather could well be a part of FIFA 19.

Speaking to Metro, EA DICE’s Patrick Bach explained why weather is so much more than just a “pretty effect”.

The latest PES 2018 trailer was received very well by audiences and could be better than FIFA 18PES 2018 includes dynamic weather that drastically affects gameplay and it’ll 100 per cent feature in this year’s game

“We often talk about these different dimensions in Battlefield, where you have the rock, paper, scissors and then you marry that with the destruction and you create unpredictability from different angles. And with the layer of weather we actually change the way you play in a very drastic way,” he said.

“So, if you have the tactics of being a sniper and it starts to rain then you probably have to change tactics. And the same with fighter planes, once the fog rolls in it’s like, ‘Okay, this is not as effective anymore, so I probably need to go back on the ground’.

“It’s not only a pretty effect, it actually changes the way you play the game.”

Dynamic weather has featured in Konami’s Pro Evolution Soccer games for the last couple of years and drastically changes the way the game is played.

During matches, rain will sometimes fall – making it easier for players to slip and make mistakes.

fifa 18FIFA on the Switch lets you play your friends on the move

If executed like this in FIFA, it would add a whole new layer of tactics to gameplay – especially in Ultimate Team.

For example, weather taking a turn for the worse could negatively affect player ground speed, passing accuracy and injury probability – giving Quick Subs more of a purpose.

Players would fall over more easily, goalkeepers could be more likely to fumble fast shots… the list is endless, and would all help add an extra level of realism to the game.

Tell us about the Nintendo Switch version? It got mixed reviews but actually played well.

Yes, it did a lot of things very, very well.

In an interview, Nintendo of France announced the game sold 73,000 units on Switch in the region. This doesn’t sound like much, but it was enough to please EA.

With that in mind, we’re almost certain to see a version of the game arrive this year.

FIFA 19 Standard and Champions Editions are available to pre-order from GAME and Amazon

Now, it has to be said, the Switch version of the game received the lowest review scores out of all the current platforms.

The Switch version of FIFA 18 was flawed but still very fun to play

This was due to it missing a few key features such as The Journey and revamped Career Mode.

Ultimate Team matchmaking was terrible, too – especially if you wanted to play with friends online (Nintendo’s current online infrastructure is having some work done to fix this).

Anything else about Switch we should know?

Yes. FIFA 19 will look significantly better on the Nintendo Switch than last year’s game, EA Sports has revealed.

Andrei Lazarescu, Supervising Producer for FIFA World Cup mode, told Dream Team that FIFA 19 will arrive to Nintendo’s console with vastly improved graphics – despite once again not running on Frostbite.

However, he did not ‘close the door’ on using the technology in the future.

You can read the full story here 

Are there going to be Xbox 360 and PS3 versions?

FIFA 18 isn’t the same game on Xbox 360 and PS3.

While Xbox One, PC and PS4 owners enjoyed the new Frostbite Engine and The Journey – those on last-gen had neither of those features.

After a bit of digging, it seems EA plans to wind down the series on last-gen console imminently – even as soon as this year.

fifauseFIFA 17 was massively downgraded on Xbox 360 and PS3

Speaking at the Stifel 2013 Technology Conference, EA CFO Blake Jorgensen said the publisher will continue to release titles for last-generation consoles until 2017 (via Videogamer).

While he stressed this would be the ‘earliest’ the company would drop support for the Xbox 360 and PS3, the signs are certainly moving towards FIFA 18 being a current-gen / PC exclusive.

There are still thousands of gamers who play on last-gen technology – especially given that a new console costs upwards of £200.

FIFA 19 Standard and Champions Editions are available to pre-order from GAME and Amazon

It’s not the first time last-gen gamers have had a parred down version of a blockbuster game.

b1COD: Black Ops 3 only had a stripped back multiplayer mode on the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions

Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 (above) lacked an entire campaign mode on Xbox 360 and PS3 – with only multiplayer available.

Maybe ditching it altogether is better than essentially half a game?

What will be the standout feature for this year’s game?

A few years ago, the suggestion of a ‘virtual reality’ stadium in FIFA would be laughed at.

