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4-6-0 Soccer Formation Positions, Roles, Pros, Cons, Variations

4-6-0 Soccer Formation

What Is the 4-6-0 Formation in Soccer?

A 4-6-0 formation is a scheme in soccer that is made up of four defenders and six midfielders who are broken up into attacking and holding midfielders. This formation is known for being unconventional, but it does have some benefits, and can often transition into a 4-5-1 formation. The 4-6-0 formation is rarely used and keeps the action focused on the six midfielders, who execute frequent, quick passes and change roles often to confuse their opponents.

Pros of the 4-6-0 Formation

The goal of this formation is to draw the other team’s defenders out of their zone to cover the center midfielders. Confusing and diverting defenders is the main advantage of the 4-6-0 formation. Since the defenders might be aware of this tactic, this allows the midfielders to gain quite a bit of field before the pressure is put on them to make a move. Talented attacking midfielders can open unique passing and scoring lanes in a 4-6-0 formation, as the defenders will be drawn forward.

Cons of the 4-6-0 Formation

This formation can only be successful with six powerful and skillful midfielders who lead the offense. Since there are no strikers, these six midfielders act as the forwards and strikers during any offensive scenario. They must be equipped to carry the ball upfield but also turn around in any instance to play defense. This formation can tire out your midfield line, as there is no limit to how much running they are doing between offense and defense.


Since the 4-6-0 formation is less common in soccer, it doesn’t have many variations. However, the 4-6-0 itself is a variation of two more common formations, the 4-2-3-1 and the 4-5-1. The 4-6-0 comes about when the two defensive midfielders of a 4-2-3-1 formation move forward, becoming midfielders, while the striker and attacking midfielders drop back, also becoming midfielders.

When a team is in a 4-6-0 formation, they can easily transition to a 4-5-1 by having one of their six midfielders take a position upfield as a striker. This makes the 4-5-1 a potential variation of the 4-6-0 that can be used in a quick-thinking situation.