There is a built in feature in the arena mode that allows you to work on your free kicks, and it is strongly recommended that you take advantage of it to hone your skills. Simply move your chosen arena player anywhere on the pitch and hit the D-pad in any direction, and you will immediately be set up to take the free kick from that spot. If you are anywhere in the penalty box, you will immediately be set up to hit a penalty kick. When aiming, use the exact screen center as your aiming point and target. Play with various types of power on the meter to judge distances.
Also, the Left Thumbstick can be used to put spin on the ball while the mater is powering up. Holding the Thumbstick left/right will create maximum curl on the ball. Holding the Thumbstick to the Upper/Left or Upper/Right will create a shot shaped with topspin. You can hold down on the Thumbstick to create backspin.
Play with how long to hold the stick over to hit that sweet spot on the goal. Hold the stick all the way over until the player strikes the ball; you can put a seriously nasty arc on the ball, catching the keeper completely unaware it will even be on goal and usually catching him flatfooted. Other types of free kicks are mentioned below.
This is a simple touch pass restart which allows your team to maintain possession and continue on to the attack. Keep an eye on the positioning of the opposition’s players to determine where best to hit the short pass.
The lob pass is used to hit target players to continue the attack a little further down field. Use the radar to notice which of your players has the best position and is under the least threat by the defending team.
If the free kick is within target range for a shot on goal, sometimes a direct shot is a possibility. This shot is more of a controlled instep shot for deadly accuracy, aimed usually at one of the upper corners of the goal. Take time in the arena to really practice from various locations. Remember to use the screen dead center to aim, and practice distances to learn how much to power up the meter. Also while the meter is powering up, lean the Left Thumbstick either left or right to put curve on the shot and catch the keeper off guard. There is the possibility of putting a dramatic arc on the ball if you hold the stick all the way over until the ball is struck. You can also push the stick upper/left or upper/right for a topspin blast. Again, practice in the arena until you become a deadly sniper.
The driven shot is a straight powerful shot directly at the goal taken full force with the laces of the boot. This takes some planning to avoid the wall, so scan the area carefully before choosing the best angle to hit the shot. Also, see the “Shot Power/Elevation Chart” in the Attacking Controls section to determine how to power up the meter.. Once again, use the arena to practice various distances and get comfortable with what works best for you.
Call Lay-off Player
Simply put, you can bring another player right next to you to confuse the defence as to which player is actually going to hit the shot. Usually, one player will approach from the right and one from the left, and each has the potential to hit opposite arcs on the ball. You will see below that you can choose either player to hit the shot. By adding curve to the ball on power up, it will be tough for your opponent to tell which way the ball will go. It is a good idea to bring the second player in; even if you do not intend to use him, it creates confusion for your opponent and adds to your unpredictability.
Lay-off Player Pass
Once you bring in the second player depending upon your range from goal, see if you have a close by player that could receive a simple pass and start a quick attack again. Again, check the radar and what you see on the screen to find the right target player.
Lay-off Player Shot
Use the layoff player to strike the shot on goal. Switch between your original player and the added target player randomly throughout the game so your opponent never knows who will play the ball. Locate your best angle with the best look at goal. Note the preferred foot of the shot taker and which player has the best angle to hit a critical target area on the goal. Judge your power on the meter carefully and add enough arc on the ball so it is difficult for the keeper to judge where the final path of your shot might end up. Take note of the positioning of the keeper and what location (near post or far post) looks like the best option.
Free Kick Defence/Wall
By default, the correct amount of players to go in the wall will be determined for you and is based on distance from your goal. To judge if you should have the wall jump, stay where it is or have a player rush the wall is based solely on where you feel the kick taker has the best opportunity to take a shot or lay off a pass. A good tip is to determine what you would do based on the players available to take the shot and work from there.
If you look at how your opponent is set up and it looks like from the position of the ball he might have a good shot at goal, or if further out might have a target player where he will more than likely play the ball over the wall with a lower trajectory, a jump might be a good option. Time it so that right as he strikes the ball, you jump the entire wall to try and stop the ball from making it to its target.
Wall Player Charge
With the selected player you can charge the wall again to try and keep the kick taker from getting the ball to its target. Take a look at what angle looks best for the shot taker to take, and switch to the right player to try and cut that off. Watch for potential lay off players and you could possibly be better served to charge a possible target player as well. Press and hold the X button on the PS3 and the A button on the XBOX 360 to perform this control.