Now though, it’s a very real possibility. After all, why play a game using the ‘default camera’ when a VR headset could propel you into the stands, just like you’re watching the real thing?

It’s such a compelling prospect that Oculus Rift co-founder Nate Mitchell described FIFA and VR as the ‘perfect fit’.

He once told Eurogamer: “You can imagine sitting in the stands and confetti is raining down… and the four of us are sitting right next to each other and we’re controlling the players on the field — that would be an awesome VR experience.”

But just how likely is it to happen in FIFA 19?

Well, VR has well and truly taken off – with 21 million dedicated VR headsets expected to be sold by 2020.

Sony’s PlayStation VR headset has proven particularly popular – which is great news for gamers.

VR could add even more immersion to The Journey

Since launch they’ve shifted more than 1,000,000 units.

FIFA 19 Standard and Champions Editions are available to pre-order from GAME and Amazon

While the company already has a host of VR-focused games, they’re arguably still to land that true triple-A title.

FIFA 19 could be the perfect platform to propel the hardware firmly into the mainstream – especially as the company look to further capitalise on the beefed up PS4 Pro.

But for those hoping that VR will replace the controller, that’s still some way off.

EA’s Sebastian Enrique told Trusted Reviews they “haven’t found something that beats the experience when you have a controller in your hands”.

Where VR could be implemented, though, is through a camera angle – perhaps exclusive to PS4 / PC versions.

Ronaldo showed off the El Tornado in the brilliant FIFA 18 launch advert – as EA continues to blur the lines between the virtual and real life

This could essentially place the player amongst fans in the stands – putting them next to a few well-rendered fans, and giving them ability to look around their seat.

They would play the game as per usual, only players would be further away – with the entire pitch visible.

Sounds great, right? But there’s a kicker.

FIFA 18 has already come under fire for input lag – which is the time taken for a button press to result in an on-screen action.

By implementing VR, it’ll likely add to this delay – not by much (a few microseconds or so), but it could make all the difference to gameplay.

As Enrique explains: “It’s tricky. The problem is that you still have lag.

“When you play a game like FIFA it really depends on reaction time and on reading the game.”

Transfer negotiations were one of the most exciting parts about FIFA 18’s Career Mode

Still, as the technology continues to advance, issues such as lag should, in theory, become a thing of the past.

Whether VR makes an appearance this year is still uncertain but one thing’s for sure… it’s going to happen – sooner, rather than later.

Tell us about The Journey… will it be back?

Yes, definitely. Last year’s version was miles better than the first season, but there’s still plenty of room for improvement.

It has been confirmed that Hunter will be joining Ronaldo’s former team Real Madrid.

This is sure to shake up the storyline and the journey you take with Hunter in season three.

This was announced when ‘Alex Hunter’ made a return to Twitter after a year-long hiatus, announcing there would be some big news to come.

As this years version of The Journey is named ‘Champions’ it’s safe to assume Hunter may be participating in the Champions Leauge with his new team.

From Clapham to the Bernabeu. The Journey continues for @MrAlexHunter. https://t.co/ranDMpI05q #FIFA19 @adidasfootball @realmadrid pic.twitter.com/qhX4vmT7HH

— EA SPORTS FIFA (@EASPORTSFIFA) August 6, 2018

Customising your Hunter 

One of the best features about last year’s game was the ability to customise various aspects of lead character, Alex Hunter.

Depending on how ‘Fiery’ or ‘Cool’ your Hunter was, different hairstyles and tattoos would be unlocked – making the whole experience feel more personal than before.

There were different clothes, too – which was a nice touch.

Customisation was limited in FIFA 18 so we’d want even more this year

Still, as The Journey moves closer and closer to RPG territory, the level of customisation should reflect this.

Binding the gamer to just one player’s appearance seems a tad archaic, so we’d like to see the option of creating your own character.

Obviously, just like in the Mass Effect series, EA would still keep the base Hunter available for those to carry on the story – but there’s simply no good reason why we shouldn’t have a more detailed character creation tool this year.

Having your own crib and world to explore 

NBA 2K18 does things The Journey can only dream of.

Developers 2K have always been pioneers in the ‘Career’ mode – after their successful link-up with film giant Spike Lee in 2016 – but they went even further last year.

