To ensure you get off to a good start when you get into a match it is crucial to intercept your opponent, or limit the options of the dribbling opponent on kickoff. To go 1-0 down to the opponent so cheaply is a bad start, and you may lose your head early on if you arent careful.
For defending the kickoff run, i like to change my controller settings to auto switching on Air Balls only.
This ensures I always know who is going to be selected and you will not lose the defensive battle from the kickoff run.
The main goal to defend the kick off run is to ensure that the opponent doesnt get past the two Midfielders. If he does go wide past one of the midfielders, grab the left or right back and send him down the wing by making use of LT to jockey the opponent and limit his options. Whatever you do dont let the opponent cut inside where he has more options available to him.
Utilising LT and ensuring the player does not go through the middle of the park is key to ensuring that you are able to deal with most if not all the attacking kick off runs. If you can, practice the kickoff run both attacking and defending with a friend of similar ability or greater. The better he is the quicker you can learn.
If you are really struggling with opponents scoring cheap goals from kickoff then play with no wingers and lots of players in the middle of the park. This should ensure that the direct through the middle option is not available, which is where a lot of defensive errors can happen as your opponent has more directions to change.
If your opponent is running at you and has got past one of your players, then i would suggest not making a tackle with the next defender you have. Stay on your feet unless you can be sure you will make the challenge. Delay the attacker so that you have more numbers who can get in the way of the attacker.
You can delay the player by making space available down the wings, forcing him to go down there. But be careful not to allow to much space on the byline for him to dribble past you.
If the player is not running at full pace then make use of LT and keep him there. again dont challenge and just wait for him to make a bad decision, whilst closing down with another player.
Hopefully you should see an improvement in the amount of goals you are conceding by sticking to these tips outlined in this article. If you have any other suggestions then feel free to post in the comments below.