They called it “The Neighborhood” and it was absolutely incredible.

FIFA 19 Standard and Champions Editions are available to pre-order from GAME and Amazon You’ll can interact with the hundreds of characters that populate the game world

The basic idea is, rather than being stuck in a menu system, picking and choosing what hair style you want, what shoes you wear, what threads you throw on and what games you play, you instead live in “The Neighborhood”.

In a style echoing the stunning GTA V, you are free to walk around the world, visiting barbershops to get the coolest trim, the tattoo parlour to update that sleeve and even basketball courts for a bit of 1v1, 3v3 or even a dunk-off competition court.

Just like in Grand Theft Auto – you’re able to pick outfits and customise your appearance

You’ve even got your own penthouse in the dripping-with-cool town. And that’s only scratching the surface.

After all, there’s a ton to explore in ‘The Neighborhood’, from a custom T-Shirt kiosk, an NBA Store – based on the New York flagship branch – and even a team training facility and a separate gym.

It’s all part of the new ‘Road to 99’ model – which sees you define your own career as you bid to get your player that all-important 99-rating… having started as a lowly 60-rated rookie.

Add to the mix movie-like cut-scenes that truly define who you are, and choices that affect how others react to you, and you’ve got a winning recipe.

Take that, EA Sports.

Make sure to keep fit at the gym – much like Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

Multiple endings and true player choice

Whilst EA should be praised for their RPG style dialogue wheel – there needs to be more player choice.

Far too often the “fiery” or “cool” response wasn’t extreme enough – made worse by lacklustre responses from NPCs.

We’d expect to see this built on in FIFA 19 – with extreme reactions and consequences stemming from ill-managed conversations.

We want to Hunter to storm out of a press conference if he lets questions get to him.

Or be revered by the media if he shifts praise on to the team, rather than himself after a man-of-the-match performance.

For those looking for a more ‘adult’ and ‘darker’ experience, that wont be on the cards on this year.

Speaking to Dream Team Gaming last year, EA’s Creative Director Matt Prior, said: “Everyone wants to smash Gareth Walker but we’ve got a lot of limitations in terms of what we can and can’t do.

The Journey: Hunter Returns sees Alex Hunter travel around the world

“In terms of smacking someone, it’s something we just cannot do because  instantly our ESRB rating or PEGI rating would go above and beyond ‘3’.

“So, it’s one of these things that people think we we have a blank canvas in which to work but there are a lot of restrictions we have to deal with.”

An older Hunter 

This is a given but obviously we want Hunter to age.

He started the game as a promising youngster and was a more complete player in season two. Season three could see the star begin to hit his peak?

Hunter Returns was a far more well-rounded experience than in FIFA 17

The return of Gareth Walker

Need we say more?

The relationship between Hunter and Walker was one of the best things about The Journey – so we’re fully expecting this to continue in FIFA 19.

We want Walker to be even more nasty and conniving.

Should FIFA 19 borrow anything from Konami’s PES 2019?

PES does many things better than EA SPORTS’ football offering.

Take a look at these eight key PES features that would really benefit EA’s game this year.

More celebrations

FIFA 19 will bring a lot of new things to the table – but more celebrations would be very welcome.

One thing we haven’t seen in FIFA is a shirtless celebration – something PES 2018 pulls off very well.

FIFA 19 Standard and Champions Editions are available to pre-order from GAME and Amazon

“Technically it’s very, very difficult for us to {get an in-game player} to take the shirt off,” EA Creative Director Matt Prior told Dream Team Gaming

Lionel Messi was booked for taking his shirt off in an iconic celebration that left the ref no choiceLionel Messi was booked for taking his shirt off in an iconic celebration against Real Madrid last yearGetty Images

“This is because of the morphing of the textures – it’s one of those weird things that in real life it seems to easy but from a gaming standpoint it’s incredibly difficult.”

Konami, however have managed to figure out a clever workaround.

When you score with Neymar, the camera quickly cuts to him doing a throwing action – as if he’s just pulled off his shirt.

It works a treat, and looks incredibly simple to pull off (no pun intended).

PES 2018’s shirtless celebration gets around the technical challenge with clever camera work

That’s not the only celebration unique to PES, though. There’s another selfie celebration that features, too.

This involves the player taking out their phone and taking a pic of themselves near the crowd.

The camera even shifts to the phone, giving the gamer a close up of the players’ faces.

FIFA 18 does not include the selfie celebration – but we’re not sure why

Editing your own kit

One of the drawbacks with PES is the lack of official team licences.

Thankfully, there are hundreds of loyal fans who create the teams and badges from scratch, which can then be imported via USB to the game.

But why does this need to be limited to PES?

Being able to customise your own kits and badges would help – especially in FIFA 18’s Career Mode

The ability to edit your own team kit, create stadiums and even update sponsors would be welcomed by many FIFA players.

It certainly jars in Career Mode when your team puts on the same strip more than a decade later.

Ratings needs a rethink 

EA has made dribbling round players tougher than ever – but perhaps it’s time for a rethink?

FIFA 19 Standard and Champions Editions are available to pre-order from GAME and Amazon

There are countless cases where players with much higher speed stats are chased down by slower defenders – which simply would not happen in real life.

In PES, stats accurately translate into what a player does on the pitch – but in FIFA, it’s much more hit and miss

Konami’s game has no such problem – with individual player stats accurately reflecting what they can do on the pitch.

So, Lionel Messi can dribble past five people because his dribbling stats are through the roof.

Match atmosphere 

What PES lacks in licences it makes up for by capturing the spirit of the game.

Matches, especially internationals, feel like the huge spectacles they are.

While EA goes some way to address the build up, through decent commentary and player highlights, a more interactive and engaged crowd would work wonders.

We’ve seen EA step up its game this year with crowds – but there’s still more work to be done.

Camp Nou

The omission of the Camp Nou in FIFA is felt more by fans every year

One of the most iconic stadiums in the world is replaced by a bland arena in FIFA 18.

Sadly, as long as the relationship between Konami and Barcelona remains, Camp Nou will remain absent from FIFA for years to come.

At least FIFA 19’s Champions League licence will really help.

More responsive gameplay

One of the biggest annoyances with this year’s FIFA is input delay – the time it takes for an on-screen action to reflect a user’s command.

PES, though, seems far sharper and responsive, leading to a much more connected experience.

Now, a lot of this may be down to the engine – and the processes going on in the background.

However, FIFA 19 will be the third outing for Frostbite, so we’d hope gameplay will be tweaked for the better.

More tactics 

There’s very little in the way of tactics in FIFA 18 – compared to PES, anyway.

FIFA 19 Standard and Champions Editions are available to pre-order from GAME and Amazon

In Konami’s game, you’re given a daunting amount of freedom over how your team plays and lines up – making FIFA feel scripted.

PES has always been known for offering an insane level of tactical depth – perhaps it’s time FIFA did the same?

Some FIFA players tend to shy away from messing around with the tactics, but there are still plenty who would welcome a system that caters to intricate changes.

Here’s hoping EA incorporates a couple of these tweaks in FIFA 19.

Stadium Editor 

One of the best features in recent PES games is the stadium editor – which allows you to customise a number of aspects from netting to pitch pattern.

FIFA fans have been calling out for this feature for years, but EA is yet to do anything about it.

Imagine being able to add you own colours and flags to your home ground?

We’ve already seen that ICON flags appear in the stadium when you play with them – so surely this is doable from a technical standpoint?

The stadium editor will likely be even better in PES 2018

What about to Career Mode?

Arguably got the most significant changes last year – making it absolutely brilliant.

Interactive negotiations were easily the standout addition – and these will return once again.

Sadly, there was a very limited amount of avatars available – so we’d like to see you be able to create your own avatar.

FIFA 19 will be one of the biggest games of the year

What about the World Cup – does EA have anything planned?

EA Sports has announced the long-awaited World Cup mode will be arriving later this month as a free update.

Landing on May 29, the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia download promises to deliver authentic gameplay, teams and stadiums in the single-biggest add-on since FIFA 14.

EA confirmed the update will be arriving on PS4, Xbox One, PC and Nintendo Switch. The Xbox 360 and PS3 consoles appear set to miss out on the update.

Read all about the FIFA 18 World Cup mode here.

What does EA have in store for Career Mode this year?

FIFA 18 saw Career Mode finally get some much-needed attention – but it’s still far from perfect.

Come FIFA 19 we’d want to see EA Sports push the boat out further and deliver an even more immersive experience.

Press conferences 

Press conferences is a huge area for EA Sports to tackle in FIFA 19

Right now, press conferences in the game are pretty dry and do not make capitalise properly on Frostbite technology.

But, given the strong reception to the revised transfer negotiation mechanic, we can fully expect to see a similar presentation echoed in press conferences come FIFA 19.

Here, how you react would shape how the press respond – with fiery and cool responses leading to very different outcomes.

Perhaps you’re quizzed about a player who then hears what you’ve said and threatens to leave the club? The possibilities are endless.

More customisation

Being able to create yourself as a manager would be welcomed by fans – and is well within Frostbite’s capabilities.

There are only a handful of manager avatars a gamer could choose from when starting out as a new manager.

By adding more character customisation, EA would make the experience feel even more personal.

Transfer negotiations were brilliant, tense affairs – and will return with gusto in FIFA 19

Scenario Mode

In Career Mode, you always start from fresh – and take your team from a base level to greatness (or mediocrity / relegation if you’re as bad as I am).

One wrong move in FIFA 18’s Career Mode and you’ll spook the agent or manager

But wouldn’t it be great to have a ‘Scenario Mode’ – where you’re thrust into a team mid-crisis and have to steer the ship to safety?

FIFA 19 Standard and Champions Editions are available to pre-order from GAME and Amazon

Perhaps one team is in the relegation zone and you only have four matches to turn it around? Or maybe you’ve just lost your star striker and have to coach up a young replacement?

Player decline

Time waits for no man, but on the last two FIFAs the ageing process is way too harsh.

After the age of 30, players begin to slow down so dramatically that by 34 they’re pretty much unable to run.

Technical attributes often decline at an alarmingly fast rate, too – regardless of the player.

FIFA 17 was just as harsh on players in their later years… just take a look at what happens to a 40-year-old Leo Messi

Champions League 

EA Sports spent a fair amount of time overhauling the much-loved game mode last year, so we’re certain they’re going to raise the bar yet again this year.

To help give you a sense about what to expect, YouTuber FNG has drawn up concepts – detailing how the game menus could look and some features unique to the mode.

You can take a closer look at the FIFA 19 Career Mode concepts here. For a more detailed look at other aspects of FIFA 19 Career Mode, click here.

New features that will change the way you play Career Mode

New gameplay features will give you much greater control of your tactics and squad while out on the field.

New marking, passing, defending and tactical planning options which can be changed more fluidly mid game.

Check out more information on the changes to career mode here.

Anything else we want to see in Career Mode?

Well, what better place to draw inspiration from than Football Manager – in particular online play.

Online network game

Being able to play Career Mode with your friends online would be amazing – and it’s something FM fans have been able to do for some time.

Imagine having to work together to keep your team safe from relegation?

Or teaming up with four mates to play to play as Grimsby Town in the Champions League final?

It’s a big ask but perfectly doable.

Career Mode underwent some big changes last year – with interactive transfer negotiations the most exciting

You can read more about how Football Manager could influence FIFA 19’s Career Mode here.

Customise your manager

One exciting addition to career mode that has now been confirmed, is the option to customise your managers and have them host press conferences.

To see some concept images of how this may look along with information on the new UI overhaul in FIFA 19 Career mode click here.

Brand new Ultimate Team icons

To absolutely nobody’s surprise, EA this Weekend announced that Ultimate team would be returning in FIFA 19.

Footy fans, however, were pleased to see that it was announced with the addition of 10 brand new icons.

All 10 players will be available to get when opening packs for your ultimate team.

People are kicking off at the new Ultimate Team Card Designs

Some Ultimate Team card designs have now been revealed.

With a rather lacklustre response from fans who have voiced mixed views to the minimalistic approach to the cards this year.

When spending your hard earned cash on FIFA packs you really want to feel like you are being rewarded with something.

Read more about the new card designs here.

These new card designs have certainly got people talking!

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